Buddhist Pilgrimage Trip – Nepal to India
Buddha, the enlightened one, in present times has become all the more needed and his teachings need to be revived in our hearts to remind us not to turn away from being kind and compassionate. In the present world when life is too busy and stress levels are going too high, it is mandatory to take a break and remind oneself the real motive of our existence. What could be a better hiatus than to visit the destinations where Lord Buddha left his indelible marks and recall ourselves for a bigger purpose of our lives? We at Footloose Holidays plan and design your pilgrimage to complete destinations of your interest in India and Nepal, taking you through each and every phase of his life.
Day 1 Arrival at Kathmandu
On arrival at Kathmandu Airport, you will be greeted, warmly welcomed and escorted by Footloose Holidays representative to your pre-booked hotel. Relax for a while and post lunch venture for some local sightseeing of Swayambhunath Temple, one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Come back to the hotel for a comfortable overnight stay along with dinner.
Day 2 Kathmandu
The next day, after the breakfast at the hotel, head for Kathmandu – Durbar Square complex comprising of plazas, courtyards, temples and water fountains built opposite the old royal palaces, showcasing the artistic skills of Newar artists from 12th and 18th centuries. It is now protected as a world heritage site. There are also museums inside the palace building. Continue exploring further as you visit Pashupatinath Temple, located on the banks of the Baghmati River, one of the most important religious sites in Asia for the devotees of Lord Shiva and has gained the status of cultural heritage site as this temple precinct is a collection of several other Hindu and Buddhist deities. Utilise some leisure time to explore the local market before you reach back the hotel to enjoy the evening meal along with overnight stay.
Day 3 Kathmandu – Lumbini (By Flight)
Post breakfast the next morning, it is time to check-out from the hotel and reach Kathmandu Airport to fly for Lumbini, the place which must mark the beginning of this pilgrimage as it is where Gautam Buddha was born as Prince Siddhartha. On arrival, check-in at your pre-booked hotel. In the afternoon, after lunch, visit the holy birth place of Lord Buddha and feel his divine presence there. Come back to the hotel for dinner as well as the overnight stay.
Day 4 Lumbini – Kushinagar (140kms/4hrs)
After your sumptuous breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven to Kushinagar, the pious place where Gautam Buddha announced his Parinirvana. On arrival here, have your lunch at your hotel and proceed to visit Mahaparinirvana Temple where Lord Buddha attained his salvation and Rambhar Stupa, which was built over his ashes. Come back to the hotel where you checked-in and take good overnight rest after dinner.
Day 5 Kushinagar – Vaishali (215kms/5hrs)
Post breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven to Vaishali. On arrival, here you will be checking in at a hotel for lunch. After your meal, head for a visit to The Ashokan Stupa, a proof of the fact that Buddhism as a religion brought many under its shelter, including the greatest of the emperors like Ashoka who relinquished war and spread the message of peace and compassion all across the world. Also visit Relics Stupa & Pushkarini Sarovar before you return to the hotel for dinner.
Day 6 Vaishali – Bodhgaya (145kms/4½ hrs)
The following morning, have your breakfast at the hotel and then be driven to Bodhgaya, the most sacred of all places relevant to Buddha’s life as it is here that he attained enlightenment. On arrival, check-in at the hotel and after lunch proceed to visit Mahabodhi Temple, in the complex you still get to witness the tree under which Lord Buddha became the enlightened soul. Reach back the hotel where dinner with overnight stay awaits you.
Day 7 Bodhgaya – Rajgir – Nalanda – Bodhgaya
The next morning, after early breakfast at the hotel, time to drive to Rajgir, a place very significant in Buddha’s life. Visit Gridhkutta, also called Vulture’s peak, Venu vana, once home to a monastery built for Buddha and Bimbisar Prison. Enjoy your lunch at a restaurant and now further be driven to Nalanda to explore one of the most famous learning center or University and museum which attracted a lot of Buddhists disciples. Look at the ruins of once a magnificent structure and imagine how it spread that valuable knowledge all over the world. After the visit, time to head back to Bodhgaya where delicious dinner and a cosy overnight stay awaits you at the hotel.
Day 8 Bodhgaya – Varanasi (250kms/5½ hrs)
Enjoy your hearty breakfast at the hotel and then proceed to visit Sujata Village built in the name of the girl who offered Gautam Buddha Kheer, a sweet dish prepared from milk and rice at the time when he had been meditating for a long time to attain enlightenment. Also visit Niranjana River and other international monasteries located close by. After lunch, you will be driven to Varanasi, considered to be one of the holiest places by the Hindus. On arrival here, check-in at your pre-booked hotel. Relax and enjoy your dinner and stay at a hotel in Varanasi.
Day 9 Varanasi – Sharavasti ( 320kms/8½ hrs)
Early morning it is time to visit the holy River Ganga and enjoy a boat ride along with getting an opportunity to witness one of the most beautiful sunrises. Time to return to hotel for breakfast and then head for an excursion to Sarnath, which is one of the important places in Buddhist pilgrimage. Gain an enriching experience when you visit Dhamekha Stupa, Deer Park and the Museum (closed on Friday). Back to hotel for lunch and then be driven to Sharavasti (280 Kms). On arrival, check-in at the hotel and rejuvenate your tired self with a relaxed dinner and an overnight stay at the hotel in Sharavasti.
Day 10 Sharavasti – Lucknow (165kms/4hrs) & Lucknow – Agra (By afternoon Train)
Post a hearty breakfast at the hotel, proceed to visit Jetvana & Angulimal Caves displaying an interesting episode from Gautam Buddha’s life. After the visit, you will be driven to Lucknow. On arrival here, enjoy your lunch at a hotel and then you will be dropped at the Railway Station as per your train schedule to board the train for Agra. On arrival at Agra, a city which is a home to the iconic structure called The Taj Mahal, you will be dropped at the hotel where you check-in and then enjoy a sumptuous dinner and a peaceful overnight stay at a hotel in Agra.
Day 11 Agra – Delhi ( by Train) – Departure
The next morning, after the breakfast at the hotel, time to visit The Taj Mahal,( closed on every Friday), one of the Seven Wonders of the World, personifying love in its most beautiful form standing timeless in white marble as pure and innocent as the expression itself. This memorial was built by Shah Jahan for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Also visit the Agra Fort, which was initiated by one of the Mughal Emperors, Akbar. Built-in red sand stone, this structure stands tall with head held high in pride on the banks of the river Yamuna. After lunch, it is time to be driven to Delhi, the national capital. On arrival here, you will be guided to a city restaurant for dinner after which you will be dropped at the airport according to your flight schedule to catch the flight for onward destination, with a heartful of all good memories from this trip.