Buddhist Spiritual Tour
5 NIGHTS – 6 DAYS
Varanasi – Sarnath – Bodhgaya – Rajgir – Nalanda – Vaishali – Kesariya – Kushinagar – Kapilvastu – Lumbini – Varanasi
Day : Varanasi – Sarnath – Varanasi
Transfer to hotel after arrival at Varanasi airport or railway station. The oldest continuously inhabited city in the world is Varanasi, also known as the “city of temples.” Buddha came here after achieving Nirvana to search for his five disciples who maintained that the only way to redemption was by self-mortification.
We’ll be taken on a trip to Sarnath after lunch. The First Sermon of the Buddha was delivered in Deer Park in Sarnath (Rishipattana). Visit additional local attractions in Sarnath, such as the Buddha Temple, Dhamekha Stupa, Chaukhandi Stupa, Mulagandh Kuti Vihara, and the Archaeological Museum, which houses the findings of the Archaeological Survey of India’s archaeological digs at the Sarnath archaeological site.
Enjoy the evening Ganga Arti at the Ghats or the Buddhist ritual ceremony at the Sri Lankan Buddhist Temple. The AIK World Buddhist Cultural Association Japan as well as the Sri Lanka Buddhist Foundation collaborated to build this temple. The main shrine, which is a brick building with a domed top level, is accessed through a series of stairs. A portrait of Buddha is housed at the shrine, which is surrounded by ceremonial items. The wall behind the picture is decorated with several frames holding ink paintings.
Return to hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Varanasi.
Day : Varanasi – Bodhgaya
Take a drive to Bodhgaya after breakfast and Check-in at the hotel. The pivotal moment in Prince Siddhartha’s life was witnessed in Bodhgaya. Here he gained ultimate knowledge or enlightenment from a travelling ascetic. Buddha started his quest to disseminate the gospel of peace and perhaps nirvana from Bodhgaya. For all Buddhist sects worldwide, Bodh Gaya is regarded as the most significant pilgrimage.
During the city tour of Bodhgaya, visit the Mahabodhi Temple, where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. India’s Mahabodhi Temple is a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Bodhi Tree, under which Buddha spent a week after attaining enlightenment, is the temple’s principal draw. The Tree is regarded as one of the oldest and most revered trees in the entire world. The original Bodhi tree was brought to Sri Lanka by Bhikkhuni Sanghamitta, a descendant of Ashoka, in the third century B.C. The Lankan ruler Devanampiya Tissa decided to plant it at the Mahavihara buddhist temple in Anuradhapura, where it is still thriving today.
After returning to the hotel, spend the night in Bodhgaya for overnight stay.
Day : Bodhgaya – Nalanda – Rajgir
After breakfast, drive to Dungeshwari Cave Temples, also known as the Mahakala Caves. Before travelling to Bodhgaya, Lord Buddha spent years performing penance in this location.
After the visit to the caves, we will proceed to Sujata Village Temple. According to the legend, Gautam Buddha first had kheer after years of renouncing the materialistic existence, which included food, in order to find enlightenment. Later, after realising that indulgence cannot bring about enlightenment, Gautama Buddha continued travelling until he reached Bodh Gaya, wherein he attained enlightenment. Here, a little temple was built as a memorial to the important occasion.
Thereafter, we’ll travel to Nalanda, which was established in the fifth century B.C. One of the oldest cities still inhabited in the world. Buddha made several trips to this location. The Nalanda University, which was founded in the fifth century B.C., is its most well-known feature. Over 14 hectares of land, the university’s remains are dispersed. Visit the Chinese Pagoda known as XuanZang Memorial Hall after exploring the ruins.
Drive to Rajgir later. Check in at the hotel. Buddhists travel to Rajgir, the former capital of the Magadha Empire, for religious purposes. Buddha frequently travelled to this location in search of the seclusion and calm of the Jivkamaravana monastery, where he also preached and meditated on the Griddhakuta hill (hill of vultures). One of his famous disciples, the Mauryan king Bimbisara, was converted to Buddhism at this peak. The first Buddhist council was held in the Saptaparni cave by the followers of Buddha after he attained “Parinirvana.”
