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Buddha’s Sacred Sights Pilgrimage

Buddha’s Sacred Sights Pilgrimage

$2190 per person
TOUR DATES
October – March
TOUR COST
A$2190 per person on twin share

A$850 single supplement

* No fixed departure – price based on minimum 2 people

DURATION
12 Days, 11 Nights
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Wonders of Delhi
  • Varanasi – the spiritual gateway of India
  • Sarnath – where Buddha gave his first teachings
  • Ancient Buddhist ruins at Sravasti
  • Kushinagar, home of the reclining Buddha Statue
  • Vaishali and the Kesariya Buddha Stupa
  • Nalanda Monastery
  • Bodhgaya – the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site
TOUR ROUTE
Delhi – Varanasi – Sarnath – Sravasti – Kushinagar – Vashali – Rajgir – Bodhgaya
TOUR MAP
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Tour Plan

Day 1
Arrive in Delhi
Welcome to incredible India! An Ekno representative will meet you and escort you to your hotel upon your arrival at the airport in Delhi. After checking into the hotel, spend the rest of your day at your leisure exploring the local area and soaking up the vibrant atmosphere. Our friendly guide and hotel staff will be on hand should you need recommendations or general provisions. Overnight: Hotel, Delhi.
Day 2
Delhi
After breakfast at the hotel you be collected by your guide and taken on a tour taking in the many sights and sounds of Delhi, including a visit to the National Museum which houses the Sacred Relics of Buddha (5th-4th century BC) which were discovered in Uttar Pradesh. The relics are outstanding specimens of Buddhist Art and are illustrated through exhibits in a variety of materials and forms from the three principal Buddhist traditions – Hinayana, Mahayana & Vajrayana. In the afternoon you will visit some of the famous monuments of Delhi, including India Gate, Rajpath and the Secretariat Buildings. Overnight: Hotel, Delhi.
Day 3
Varanasi
This morning you will take a flight to Varanasi, considered to be the spiritual gateway of India and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Upon arrival you will check into your hotel before taking a sightseeing trip to the Main Ghat area and the Vishwanath Temple. Varanasi is the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism and Jainism and played an important role in the development of Buddhism. This evening you will have the opportunity to participate in the breathtaking evening puja (prayer ceremony) which accompanies sunset on the Ganges. Overnight: Hotel, Varanasi.
Day 4
Varanasi
After breakfast you will be driven to Sarnath, one of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage sites in North India. On arrival in Sarnath, visit the Deer Park where the Buddha taught The Four Noble Truths (his first teachings) after attaining enlightenment. Afterwards you will visit Dhamekh Stupa and other important Buddhist ruins including Chaukhandi Stupa and Mulganda Kuti Vihar. The Dhamekh Stupa is said to mark the exact spot of the Buddha’s first teaching of the Four Noble Truths. In the late afternoon you will return to Varanasi. The evening is free to explore or rest at your leisure. Overnight: Hotel, Varanasi.
Day 5
Sravasti
After a very early breakfast, you will be driven to Sravasti (approximately 8 hours), stopping for breaks along the way. Sravasti is where the Buddha spent the greater part of his monastic life, as well as many rainy seasons teaching to his disciples. Overnight: Hotel, Sravasti.
Day 6
Sravasti
Today you will spend the day exploring the ruins of Sravasti, the capital of an ancient kingdom. You will be able to see age old stupas, majestic viharas, and several temples, the remains of which have been used to established Buddha’s association with the town. Overnight: Hotel, Sravasti
Day 7
Kushinagar
This morning you will leave for Kushinagar (approximately 6 hours drive). Kushinagar is an important Pilgrimage site where the Buddha attained paranirvana after his death and is where the statue of the reclining Buddha is housed. The image was unearthed during excavations in 1876. Carved from sandstone, the statue represents the dying Buddha reclining on his right side. You will also have the opportunity to visit the site of the Maitreya Statue Project. Overnight: Hotel, Kushinagar.
Day 8
Kushinagar
The first stop after breakfast is the Mahaparinirvana temple – the site of the reclining Buddha. You will then visit the Rambhar Stupa, which marks Lord Buddha’s cremation ground. Overnight: Hotel, Kushinagar.
Day 9
Vaishali
After breakfast you will leave for Vaishali, an important pilgrimage location known as the place where 500 women were ordained by the Buddha. On the way you will visit Kesariya Stupa, the venue where the Buddha delivered his Kalama Sutta. The Stupa has 5 large terraces which vary in shape and house a life like statue of Lord Buddha. Overnight: Hotel, Vaishali.
Day 10
Rajgir
After breakfast you will depart for Nalanda Monastery (4 hours drive). Nalanda was the most renowned university in ancient India and was home to the great Buddhist scholars of the time. Established in the 5th century BC, it remained the center of learning up until the 12th century AD. In the afternoon you will leave Rajgir, which during the Buddha’s lifetime was the capital of the powerful Magadhan kingdom, ruled by the virtuous King Bimbisara. Overnight: Hotel, Rajgir.
Day 11
Bodhgaya
After breakfast you can take the chairlift to visit Vultures Peak and the Japanese Stupa. Vulture Peak Mountain is one of several sites that was frequented by the Buddha and his community of disciples for both training and retreat. It is also the location where the Buddha gave sermons including the renowned Heart Sutra. During the late afternoon you will be driven to Bodhgaya. In the centre of Bodhgaya is the ancient Mahabodhi Temple, the holiest Buddhist temple in the world. The temple marks the location where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. Overnight: Hotel, Bodhgaya.
Day 12
Departure day
After breakfast you will make your final pilgrimage to the Mahabodhi Stupa. We will transfer you to the airport in time for your ongoing flight. We look forward to seeing you on another Ekno Travels experience soon. If you wish this pilgrimage package can be combined with one of our other tours or India extensions.

INCLUDES

  • Met at the airport by an Ekno representative
  • 11 nights’ accommodation with breakfast
  • Domestic flight from Delhi to Varanasi
  • Private taxi for all transfers and sightseeing as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All charges related to transport such as tolls, parking, fuel etc.
  • Services of a local English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees to all sights and monuments as per itinerary
  • Boat ride in Varanasi

EXCLUDES

  • Return airfares to India
  • Cost of Indian tourist visa (on arrival)
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Extra activities and transport not stipulated in the itinerary
  • Personal expenditure such as drinks, laundry service and souvenirs
  • Tipping
  • Camera and video entry charges at local sights and monuments
  • Occasional optional items not identified in itinerary description
  • Donations
  • Compulsory insurance of any kind
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