On Footsteps of Buddha

11 NIGHTS – 12 DAYS

DELHI – SRAVASTI – KAPILVASTU – LUMBINI – KUSHINAGAR – VAISHALI – PATNA – RAJGIR – NALANDA – BODHGAYA – SARNATH – VARANASI – AGRA

This spiritual tour takes you to a serene journey on the footsteps of Buddha. Gautam Siddartha was born in 6th century BC in Lumbini on India – Nepal border. The tour lets both pilgrims and travelers explore the places associated with life and death of Buddha. You visit Bodhgaya, where he was enlightened or should we say where he understood the concept of life, death and existence in deepest way possible. Next, we visit Sarnath, where Buddha preached his first sermon after becoming Buddha. We also visit Sravasti, Vaishali, Kapilvastu and Rajgir – all these places are associated with life of Buddha and Kushinagar, the city where Buddha entered mahaparinirvana or site of Buddha Shakyamuni’s death. At the end of the tour, you will also be able to witness the beauty of seven wonders of the world ‘Taj Mahal’ in Agra.

1

Day:

Delhi

Arrive at Delhi.

Welcome at the airport and transfer to hotel.

Delhi is the capital city finds its name in the great Indian epics. The city has served as the capital city to many ruling dynasties of India. The city shows a perfect amalgamation of past and present. Contemporary Delhi is symbolized as chaotic embroidery of primitive establishments, Mughal tombs, dusty bazaars, and colonial architecture.

Later we will start exploring Old Delhi.

Board on to a rickshaw and enjoy a rickshaw ride through the intricate alleys of Chandni Chowk. After a joyful ride, we stop at Jama Masjid. Jama Masjid is the oldest and one of Asia’s largest mosques. It was built by Shah Jahan in the year 1656.

After Jama Masjid, we then step forward to see the grandeur of the Mughal Empire, the majestic Red Fort. Red Fort served as the capital and center of operations for the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for two centuries. This majestic monument is now used as a platform by the Prime minister of India to address the people of the republic on the eve of Independence Day.

Then drive past through India Gate, Parliament Building and Rashtrapati Bhawan

India Gate is an arch that was built to commemorate the death of 70,000 soldiers who laid down their lives during World War 1. The memorial even imprints the names of British and Indian soldiers who laid their lives during Afghan war. This splendid monument was designed by Edwin Luyten. There is an immortal flame that burns throughout the day and night as a mark of remembrance.

In the close vicinity of the India Gate lies the Parliament House which is a circular colonnade building housing offices of various ministries and a well-stocked library. This imperial style architectural monument comprises of open air verandah and 144 columns. It is indeed a sight to watch.

Next to the Parliament House is Rashtrapati Bhawan, the residential estate of President of India. This magnificent monument cannot be compared to any other monument in terms of its size, immensity and magnificence. Rashtrapati Bhawan houses 4 stories and 340 rooms.

Return to hotel for overnight stay

2

Day:

Delhi – Lucknow – Sravasti

(By Train – 6 ½ Hours + 200 KM, 5 Hours )

Early morning transfer to railway station to board a train to Lucknow

Arrive at Lucknow station and immediately leave for Sravasti where Buddha delivered many of his important sermons. Sravasti is the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in the country. Lord Buddha bewildered his sermons with a million fold expression of himself, seated on a thousand-petaled lotus, as fire and water sprung from his body.

Overnight stay at hotel

3

Day:

Sravasti – Kapilvastu – Lumbini

( 240 KM, 7 Hours )

In the morning visit Saheth in Sravasti.

Saheth has many famous Buddhist Stupas, monasteries and temples. The main attraction in this historic park is Gandhakuti and Kosambakuti, two chambers used by Buddha. Gandhakuti or fragrant chamber is the most sacred place as it was used as personal chamber by Lord Buddha and devotees offer large amount of flowers to the Lord.

Then drive to Kapilvastu.

Kapilvastu is a very important Buddhist pilgrimage site in the country. Lord Buddha had spent his first twenty nine years of his life. Once the capital of the Shakya kingdom; the place will unfold the story of birth of Buddhist religion. Mystic charm and magic of the village can be felt with spirituality and devotion. The village is sprinkled with many Stupas that were built by Ashoka and Gupta kings.

Finally, proceed to Lumbini.

Arrive and check in at hotel for overnight stay

4

Day:

Lumbini – Kushinagar

(170 KM, 6 Hours )

In the morning visit Lumbini.

