Footsteps of Buddha - 18 days
Begin your pilgrimage trip in Kathmandu, between trans-Himalayan Tibet and the plains of India and which was probably used as transit point when Buddhism travelled north.
Visit important Buddhist sites in the ancient Nepalese capital, and then fly to the town Bhairahawa and drive to Lumbini, where the Buddha was Born. From Lumbini you will cross the border to India and visit Kushinagar where the aged Buddha died on his way back home.
From Kushinagar drive Varanashi via Balarampur, Hiduism’s holiest city on your way to Sarnath. This is the place, where the Buddha delivered his first sermon as the Buddha. Then visit Bodh Gaya where he attained enlightenment and continue to Nalanda, Rajgir and Vaishali, all important centers in the Buddha’s lifetime.
Before flying to Delhi and continuing to Dharmasala, known as a little Tibet, where His Holiness The Dalai Lama heads the presnt day Tibetan Government in Exile. Continue to Mandi, the influences of Guru Rimpoche shape local folklore.
From US$ 1936.00
ITINERARY IN DETAIL
Day 01 -Arrive Kathmandu
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met and transferred to hotel, rest of the day free to overcome the jet lag or you can explore on your won.
Day 02 -Kathmandu
Today you have the full day sightseeing tour of various temples and monasteries which include Pasupatinath : Situated near the banks of sacred Bagmati River the temple of lord Siva-Pasupatinath with two tiered golden roof and silver doors is famous for its superb Newari architecture. Baudhanath : This colossal and ancient Stupa, one of Nepal’s most unique monument and said to be the world biggest, attracts Nepalese pilgrimage of Tibetan stock from as far as Dolpo and Mugu as well as Tibet, Ladhak in India and Bhutan. You will also visit Kathmandu Durbar Square that has housed kings of different dynasties and temple-scape representing finest specimens of Hindu and Buddhist architectures.
Day 03 - Kathmandu - Lumbini
After breakfast drive to airport for your flight from Kathmandu - Bhairawa. Our representative will meet you at the airport and then drive to Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Visit the stone Pillar erected by Emperor Ashoka on the spot where Buddha was born and the surrounding monuments. Continue your drive to Taulihawa, which is about 10 miles from Lumbini. Its ancient name Kapilavasttu was the capital of King Suddhodana of Sakya Race, whose only son Prince Siddartha became the Buddha. Overnight in Lumbini
Day 04 - Lumbini Kushinagar
Resume your drive to Kushinagar. Kushinagar is the place where Buddha entered into Mahaparnirvana after forty years of teaching Buddha Dharma to all sentient beings. Morning visit the temple where reclining image of Buddha is installed. This reclining image depicts Buddha\'s final act on Earth. Visit the Mahaparnirvana Stupa, this stupa as the name indicates marks the place where Lord Buddha left his mortal body and attained to the supremely blissful State of Nibbanadhattu. Visit the excavated area, it contains foundations of a few monasteries and cells. Finally visit Angara Chaitya, the stupa is situated about a mile away from the above places. This is the very site where the body of Tathagata was cremated Overnight at hotel Lotus Nikko.
Day 05- Kushinagar - Saravasti
Drive to Balrampur and continue to Saravasti and visit the ruins of the Jetvana Monastery, which is believed to be the most popular Buddhist monastery during the time of Buddha, and he had spent most of his time during the monsoon here giving teachings. Get the blessing from the Ananda Bodhi tree, it is said that Buddha\'s one of the chief disciples Mahamogallana had brought a sapling of Bodhi tree from Bodh Gaya and was planted there to represent Buddha during his absence.
Also visit to Angulimala Cave and return to hotel.
Day 06 - Drive to Varanashi
After breakfast drive to Varanasi which is about 185 miles and takes about 5-6 hours depending on the road condition. Enjoy the Indian countryside.
Overnight in Varanashi.
Day 07 - Varanashi
Morning: Boat ride in the river Ganges. Sightseeing of Varanasi includes visits to Temples and Raj Ghats. Afternoon visit Sarnath, Eight kms (5 miles) north of Varanasi is Sarnath where in Deer Park; Gautam Buddha delivered his first sermon after he became the "enlightened one". The ruins of monasteries built more than 2000 years ago, the Dhamok Stupa, the Dharmarji Ka Stupa and maon shrine draw Buddhist pilgrims yearly to Sarnath.
