Tailor-made Tour 15 days from £3720 per person
Places Visited: Delhi, Jama Masjid, Lucknow, Sravasti, Lumbini, Kushinagav, Patna, Bodhgaya, Varanasi, Agra
In his very first sermon Lord Buddha put forth the Middle Way, the Four Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path - the message spread rapidly, penetrating caste and class barriers; today Buddhism is a way of life in large parts of the world, its message of peace and tolerance speaks to us all.
Buddha preached that the way to salvation is not dependent on God but on understanding the way things really are for all living beings subject to desire. We take you on a journey to places associated with important events in Buddha's life.
Prince Siddhartha was born at Lumbini, became Buddha, the Enlightened One, at Bodhgaya, gave his first sermon at Sarnath, lived the greater part of his monastic life in Sravasti, and attained Nirvana at Kushinagar. We also take in Lucknow, "City of Nawabs" known for its gracious living, and the fabled Taj Mahal in Agra.
Take an evening flight from London Heathrow.
Transfer to the Maidens or Claridges Hotel. In the afternoon visit the bustling sights of Old Delhi including the largest mosque in India known as the Jama Masjid and Rajghat, the resting place (Samadhi) of India's favourite son, Mahatma Gandhi. The day's sightseeing ends with a rickshaw ride through the convergent bazaars of Chandni Chowk, the main trading centre of Old Delhi.
Take an exciting day train to the city of Lucknow where you spend two nights at the first class Vivanta by Taj hotel.
In the morning visit the Residency Complex, site of the infamous siege of 1857 which was one of the first revolts against the British authorities. Continue your sightseeing tour of the city with visits to the Islamic Imambara shrine and Romi Darwaja city gate. Round off the day exploring Lucknow's colourful bazaars.
Today provides your first real taste of the 'Buddhist landscape' as we approach the site of Sravasti. It is here that the historical Buddha spent much of his life teaching the path to enlightenment to those men and women 'ready' to listen. Stay at the Lotus Nikko or Residency hotels for the night. In the afternoon visit the local sites of significance including Ananthapindika's Stupa, Anandabodhi tree and Gandhakuti or Buddha's hut.
Heading further east with your private car and driver you'll cross Nepal's southern border and come to the birthplace of Buddha at Lumbini. Stay at the Maya Garden or Nirvana Hotels for the night. In the afternoon visit the Lumbini gardens and the Maya Devi Temple which is dedicated to Buddha's mother. There are various modern monasteries that are also worth a quick visit.
Moving on to Kushinagar stay at either the Lotus Nikko or Residency hotels. Visit the Mahaparinirvana Temple which is where Buddha is said to have attained Parinirvana. His final words to those congregated at the site are thought to have been, 'All composite things pass away. Strive for your own liberation with diligence.'
Leaving Kushinagar drive to the city of Patna, stopping en route at Vaishali which is an auspicious site for devotees of both the Jain and Buddhist faiths respectively. The Buddha is said to have given his final public discourse here and the site was later the birthplace of the great Jain saint Bhagwan Mahavira. Your overnight stay is at the Maurya Hotel.
Drive on to Bodhgaya with a stop at the historic site of Rajgir. Bodhgaya is the site where the young, Siddhartha Gautama, attained enlightenment beneath the Bodhi tree and became the awakened one or Buddha. Stay at the either the Lotus Nikko or Residency hotels for two nights.
Spend the day calmly exploring the Mahabodhi Temple Complex and other sights associated with the life of Buddha.
This morning drive to Nalanda. The archaeological was once the largest university in existence and students were dedicated to the study of the 'Buddha Dharma'. Continuing on to Varanasi you'll stay two nights at the Ganges View Hotel. This evening witness a ceremonial worship or "aarti" on the banks of the Ganges River.
Varanasi is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world today and a highlight for the culturally minded traveller. An early morning boat ride is arranged on the Ganges to see devotees at prayer along the "ghats". In the afternoon visit Sarnath, the site of Buddha's first public discourse and a peaceful space to spend a few hours.
Take an exciting day train to Agra and watch the Indian countryside slower pass by.
Visit the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri today, before returning to Delhi on the Shatabdi Express train. The Grand Hotel is your accommodation for the night.
Take a midday flight back to London.
Tailor-made Tour 15 days from £3720 per person
✓ International flights from London
✓ 13 nights accommodation
✓ All internal transportation and transfers
✓ English-speaking guides
✓ Breakfast daily
✓ Entrance fees to sites and monuments listed in tour itinerary
Places and Experiences in this tour
Delhi, India’s capital, is home to an estimated 20 million people. A compelling hotch-potch of ancient and modern, it holds the vestiges of at least seven great urban centres: Afgh…
Jama Masjid (Delhi)
The most evocative of Delhi's monuments is the Jama Masjid, the ‘Friday Mosque’ constructed by the Emperor Shah Jahan in Old Delhi. Between twenty and thirty thousand worshippers m…
Lucknow, congested capital of Uttar Pradesh, in many ways epitomizes the problems of modern India. Yet the city is also known for its highly sophisticated traditional culture, refi…
Nepal’s most important historical site and one with profound religious significance is Lumbini, birthplace of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha. Just shy of the Indian border a…
Varanasi, or ‘Benares’, is the holiest of Hinduism’s seven sacred cities. It stands on the banks of the Ganges, at a bend in the river where traces of human settlement have been un…
The city of Agra makes up one-third of India's 'golden triangle', along with Delhi and Jaipur, three of northern India's most popular destinations for tourists. Agra’s heart-stopp…
‘A teardrop on the face of Eternity’ is how the Bengali mystic poet, Rabindranath Tagore, famously described the Taj Mahal. Built in the mid-16th century by the Mughal emperor Shah…
The forts of Delhi and Agra may have lost much of their former lustre, but it’s not hard to envisage the lavish lifestyle led by the royal inhabitants of Akbar’s court, thanks to t…
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