Then drive to Kapilvastu.

Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, effectively portrays many artistic preparations of his birth, like the Maya Devi’s statue in the temple with the same name. Picturesque and tranquil backdrop makes it a heaven for tourist.

Later leave for Kushinagar.

Kushinagar is the place where Lord Buddha delivered his last sermon and is one of the four most important places of Buddhist pilgrimage. It was the center of the Mallas dynasty who ruled over the place, however, only few ruins remain today associated with that period. Ashoka the Great had also built many structures in this place where Buddha attained Nirvana.

Arrive and check in at hotel.

In the afternoon visit Nirvana Temple.

Perched high on a plinth, the temple houses reclining Nirvana statue of Lord Buddha and is made of monolithic red sandstone. The statue is placed over huge brick-pedestal with stone-posts at the four ends. Inscriptions are beautifully engraved on the statue which dates back to the 5th century.

Ramabhar Stupa is the cremation site of Lord Buddha and is also called as Mukutbandhan-Chaitya.

Overnight stay at hotel.

5

Day:

Kushinagar – Vaishali – Patna

(270 KM, 7 Hours )

In the morning leave for Patna, en route visiting Vaishali.
The lord Buddha preached his last sermon before his death in Vaishali. Vaishali is significantly associated with Buddhism. It is believed that Lord Buddha visited Vaishali many times after he attained enlightenment.
Continue drive to Patna. Arrive and check in at hotel for overnight stay.
6

Day:

Patna – Rajgir – Nalanda – Bodhgaya

(230 KM, 6 Hours)

In the morning leave for Bodhgaya.
En-route visit Rajgir and Nalanda.
Rajgir and Nalanda are two important sites that are closely associated with the Buddhist religion. There are many sites of Buddhist religion. Jivakameavan Gardens are the royal physician’s dispensary of Lord Buddha. Shanti Stupa boasts four glittering statues of Lord Buddha. Venu Vana was the first king offering to Buddha. Nalanda ruins, Museum, Huan-Tsang memorial are major center of attraction in Nalanda.
Continue drive to Bodhgaya. Arrive and check in at hotel for overnight stay.

7

Day:

Bodhgaya

In the morning visit Bodhgaya.
Bodhgaya is one of the famous sites situated in eastern India associated with the birth of Buddhism around 2500 years ago. It is a major Buddhist pilgrimage site.
Visit magnificent Mahabodhi Temple.
The Maha Bodhi Temple was originally built more than 250 years ago, but it has been restored many times since then. Images of Buddha and other figures can be found in the niche carvings of walls and numerous shrines and stupa that surround the temple. These images manifest the Buddhist presence and communicate his teachings. The spiritual and artistic legacy of Buddhism has spread through east and south East Asia. Pilgrims and tourists from all over the world visit and worship the temple.

Overnight stay.
8

Day:

Bodhgaya – Varanasi

(300 KM, 7 Hours)

In the morning leave for Varanasi. Arrive and check in at hotel.

Varanasi, commonly known as the cultural and spiritual capital of India is one of the oldest inhabited cities of the country. Since bygone era, the city has proudly carried the legacy of the rich tradition and culture of India. The city has been an important pilgrimage site for Hindu mythology. City of lights, as popularly known as, is famous for its enigmatic Ghats. The mythological legacy and aura around this city is quite awe-inspiring.

In the evening witness Aarti ceremony at Holy Ganges.

Overnight stay at hotel.

9

Day:

Varanasi – Agra

( By Overnight Train – 12 Hours)

Early morning boat tour on River Ganges to visit Bathing Ghats
We explore Ghats to witness the live rituals of the world’s most important religion.
Sailing on the holy waters of Ganga, enjoy the sight of sunrise and at the background you will experience thousands of pilgrims worshipping sunrise and having a bath in the holy water.
Return to hotel for breakfast.
Afternoon excursion to Sarnath.
Sarnath is a well-known Buddhist site and a popular tourist destination that is worth a visit. The place got its fame after Buddha delivered its first sermon after attaining enlightenment after 2500 years. It is one of the holiest places in Asia.
Evening transfer to station to board a train to Agra.
Night on board.

