Buddhist Trail Tour
6 NIGHTS – 7 DAYS
Delhi – Lucknow – Sravasti – Lumbini – Kushinagar – Varanasi – Sarnath – Bodhgaya
Delhi – Lucknow – Sravasti (180 Km, 4 Hours)
Morning catch flight to Lucknow and upon arrival at Lucknow airport to start the journey for Buddhist Trail Tour, leave for Sravasti which is famous as Buddha delivered many of his important sermons here. 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. On arrival Check in at hotel for overnight stay.
Sravasti – Lumbini (190 Km, 5 Hours)
In the morning visit Saheth in Sravasti. It has a number of Buddhist Stupas and monasteries. The main attraction here are two chambers; Gandhakuti and Kosambakuti, which were 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 which is one of the most important pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Lord Buddha had spent his childhood and youth in this town. 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, which is famous in the world for being the sacred site of Lord Buddha’s birth. Upon arrival, check in at hotel for overnight stay.
Lumbini – Kushinagar (140 Km, 4 Hours)
Morning visit Maya Devi Temple which is believed to be the spot where Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Siddhartha in 563 BC. The temple is enclosed by the brick foundations of monasteries and ancient temples. The ground floor of the temple still has remains of the ruins of the ancient Maya Devi Temple dating back to 3rd century BC. There is an adjoining garden which is considered to be sacred and there is also ancient pillar of Ashoka and ancient ruins of old stupas. You will find many traditional robed monks under a spreading Bodhi (pipal) tree which is adorned with prayer flags.
There is a sacred pond beside the temple which is believed to be the birth spot where Maya Devi bathed before giving birth to the Buddha.
Later leave for Kushinagar which is also a must visit for all Buddhist Pilgrims because it was here that Lord Buddha delivered his last sermon. 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.
Kushinagar-Varanasi (250 Km, 7 Hours)
In the morning leave for Varanasi, the oldest living city of the world and is famous as the city of temples. Varanasi or Kashi as it is popularly known is the most important place of pilgrimage for Hindus and the sight of devout praying standing water deep in Ganges. Upon arrival check in at hotel. Later in the afternoon we go to witness Ganga Aarti at Dashasumedh ghat which is performed daily by a group of priests there. It is a unique and unforgettable experience as the ceremony will enchant you with spiritual thoughts and positivity. Overnight stay.
Varanasi – Sarnath – Bodhgaya (260 Km, 7 Hours)
Early in the morning, we go for a boat tour on the holy Ganges. This is an experience for which so many visitors from all over the world come to Varanasi. Sailing on the holy waters of Ganga, you will witness thousands of pilgrims worshipping and having a bath in the holy water. Later, we leave for Sarnath, one of the four most important Buddhist pilgrimage destinations in India. Visit Dhamekh Stupa which is the most wonderful and massive structure at Sarnath. Built partly in brick and partly in stone, the Dhamekh Stupa is 28 meter in diameter at the base and 43.6 meter in height.
The Stupa has a specific significance at Sarnath as it signifies the place where Buddha delivered his first sermon after he attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. Here he preached his first discourse to his five former companions. This event is described in Buddhist texts as dharma chakra – pravartana, meaning the turning of the Wheel of Law. The Buddha taught them all that he had learned and thus they also became enlightened. This marked the foundation of the first Buddhist Sangha or the community of monks. The name Dhamekh proves that it certainly has some linkage with Buddha’s Dharma. It is believed that the Stupa was built by Ashoka on the spot where Buddha set in motion the wheel of law.
We finally depart for Bodhgaya and upon arrival check in at hotel for overnight stay.
Full day is dedicated to visit of Bodhgaya. Visit Mahabodhi Temple which is believed to be built by Great Ashoka who visited this site 250 year after the enlightenment of Buddha. The Temple was rebuilt in 7th century A.D. and it has a long history that has seen periods of invasions and destruction. Muslim invaders destroyed the temple in the 12th century but the Burmese kings restored the temple in the 14th century. However, the temple complex was severely flooded and remained buried under silt till 1811. The temple finally received its last and massive restoration and conservation work after it was excavated in 1861.
The main attraction of the temple is Bodhi Tree under which Buddha spent one week after enlightenment. The Tree is considered to be among the oldest and the most venerated tree in the world. The present tree is considered only as the descendant of the original tree. Daughter of Ashoka, Bhikkhuni Sangamitta, took a shoot of the original Bodhi tree to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century B.C. where the Lankan king Devanampiya Tissa planted it at the Mahavihara monastery in Anuradhapura where it still flourishes today.
Besides the ancient remains, there are temples or monasteries built by other Buddhist countries like Thailand, China, Sri Lanka, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Taiwan, Bhutan etc. Overnight stay.
In the morning, transfer to Gaya airport to catch flight for onward destination.