On Ratnagiri Hill, the enormous Vishwa Shanti Stupa was constructed by Japanese Buddhists. Buddha statues representing each stage of his life—birth, enlightenment, teaching, and death—can be found in the stupa. Lord Buddha also made a preaching halt at Griddhakuta (Vulture Peak). Visit Bimbisar Prison, Venuvanam, and the neighbouring museum.
Upon arrival, check in at the hotel for overnight stay and dinner.
Day : Rajgir – Vaishali – Kushinagar
Drive to the location of Lord Buddha’s Last Sermon in Vaishali. Visit later-known Vaishali sites including Ashokan Pillar as well as Ananda Stupa. The Ananda Stupa, which was built in honour of Ananda, Lord Buddha’s most well-known follower, honours him. The Anand Stupa, close to which he is said to have entered samadhi, now contains his mortal remains. Additionally, take some time to visit Kutagar Shala Vihara, Buddha Stupas, and Abhishek Pushkaran.
Next, we’ll travel to Kushinagar, which is a must-see location for Buddhist pilgrims as this is where Lord Buddha gave his final sermon. It served as the capital of the Mallas dynasty, who governed the area, but today there are just a few ruins that are still connected to that time. In the location where Buddha reached Nirvana, Ashoka the Great had also erected a number of buildings. Visit Nirvana Temple in the afternoon. The monolithic red sandstone temple is perched high on a plinth and is home to a reclining statue of Lord Buddha called the Nirvana statue. The statue is set atop a huge brick pedestal with four stone pillars. The figure, which is believed to have been created in the fifth century, has exquisite engravings.
Also visit Kesariya to see the Kesariya Stupa, which is the largest ancient Buddhist temple there. After the largest Buddhist stupa ever was discovered, Kesariya gained notoriety. It is said to be the highest Stupa ever to have been excavated in the entire world. From a tourism
standpoint, it holds key positions in East Champaran. The stupa represents Buddhism’s illustrious past. It has a polygonal foundation and is topped with polygonal-shaped bricks from the top, making it a sight to behold for those who enjoy visiting historical sites.
Overnight stay in Kushinagar.
Day : Kushinagar – Kapilvastu – Lumbini
Visit Kushinagar’s local attractions after breakfast, such as the Mahaparinirvana Temple, where Buddha breathed his last. The main stupa in this location is elevated on a spherical base and has a dome on top. The stupa is 19.81 metres tall. On the occasion of the 2500th anniversary of Buddha Jayanti in 1956, the temple and the stupa took on their current appearance. We will also go on an excursion to the Rambhar Stupa and the Japanese Temple as well where Lord Buddha was cremated . A Japanese organisation constructed this temple. Golden light radiated from the temple’s highest portion. The temple’s idols are made of metal or copper. The temple is gorgeous and beautifully maintained.
Later proceed to Lord Buddha’s childhood home in Kapilvastu En-route to Lumbini. Other notable attractions in Kapilvastu include the Tilaurakot Museum, the Kapilvastu Kingdom Complex, and the historical Lumbini Garden.
We shall visit the Holy Birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama in Lumbini. Later, drive to further Lumbini attractions such as the Myanmar Golden Temple, Thai Buddhist Monastery and Eternal Peace Flame. Maya Devi Temple, and Lumbini Museum are also sites of attraction for tourists around the world as this Ancient Buddhist temple is located in is the major temple of Lumbini, which is generally thought to be where Gautama Buddha was born. The Pushkarini pool and a sacred garden are located next to the temple. Previously, the archaeological artefacts at the location were dated to Ashoka’s brick constructions from the third century BCE.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Lumbini.
Day : Lumbini – Varanasi
Early morning, have breakfast in the hotel, transfer to the airport to catch a flight or drive to Varanasi and depart.