India East  The Buddha Radiance

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The Buddha Radiance (Delhi – Agra – Lucknow – Sravasti – Lumbini – Kushinagar – Vaishali – Patna – Rajgir – Nalanda -Bodhgaya – Varanasi – Delhi)

Duration: 11 days and 10 nights

Description: On this journey you will follow in the footsteps of the Buddha. Discover the places that have shaped this remarkable man, who preached peace, purity and love. Then explore magnificent temples, greet the sun on the Ganges and see the magnificent Taj Mahal.

Day 01: Arrival in Delhi (-/-/-/)
You will be met by our representative in the arrival hall of the airport after you have completed all the formalities. Then transfer to your hotel. En route to your hotel, get your first impressions of the lively capital of India. Overnight at hotel in Delhi.

Day 02: Delhi – Agra (B/-/-/)
After a hearty breakfast, the journey leads you to Agra. Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel. After resting, explore the city in the afternoon. Start the sightseeing tour of Agra with a visit to the majestic fort on the banks of the river Yamuna. Learn about the impressive buildings, dive into the world of the Emperor Akbar and marvel at his chambers and his Peacock Throne. Then proceed to the breathtaking Taj Mahal, which is surely the most extravagant expression of love ever created – a declaration of love cast in white marble and semi-precious stones. Also enjoy the beautiful park of the Taj Mahal. The evening is free for your leisure. Experience the rich heritage of Agra’s traditional craftsmanship at its colorful market.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 03: Agra – Lucknow (B/-/-/)
Today, it is a special adventure – a train ride. Early morning, you will be picked up from your hotel and brought to the station to board your train to Lucknow. On the train you can experience India firsthand. Following the arrival in Lucknow, you will be taken by car to Sravasti where Buddha held most of his sermons and performed many miracles.

Upon arrival, check in at the hotel. Later discover Sravasti: visit the Jetavana monastery on the outskirts of the city, and Sahet Mahet Angulimal. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 04: Sravasti – Lumbini (B/-/-/)
After an early breakfast, drive (approx. 07 hours) to Lumbini in Nepal. On arrival, check into your hotel. Lumbini is where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama.

Visit the Mayadevi temple, the Ashoka Pillar and the famous holy pond, Puskarni. The birthplace of Lord Buddha can be seen. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight at hotel.

Day 05: Lumbini – Kushinagar (B/-/D)
After breakfast, drive (approx. 03 hours) to Kushinagar. On arrival at Kushinagar, check in at the hotel. Later, we invite you to take a tour. See the Mahaparinirvana Stupa, built in the place where Buddha passed away, and the place of his cremation. Near the Mahaparinirvana Stupa, there is a 1500 year-old image of Buddha as he attained Parinirvana. The Mahaparinirvana Stupa is surrounded by the ruins of ancient monasteries. The rest of the day is at leisure. Enjoy the special atmosphere in this place.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 06: Kushinagar – Vaishali – Patna (B/-/-/)
After breakfast you will be brought to Patna. On the way, visit Vaishali. Buddha visited Vaishali for the first time five years after his enlightenment and spent the rainy season here. He also gave his last sermon and announced his Parinirvana. Visit the Ananda Stupa and Asoka Pillar at Kolhua. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight at hotel.

Day 07: Patna – Rajgir – Nalanda – Bodhgaya (B/-/D/)
You now travel further to Bodhgaya. On the way, visit Rajgir and Nalanda. Rajgir is a very important Buddhist site since the Buddha lived here for 12 years and also held two sermons. Also visit the caves and the Saptaparni Jivkamaravana monastery, the Buddha’s favorite retreat in a picturesque thicket. You will also visit the Venuvana Park, a gift to the Buddha by King Bimbisara. Then visit Griddhkuta. (“Hill of the Vulture”)

Later, at Nalanda, you will see the ruins of the oldest university in the world. Upon arrival at Bodhgaya, check in at your hotel. Bodhgaya is the place of Buddha’s enlightenment and the spiritual home of Buddhists. Overnight in Bodhgaya.

Day 08: Explore Bodhgaya (B/-/D)
After breakfast, explore the fascinating Bodhgaya on foot. Visit the Mahabodhi Temple, Sujata village and monasteries from different countries, which sprang up around the city. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight at Hotel

Day 09: Bodhgaya – Varanasi (B/-/-/)
The journey leads you to Varanasi today, the world’s oldest living city. Upon arrival in Varanasi, check into hotel. After resting, we invite you to take a day trip to Sarnath. The city is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in the world, because Buddha preached his first sermon here. Explore the ruins of the once-flourishing Buddhist monasteries and then visit a museum, which houses an excellent collection of Buddhist art and sculptures. Later drive back to Varanasi. Overnight at hotel in Varanasi.

Day 10: In Varanasi (B/-/-/)
Greet the new day with a morning boat ride on the Ganges. Thousands of faithful come daily in the morning to swim to the shore and pray, while temples and palaces stand tall above the water in the background. Flickering delicate earthen lamps on the river are often visible. Back to the hotel for breakfast.

Later you will experience a guided tour of Varanasi and visit the Bharat Mata Temple and the Durga Temple, and watch the giant ape population. You see the Tulsi Manas Temple, BHU University campus with its art gallery and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Check out the beautiful carpets of Varanasi, which is the carpet-town of India.

Later transfer to Varanasi airport to board your flight to Delhi. Upon arrival at Delhi Airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Overnight at hotel in Delhi.

Day 11: Departure from Delhi (B/-/-)
After breakfast at your hotel, you will be transferred to the international airport to your next destination.