10

Day:

Agra

Morning arrival at Agra station and transfer to hotel.
Agra is a destination for love and history. Situated on the banks of River Yamuna, Agra is one of the most visited tourist destinations. Boasting the grandeur of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Taj Mahal and various UNSECO World Heritage Sites, the city has been declared as the heritage place of the world.
Start city tour of Agra and first visit world famous Taj Mahal.
Taj Mahal is one of the most enchanting and alluring monuments built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his much-loved wife Mumtaz as a final resting place.

It is a Mausoleum of white marble inlaid with numerous precious and semi-precious jewels. 20,000 workers toiled day and night for 22 years to construct this flawless symmetrical monument. It is one of the striking and most captivating buildings in the world. The pool in the center intercepts the entrance and minarets engraved in the corners are at the angle of 92 degrees. The entire foundation of Taj Mahal builds on the series of 22 deep wells which will act as shock absorbers in case if there is any earthquake. This Seven Wonders of the World was built by a Persian architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri.
Also Visit Agra Fort and Sikandra.
Agra Fort is an imperialist fort situated on the banks of river Yamuna and served as the center of operation for the Mughal emperor Akbar. The fortified walls of the fort encompass several palaces and houses like the Moti Masjid, Diwan-I-Am, Diwan-I-Khas, Musamman Burj, Jehangiri Mahal, Khaas Mahal, Sheesh Mahal etc. It is the finest architectural monument built in red sandstone.
Then we shall set out for Sikandra, the tomb of Akbar. Located on the peripheries of the Agra city, the ruler started the building, his tomb during his lifespan, but later it was concluded by his son Jahangir. The monument includes trimming lawns with exceptionally engraved gateways and white marble memorial. This monument flawlessly absorbs the best of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain motifs, representing the new religion started by Akbar – the DEEN E ILAHI.
Overnight stay.
11

Day:

Agra – Delhi

( 200 KM , 4 Hour)

In the Morning leave for Delhi. Arrive and check in at hotel.

The rest of the day is free for shopping or other independent activities.
Overnight stay.
12

Day:

Delhi

Transfer to airport to catch flight for onward destination.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is this a group tour?

No, this is a private travel exclusively for you, your friends and family who may accompany you on the tour.

Is this trip possible for single traveler?

Yes, it is possible. But, the cost may be high in case of a single traveler. You may send us information in the form and we shall send you our best offer depending on number of persons in your group or for a single person.

May I choose dates according to my choice?

Yes, since this is a private tour, you may decide the dates as per your choice. Only in case of certain tours, we have to check if there are any operational difficulties for organizing a tour of your choice. Certain tours are not possible for particular period which we shall let you know. Besides, the cost may vary depending on seasonality.

Could you provide us international flights to India?

It is better if you could buy international tickets directly through your local agent or on internet. Although we can provide you international flight tickets, but you may a get a better deal locally.

Is visa service included in your cost?

No, you have to obtain visa on your own. The visa regulations will depend on your nationality. You may contact us for further details.

Is it possible to make extension or modify tours?

Yes, it is very much possible. You can extend your stay on arrival or departure or at any other place. You may also modify the tour. You may let us know your interest and we can send you modified tour itinerary with cost.

What’s included in the cost?

Our cost normally includes hotel accommodation with breakfast, private air-conditioned car with driver which includes fuel, parking and all taxes, entrance fee to monuments, train tickets if any, guided city tours in English or in other foreign languages, viz French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Russian or other foreign languages subject to availability which we can notify at the time of reservation request. Our cost also includes some other services viz Elephant ride at Amer fort in Jaipur, camel safari in Jaisalmer and boat tour in Varanasi. We shall send you all details at the time of sending you quotation.
We may also include other services viz lunches, dinners or other services if you wish. We may also exclude guide service and entrance fee to monuments if you so wish.

Are domestic flights and trains are included in our cost ?

Train tickets are included in our cost. But, we give supplement cost for domestic flight tickets as these days, there are dynamic fares and these are not fixed. We send you indicative fare at the time of sending you quotation which is subject to change until issue of tickets with advance purchase for which we need payment from you to issue flight tickets. You may also purchase domestic flight tickets directly on your own if you prefer.

What kind of hotel accommodation is provided ?

We provide minimum standard (3 star or similar), superior (4 star or similar), deluxe (5 star or similar) hotels and the cost will depend depending on category of hotels. We can send you quotation for the category that you are interested in. We usually provide heritage or palace hotels which fit in your category of hotels. We may also mix the hotel category if you prefer and can also provide you rates based on hotels of your liking in all places if you like.

When do I have to pay?

