From Siddharta to Buddha
We remain fascinated and intrigued by Buddha, the famous historical figure who founded the religion and philosophy of Buddhism.
The accounts of his life, which combine metaphysics and legend, were originally handed down orally and were only written down for the first time several hundreds of years after his death.
You will follow in the footsteps of the person who is also referred to as Thatagata from Mathura to Varanasi, stopping off at the town where he was born, Lumbini, as well as in other places steeped in his spirituality, such as Bodh Gaya or Kushingar.
This unusual trip will take you from the foothills of the Himalayas to the plain of the Ganges. With Buddha’s life as its thread, it will provide a moving experience and is designed for those who want to discover the rural side of India which provides such a strong contrast to life in the teeming cities.
To know exact price, please get in touch with our experts.
> Transfers and ground transports (private vehicle with and English speaking driver)
> Flights and/or trains as mentioned in the program
> Accommodation: twin/double room in hotels
PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
> International flights and airport taxes
> Entrance fees for temples, monuments and museums mentioned in the program
> Optional activities
> Repatriation fees, should they be required
> Meals (except if mentioned in detailed itinerary) > Drinks and personal expenses
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Day 1: Arrive in Delhi
Airport pickup (generally in the evening) and transfer to Delhi hotel. Overnight in hotel.
Day 2: Delhi - Agra - [4 hours -200km]
Set off for Agra by road in the morning. En route visit Mathura, the ’Mini Varanasi’, which is a holy town for Hindus who identify it as the birthplace of Krishna. Continue on to Agra and check into hotel. Visit the fabulous Taj Mahal, monument to passion and wonder of the world built by emperor Shah Jahan in 1631 to leave an eternal reminder of his love for queen Mumtaz Mahal. Then visit the Red Fort with its impressive view over the Taj Mahal. Overnight in hotel.
Day 3: Agra - Bhopal - [8 hours by train]
Early morning departure by train (2AC) to Bhopal. Arrive in Bhopal and check into hotel. Explore town on foot and visit the Central Museum and Gandhi Hall, depending on time of arrival. Overnight in hotel.
Day 4: Bhopal - Bhimbetka - Lucknow - [11 hours overnight train]
Excursion to Sanchi, 46 km from Bhopal, one of the most beautiful Buddhist sites in India, with its commanding stupa. (The museum is closed on Mondays). Excursion to Bhimbetka, to see the very well preserved prehistoric cave paintings. Return to Bhopal and transfer to station during evening to take 2 AC night train to Lucknow.
Day 5: Lucknow -Sravastri [5 hours - 180km]
Arrive in Lucknow and set off for Sravastri. This is where Buddha stayed after his awakening and is where he is said to have performed several miracles. Overnight in hotel.
Day 6: Sravastri - Balrampur - Lumbini - [4/5 hours - 170 km]
Morning departure for Lumbini. En route visit Balrampur. Cross the border at Sunauli then continue on to Lumbini where Buddha was born in 624 BC. He was the son of queen Mayadevi and king Suddhodana, and was born into a ksatriya (warrior- ruler caste) family. Visit Maya Devi temple and Puskarani sacred pool. Overnight in hotel.
Day 7: Lumbini- Kushinagar - [3/4 hours - 125 km]
Travel on to Kushinagar, where Buddha ended his days at the age of 80. Stroll through the town to see the Nirvana stupa, put up in the 5th century,which marks the spot where Buddha died. Overnight in hotel.
Day 8: Kushingar - Vaishali - Patna - [6/7 hours - 250 km]
En route to Patna you stop in Vaishali and see the pillar of Ashoka, the stupas, Bawan Khotar temple and Chaumuki Mahadeva. Arrive in Patna, capital of Bihar state and check into hotel. Option of visiting the museum with its fine collection of stone and bronze sculptures, as well as thangkas .Overnight in hotel.
Day 9: Patna - Nalanda - Rajgir - Bodh Gaya - [4 hours - 150 km]
The first stop today is Nalanda where the Guptas set up one of the biggest universities on earth; this was also an important Buddhist centre until the Afghan invasion in the 12th century. You can visit the archaeological museum. Continue on for another 20 km to Rajgir, which was the capital of the Magadha empire. Buddha lived here for a few years, leaving many traces of his time here. Arrive at Bodh Gaya and spend night in hotel.
Day 10: Bodh Gaya
This is where Buddha achieved enlightenment at the foot of a sacred fig tree. Today the spot is marked by a pyramid, the Mahabodhi temple, surrounded by a garden where pilgrims come to meditate. You can also visit the many monasteries found in the town. Overnight in hotel.
Day 11: Bodh Gaya - Varanasi - [6 hours - 230 km]
Drive to Varanasi and check into hotel.
Day 12: Varanasi
Visit the town which is famed for the ghats which line the banks of the Ganges, the holiest river in the Hindu religion. Option of a dawn boat trip on the Ganges, when all the pilgrims are performing their purifying ablutions. Excursion to Sarnath (20 km from Varanasi), the legendary Buddhist village. Option of visiting the Dhamekh stupa, Dharmarajika and the museum. Return to Varanasi . Night in hotel.
Day 13: Varanasi - Delhi - [night train - 12 hours]
Further time to explore Varanasi, one of the most sacred of Hindu towns. During the evening transfer to station for night train (2 AC couchette) for Delhi.
Day 14 : Delhi
Final day in Delhi. Sightseeing or shopping in the town where the splendour of the Moghul emperors stands in stark contrast to the modernity of the new city. Shopping around Chandni Chowk, the street of silversmiths in the heart of the old commercial centre. Evening transfer to airport. Shanti travel says ’au revoir’.