The Mahabodhi Society of India have recently built a modern Vihara, the interior frescoes of which have been executed by a Japanese artist. At Sarnath stands the famous Ashoka Pillar of polished sandstone whose lion capital has been adopted by the Republic of India as its state emblem.
Day 08 - Varanashi - Bodhgaya
After breakfast start your journey to Bodh Gaya, its about 157 miles and takes about 5-6 hours depending on the road condition and the traffic.
Overnight at Bodhgays.
Day 09 - Bodhgaya sightseeing
The history of Bodh Gaya as a place of sacred importance to the Buddhists commences from the time when Buddha started austerities in the forest around the place, then known as Uruvela. Ever since Buddha attained supreme enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, Bodh Gaya has remained the most sacred spot on earth for entire Buddhist world.
During the Tibetan lunar 12th month from 1st - 10th the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism organizes here a grand prayer ritual known as Monlam Chenmo. People from all over the world gather here to attend this ritual. They circumambulate the stupa chanting mantras. Also during this time HH the Dalai Lama perform the Kalachakra empowerment. The day is free for you to join with the Buddhist practitioners offering butter lamps, prayer and circumambulation of the stupa.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 10 - Bobhgaya
Full day at Bodhgaya. Esplore on your own.
Day 11 - Bodhgaya - Patna
After breakfast, drive to Patna. On your way, visit the ruins of Nalanda Institute. Nalanda did not gain its popularity during the time of Buddha, even though Buddha\'s main disciple Shariputtra was born here and Buddha had visited here on his way to and back from Rajgir. Real importance of the place for Buddhists began with the establishment of the Nalanda University which became world famous on account of its galaxy of brilliant professors and the high standard of teaching. Great Buddhist scholars, such as Nagarjuna had passed out from this University and he later became the principal of the University.
Continue your drive to Rajgir, the oldest city of India. This city was favorite residence of Lord Buddha who had given many teachings at the vulture peak. Visit the places of interest and resume your drive to Patna. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 12 - Patna - Delhi - Pathankot
Morning tour of Patna.Drive to Vaishali, which is about 35 miles. This place is also a very important pilgrim site for Buddhist. Buddha gave his last sermon here and announced his impending nirvana. If time permits visit Patna Museum. Afternoon fly to Delhi and board the overnight train to Pathankot.
Day 13 - Arrive Pathankot & Drive Dharmasala
Morning arrive Pathankot, your vehicle will be waiting outside the train station. Drive to Dharamsala. Rest of the day free for you to relax or explore Dharamsala on your own. Overnight.
Day 14 - Dharmasala
Full day sightseeing of Dharamsala. Set against the backdrop of the dramatic Dhauladhar Mountains, Dharamsala is perched on the high slopes in the upper reaches of Kangra Valley. It is a charming town with elegant bungalows nestling in thick conifer forests. Dharamsala is also the home of the Dalai Lama, who is quartered at Mcleodganj. Little Lhasa is an enchanting world where spinning prayer wheels and fluttering prayer flags spread the message of peace and universal harmony. Overnight at hotel.
Day 15 - Dharmasala - Mandi
After breakfast drive to Mandi through the countryside stopping at the villages and taking pictures. Mandi is the ancient kingdom of prince Mandarawa who later became first consort of Guru Pamasambhava. Upon arrival check into hotel Munish Resort. After lunch sightseeing of Mandi Visit Temples, palaces and the bazaar. Overnight at hotel.
Day 16 - Mandi - Lake Rewalsar - Mandi
After breakfast drive to Lake Rewalsar it is about 22 miles from Mandi. You will visit the Guru Cave, where Guru Padmasambhava gave teaching to prince Mandarawa, Zigar nunnery retreat houses, monasteries and circumambulate the lake. Evening return to hotel.
Day 17 - Mandi - Nalgarh or Chandigadh
After breakfast drive to Nalgarh or Chandigarh, rest of the day free. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 18 - Nalgarh or Chandigarh- Delhi
After breakfast board your train to Delhi. Evening transfer to airport for your onward destination
***End of the Tour***