We usually request 25% advance upon confirmation of our services unless otherwise informed at the time of sending you quotation. We shall send you all payment terms at the time of sending you our offer.

I am interested. What is next step?

Click here to send us information of your trip and we shall send you soonest possible.

Why State Express

Established in 1980, State Express has been providing most reliable services to travelers all over the world for last 35 years. We are renowned for our customer first approach and unobtrusive efficiency which ensures the highest levels of customer satisfaction. We have been awarded several times by State Government for being best Tour Operator. All aspects of our tours have been carefully researched and then designed to give ultimate experience to travelers. Let our travel knowledge help you to create a wonderful experience, whether on one of our tour itineraries or a tailor made tour itinerary made exclusively for you to give you an unforgettable holiday.

Our people make the difference

Our success has been possible because of our people who are our biggest asset. We have a team of highly dedicated, sincere, hardworking who work with integrity that has made State Express one of the leading and most reliable tour companies in India. They not only have expertise and experience to meet any requirement, they also speak foreign languages and trained to offer only the best and leave nothing to chance. We know that travel to Indian sub-continent is a dream of many of our guests and our team does everything possible to make their dream true and give them an experience of their lifetime.

Our infrastructure

We have complete infrastructure to provide you best rate and services to you. We are an IATA approved and authorized agents for all domestic airlines and Indian Railways. We have our own cars vans and coaches with experienced drivers. We have multi lingual staff to ensure that our guests do not face any language problem. We also have associate offices in all major tourist centers to provide assistance in shortest possible time.

Our fleet of vehicles & drivers

We undoubtedly have one of the best and most modern fleet of cars, vans, 4X4s and large coaches. Surface travel is a very important aspect in India as you spend lot of your time while travelling on the road and therefore given us an edge over other tour companies who have to rely on other transport companies to provide this service to their clients. We have our own garage and all our vehicles are well maintained to give you hassle free journey.
Besides having the best fleet, it is our drivers who truly make the difference as they play a crucial role in making a tour successful. Even if you stay in best of the hotels and travel in most comfortable and luxurious vehicles, if you do not have a good driver, it may spoil your experience. We have our team of drivers who are part of State Express and have been working with us for years and they are trained, dedicated and motivated to take care of our guests and make them comfortable. That is the reason that more than 90% of our guests thank us and appreciate them after returning to their home.

Our choice of hotels

We take utmost care in selection of hotels that we recommend to our clients and include in our list of suggested hotels. We inspect these hotels regularly to be sure of their quality of product and services. We give lot of emphasis on the location and the people who run those hotels. We want to give you clients an experience of heritage and palace hotels which are unique and not available in other part of the world.

Our tour itineraries

All our tour itineraries are designed by experts to give you an opportunity to see most wonderful sites in number of days at your disposal at the same time giving you time to explore the places in your own way. We have a number of itineraries to choose from which covers all India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Tibet. We also include mode of travel and approximate time taken between places to ensure that you do not have any surprises during the tour. Our specialists will also work with you to create an itinerary of your choice either by modifying our readymade tour itineraries or prepare an exclusive tailor made tour for you based on your interest and liking keeping in mind local conditions.

24 X 4 assistance during the tour

We provide you clients real 24X7 assistance during the tour. This is not a marketing gimmick but we have someone in our office always to assist you in case of any emergency anytime. We also provide cell phone numbers of our executive who you may contact even during odd hours when you need them for anything urgent. We have associate offices in all major cities of India to provide you assistance in minimum possible time.

Response time

We know that response time is key to our success and we value it a lot. Even at initial stages before reservation, you will get replies from us in not more than 24 working hours. We shall always be there whenever you need us during the tour.

Personalised Service

Apart from professional service, we believe in emphasising on personalised service. That is to make our guests feel at home in a foreign country and also feel that they have friends here who they can trust for any need. Our customer executives remain in constant touch with our guests during the tour to give them comfort and trust that we are always with them.

Good value for money

We know that there are so many travel companies providing their services and unless we provide good value for money to our clients, they will not be satisfied. Our own fleet of cars, vans and coaches and best special discounted rates with hotels due to our volumes enables us to offer value for money.

Call us at +91 11 47674000 or email us on info@statexp.in for all the details on this itinerary and what is included in your tour. We shall be glad to make any amendments in the tour if you so wish and send you our best quotation and details of the tou to suit your budget and interest.

State Express India