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Buddhist Pilgrimage with Golden Triangle Tour

Duration – 11 Nights / 12 Days

Routing : Gaya – Varanasi – Khushinagar – Lumbini – Srasvati – Lucknow – Agra – Jaipur – Delhi

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01:  Arrive Gaya by flight

Arrive Gaya by flight. Meet assistance and transfer to hotel.

Afternoon visit Bodhgaya where Buddha attained enlightenment at the age of 29 in the town of Bodhgaya in India. After settling under a tree, Buddha resolved not to move until he had achieved enlightenment. After three days and nights of profound meditation this goal was realised. The Bodhi tree under which the Buddha sat, is visible today as well. Later visit Mahabodhi Temple, Niranjana River and Sujata Village.

Overnight at hotel.

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Day 02: Full day excursion to Rajgir and Nalanda

Today excursion to Rajgir & Nalanda.

Rajgir: Rajgir is another place in the Ganges Valley where the Buddha walked and preached. Perhaps the most important event of the Buddha's visits to Rajgir was the conversion of two future disciples, Sariputra and Maudgalyayana. While Sariputra was credited with greater intelligence, Maudgalyayana wielded a greater power for miracles. Rajgir was the Capital of Magadh Empire around 800 BC. This is evident from The Remaind of the Cyclopean Dry Stone that enclosed the ancient city. Visit the Ajatshatru Fort, Venuvan, and the Bamboo Grove where Lord Buddha spent some time. Located close is the Jivakamarvana Monastery (4-3rd BC). After this take the cable car ride to visit the Visva shanti stupa built by Japanese on top of ratnagiri mountain. from here you can have a good view of the Griddakuta hill (The hill of Vultures) from where Lord Buddha, delivered many important sermons and also of the Sattapani Cave, where the first Buddhist council was convened six months after the death of Lord Buddha. After lunch, depart for Nalanda. The site of Nalanda was one of the Greatest Monastic University established in 5th century BC. later visit Nalanda, the most ancient remains of the university where number of foreign students studied once upon a time.

Nalanda: Nalanda is important both because it was blessed with the presence of Buddha, and because of the famous monastic university developed there. This university, named Nalanda (meaning 'insatiable in giving') played a central role in the development of Buddhism in India.

Over night stay at hotel in Bodhgaya

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Day 03: Bodhgaya / Varanasi (approx 245 / 8 Hrs drive)

Today drive to Varanasi. On arrival Varanasi transfer and check-into the Hotel.

Overnight at Hotel in Varanasi

Day 04: Varanasi / Sarnath / Varanasi (approx 12 Km one way) &  Varanasi = Agra by overnight train

Early morning before breakfast at 0500 hrs boat ride on the river Ganges. We rise before dawn and step gingerly in the boat as the boatman starts rowing the boat. We wait for the daily miracle to unfold, as the Sun appears triumphantly over the horizon. The sound of conches and temple bells add to the delicate pink fabric of dawn. The formerly hushed murmuring of ancient Sanskrit ‘Shlokas’ now rises, in one voice, to a crescendo of unparalleled piety and joy. We return to our hotel for breakfast.

Later we leave for Sarnath at a distance of 12 Kms from Varanasi, where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon after Enlightenment. At Sarnath in the Ganges Valley of India, the Buddha proclaimed the law of faith. It was here that he taught the keys aspects of Buddhism: the four noble truths, the eightfold path and the middle way philosophy. The Buddha encouraged followers to avoid extremes of austerity or pleasure. The remains of monasteries dating from the third century B.C. to the first century A.D. indicate a thriving monastic community.

Overnight at Hotel in Varanasi

Day 05: Varanasi / Khusinagar (approx 6 hours drive)

Today we drive to Khusinagar. Upon arrival check in at hotel.

Kushinagar: One of the most sacred sites for the Buddhists. It was here that Lord Buddha is said to have attained 'Mahaparnirvana', the freedom from the endless cycle of birth and rebirth.

We will visit Nirvana Stupa, Nirvana temple, Mathakuar Shrine and Ramabhar Stupa.

Overnight stay at hotel in Kushinagar.

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Day 06: Khusinagar / Lumbini  (approx 5 hours drive)

Morning post breakfast we will leave for Lumbini.

