The Buddha Tour
Walking in the foot steps of Buddha, tread on the path of Enlightenment
In the footsteps of Buddha, tread on the path of enlightenment, visit the most sacred Places associated with life of Lord Buddha.
- Day-1 : Arrive New Delhi : Transfer to 5-star the Park hotel, in city center near Connaught Place.
- Day-2 : Morning rest & orientation. Afternoon, sightseeing tour of Old & New Delhi.
- Day-3 : Delhi - Patna - Vaishali - Patna: Turning over the pages of early Indian history one comes across the name of the pre-eminent city of Pataliputra. Located at the site where Patna is today, this city saw the rise and fall of India's first major kingdoms. Its period of glory spanned a thousand years, from 6th century BC to 5th century A.D.
Ajastshatru, second in the line of Magadh Kings, built a fort at Pataligram on the bank of River Ganga.This later became famous mauryan metropolis of Pataliputra ruled by Chandragupta Maurya (a contemporary of Alexander) and his grandson Ashok, acclaimed for the spreading of Buddhism. Afternoon visit The Gurudwara in Patna - the birth place of Guru Govind Singh Sahib the 10th and last Guru of the Sikhs.
- Day-4: Patna - Vaishali – Patna. Full day excursion to Vaishali where Buddha preached his last sermon. Vaishali has a past that pre-dates recorded history. It is held that the town derives its name from King Vishal, whose heroic deeds are narrated in the Hindu epic Ramayana. However, history records that when Pataliputra was the center of political activity in the Gang tic plains, Vaishali became the center as center of the Ganga and the seat of the Republic of Vajji.
Vaishali is credited with being the world's First Republic to have a duly elected assembly of representatives and efficient administration. Lord Buddha visited Vaishali more than once during his lifetime and announced his approaching Mahaparinirvana to the great followers he had here. A hundred years after he attained Mahaparinirvana, it was the venue of the second Buddhist Council. According to one belief, the Jain Tirthankar, Lord Mahavir was born at Vaishali.
The Chinese travelers Fa-Hien and Hieun Tsang also visited this place in early 5th and 7th centuries respectively and wrote about Vaishali. While talking of the famous men and women associated with Vaishali, Amrapali was the cynosure not only of Vaishali but of the neighboring kingdoms as well. Therefore, to avert bloodshed, the parliament of Vaishali declared her to be a court dancer besides consigning her to lifelong spinsterhood. Later she became a devout Buddhist and served Lord Buddha. Individual meditation at Vishwa Shanti Pagoda (World Peace Pagoda). A few of the Buddha’s relics have been enshrined in the foundation and in the Stupa.
- Day-5 : Patna - Nalanda - Rajgir. Stay at Rajgir Residency, after breakfast drive to Rajgir. Enroute visit Nalanda, founded in 5th century BC. It is the site of one of the world’s great ancient universities and an important Buddhist center until overtaken by the Afghans in the 12th century. The remains are quite extensive, including the Great Stupa. The archaeological museum houses remains found on the site. It is probable that Lord Buddha, in one of his previous births as Bodhisatwa, became a king with his capital at Nalanda and that his liberality earned his capital the name Nalanda or "charity without intermission". The third theory about the name of the place is that it derived from Nalam plus da. Nalam means lotus which is a symbol for knowledge and Da means given the place had many lotuses. Nalanda has a very ancient history. It was frequently visited by Lord Vardhamana Mahavir and Lord Buddha in the 6th century BC.During his sojourns, Lord Buddha found this place prosperous, swelling, and teeming with population and containing mango-groves. It is also supposed to be the birthplace of Sariputra, one of the Chief disciples of the Lord Buddha. The University of Nalanda was founded in the 5th century by the Gupta emperors.Continue the drive to Rajgir located in a verdant valley surrounded by rocky hills and sacred to the memory of the founder of both Buddhism and Jainism. Lord Buddha spent many months of retreat during the rainy season here, and used to meditate and preach on Griddhkuta, the 'Hill of the Vultures'. Lord Mahavir spent fourteen years of his life at Rajgir and Nalanda.It was in Rajgriha that Lord Buddha delivered some of his famous sermons and converted king Bimbisara of the Magasha Kingdom and countless others to his creed. Once a great city, Rajgir is just a village today, but vestiges of a legendary and historical past remain, like the cyclopean wall that encircles the town and the marks engraved in rock that local folklore ascribes to Lord Krishna's chariot.An aerial ropeway provides the link with a hill-top stupa "Peace Pagoda" built by the Japanese. On one of the hills in the cave of Saptparni, was held the first Buddhist Council. The Saptparni cave is also the source of the Rajgir Hot Water Springs that have curative properties and are sacred to the Hindus.
- Day-6 : Rajgir to Bodh Gaya (80 Km/2 hr drive) Hotel Siddartha Drive to Bodhgaya. Serene and quiet this tiny little village, holiest among holy places is Bodhgaya. Where the quest of Prince Siddharth was fulfilled after years of seeking the truth and the saga of Buddha began. He attained the supreme enlightenment and became 'The Buddha', the enlightened one.Thus Buddhism was born here under the Bodhi tree. The Prince had been wandering in search of supreme peace for six years hither and thither. But it was at Bodhgaya where his holy mission was achieved. Bodh Gaya today is a village of temples, for every Buddhist sect is represented here.Bodhgaya has naturally developed into the most sacred spot for Buddhists from all over the world. Laying in sylvan solitude this sacred place is situated on the banks of river Niranjana (Modern Falgu). It is 15 km. from Gaya town. Gaya is an important Centre of 'Hindu Pilgrimage' where people go to offer oblations for the salvation of their dead forefathers.This tree was destroyed many times, but in 620AD, during the annual celebration of Vaisakha, thousands of people from all over India would gather to anoint the roots of the holy tree with perfumed water and scented milk, and to offer flowers and music. The present Bodhi Tree is most probably the fifth descendant of the original tree to be planted at this site.It still performs a very important role to Buddhists of all traditions. Being viewed as the actual Buddha by some, it is a reminder and an inspiration, a symbol of peace, of Buddha's enlightenment and of the ultimate potential that lies within us all.
- Day-7 : Bodh Gaya : Hotel Siddartha Day for meditation and visit Mahabodhi temple..
- Day-8 : Drive Bodhgaya to Varanasi
- Day-9 : Varanasi-Agra : Hotel Mughal Sheraton or Taj view hotel : Early morning boat-ride on the Sacred Ganges as the sunrises, over looking the bathing and the burning ghats, a spectacular scene not to me missed. After boat ride visit Visvanath Temple, one of the oldest temples in Varanasi dating back 1000 years, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Afternoon, visit Sarnath, the spiritual centre of Buddhism (where Buddha gave his first sermon).The ancient ruins are fascinating including the Dhamekh Stupa which is believed to mark the spot where Buddha preached his famous sermon; the archaeological museum is excellent. There is also a momument dedicated to Buddha and a modern Buddhist temple with murals by a Japanese painter depicting the story of the life of Buddha. At approx 6pm, local Buddhists chant the words to Buddhas last sermon.
Flight to Agra or Train.
- Day-10 : Agra, the last capital of Mughal Empire. The city of Taj Mahal - a poem in white marble- built in the 16th century by the emperor Shahjahan as a monument of love. Morning visit Taj Mahal & Agra Fort. Afternoon excursion to Fatehpur Sikri.
- Day-11 : Agra/Delhi : Morning at leisure. After lunch drive to Delhi. Transfer to hotel for wash and change and fare well dinner. After dinner, transfer to International airport for flight home.