Lumbini (Nepal): Lumbini is one of the most important places of Buddhist pilgrimages, located near the Nepal-India border. This is where Gautam Buddha was born in a Royal family in 556 B.C. Many auspicious signs accompanied the Buddha's birth, including the sprouting of Bodhi tree. The great Buddhist ruler Ashoka visited the site two centuries later, constructing a Stupa (mound, usually of earth) and Pillar in recognition. Although largely destroyed now, these remain important marks of the Buddha's birthplace.

In Lumbini you would visit - The first monastery to be built in this zone is Vietnamese monastery on 6.25 acres of land. The traditional Vietnamese architectural buildings and pagoda which is 25 metre high is magnificent and picturesque.

Upon arrival at Lumbini check-in to  our hotel for overnight stay. (B,L,D)

Day 07: Lumbini /Srasvati (approx 5 hours drive)

After breakfast we visit Lumbini Garden, The Ashok Pillar, Pushkarni - The Sacred Pool, Sanctum Sanctorum of the Lord Buddha's birthplace and the Buddhist temple. Later we drive to to Sravasti.

Sravasti is intimately associated with the life of Buddha. In Buddhist times (6th century BC-6th century AD), Sravasti was the capital of the Kingdom of Kosala and was important both as a prosperous trading centre and for its religious associations. Buddha is believed to have spent 24 monsoons in the city. It is said that Buddha sat on a Lotus with a thousand petals and multiplied his image a million times. A divine sight that silenced his critics.
Upon arrival assistance and check-in the hotel for overnight stay.

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Day 08: Srasvati / Lucknow -  Agra by train (Lucknow Intercity express at 1545/2125 hours)

After breakfast transfer to Lucknow railway station to board train for Agra. Arrive Agra and transfer to hotel.

Agra, beautifully situated on the banks of river Yamuna. It achieved prominence as the capital of the Mughal Emperors from the year 1526 to 1628, remains major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era monuments, most notably the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort & Fatehpur Sikri, all three are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Overnight Hotel – Agra

Day 09:  Agra

Half Day Tour

Today we visit Taj Mahal (closed on Friday), symbol of eternal love, which stands on the banks of River Yamuna. It was built by the 5th Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan in the year 1631 in memory of his w ife, Mumtaz Mahal. It was completed in 22 years. Further we visit Agra Fort, taken over from the Lodhis by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the late 16th century. The Fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city. It was built from red sandstone, often inlaid with white marble & intricate decorations. We will also visit Sikandara, Akbar's tomb. His son Jahangir completed the construction of the tomb in the year 1613.

Overnight Hotel – Agra

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Day 10: Agra – Jaipur by surface

Today we drive to Jaipuren route we will visit Fatehpur Sikri (Ghost Capital), the political capital of India's Mughal Empire under Akbar's reign, from the year 1571 until 1585, when it was abandoned, ostensibly due to lack of water. We visit Emperor Akbar's Residential complex, Mosque & Tomb of Salim Chisti.

Jaipur,  popularly known as Pink City, the flamboyant & colourful capital of Rajasthan. With its rich & colourful past, resplendent with tales of valour & bravery, it is now one of the most important heritage cities in India. The city was founded in the year 1728 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber. It remains the only city in the world symbolizing the nine divisions of the universe, through nine rectangular sectors.

Upon arrival check in at hotel.

Overnight Hotel – Jaipur (B)

Day 11: In Jaipur

Full Day Tour

Today we take an excursion to Amber Fort, the palace complex which stands to this date was commenced under the reign of Raja Man Singh. We take an Elephant ride to reach the Fort situated on the hill, an overwhelming experience.

Later we visit the City Palace, a perfect blend of Rajasthani & Mughal architecture. The center of the palace is a seven-storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine views over the gardens & the city. Further we visit Jantar Mantar (Solar Observatory), an astronomical treasure house, with solar devices that give accurate predictions till date. We also visit Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), a five-storied structure of pink sandstone. It was built in the year 1799 so that veiled royal women could peer down the busy street market unseen by the world through its 593 stone Jharokas (mini windows).

Overnight Hotel – Jaipur (B)

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Day 12: Jaipur – Delhi by surface

Later in time transfer to Delhi International airport to board flight for onward Journey.

(No Hotel Accommodation in Delhi this day)

Our tour concludes. Caper thanks you for your patronage to connect for onward destination.

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