Inspirational Trip to the Land of Buddha
Gautam Buddha’s inspirational life has left its deep, indelible mark on many people, not only in India but abroad where people learnt a new way of living, exchanging only love and compassion and no violence. Sometimes, in order to revive our spirit of goodness, it is important to get the feel of those places that have played a role in his life to bring enlightenment to this world. We at Footloose Holidays make an endeavour to make this trip, which covers all the destinations that you wish to take up as a pilgrimage, a comfortable and enjoyable time so that you go back only with positive energy and happy thoughts.
Day 1 Arrive in Delhi
As you arrive at IGI Airport, New Delhi, you will be received, warmly welcomed and escorted by Footloose Holidays representative to your pre-booked hotel where you will be staying overnight before you begin your eventful journey the next day.
Day 2 Delhi – Agra – Delhi
Early next morning, you will be transferred to railway station to board a superfast train to Agra where you will also be served breakfast. As you arrive at Agra, a city which is a home to one of the wonders of the world, the beautiful Taj Mahal. You will meet Footloose Holidays representative at the railway station from where you will be driven to view this intricately carved monument, built to create a memory of that eternal love that remains timeless. This memorial was created by a Mughal King for his beloved wife. Post lunch visit another monument, the magnificently built Agra Fort standing invincibly in red sandstone on the banks of the mighty river Yamuna. This fort was initiated by Emperor Akbar, one of the most powerful and influential rulers of Mughal era. After the visit, it is time to board the train again to reach Delhi. Enjoy your evening meal relishing something from the North Indian cuisine at a city restaurant. Reach back to your hotel for a comfortable overnight stay.
Day 3 Delhi – Varanasi (By Flight)
Next morning, after your sumptuous breakfast at hotel, you will be driven to New Delhi Airport to board the flight for Varanasi, known as the spiritual destination of India. On arrival, you will be assisted by a Footloose Holidays representative who will also escort you to your pre-booked hotel. After lunch, time to begin the odyssey that brought you here and the first destination on the list is Sarnath, which held a great significance in Lord Buddha’s life as his first talk on Dhamma happened here. Enjoy the enriching experience as you visit Dhamekha Stupa, Deer Park & a Museum (closed on Friday), leaving you speechless and peaceful inside. After the visit, it is time to head back to the hotel where evening meal and overnight stay await you.
Day 4 Varanasi – Bodhgaya (245kms)
Coming to the holy city Varanasi can never be complete without taking an early morning boat ride on the Ganges, a river held in reverence by the Hindus and worshipped as a Goddess. Come back to the hotel for breakfast and then drive to Bodhgaya, another landmark in Gautam Buddha’s life where under a Bodhi tree he attained enlightenment. Bodhgaya, located in Bihar, another Indian state is situated near the river Niranjana. Here you get to visit Mahabodhi Temple and inside the temple complex you also get to see the original Bodhi tree that transformed him from Siddhartha to Gautam Buddha, the enlightened one. Enjoy your dinner and overnight stay at the pre-booked hotel in Bodhgaya.
Day 5 At Bodhgaya.
Utilise your complete day at Bodhgaya, feeling his divine presence in the surroundings as you visit Sujata Village, the village which received its name from the girl who is believed to have offered kheer, a sweet dish (prepared from rice and milk) to Gautam Buddha when he needed it the most. Feel the peace and solace at the banks of Niranjana River. Before you head for the hotel to retire for the night, visit various monasteries and temples. All your meals and overnight stay is being catered by the hotel.
Day 6 Bodhgaya – Rajgir (70kms) – Nalanda (35kms) – Vaishali (87kms)
The next morning, wake up to enjoy your delicious breakfast at the hotel. After that you will be driven to Rajgir, an ancient city located amidst the hills which was once home to Gautam Buddha. Visit Gridhkutta that Buddha called as Pure Land. Some other significant places, Venuvanaram & Bimbisar Prison must not be missed. After lunch, you head for another destination, Nalanda, where you find the ruins of ancient learning center and museum, giving more information into the life of the great Buddha. You will be driven to Vaishali, a city which was fortunate to hear Lord Buddha’s first sermon. Your stay at the hotel in Vaishali has been pre-booked by Footloose Holidays.
Day 7 Vaishali – Kushinagar (215kms)
Next morning, enjoy your morning meal at the hotel before you proceed to visit Vaishali, where Lord Buddha also announced his Parinirvana. Vaishali also played a significant role in hosting the second great Buddhist council. Witness how even the greatest of the kings like Ashoka adopted Buddhism and was also instrumental in promoting it to various places and built Ashokan Pillars to leave an indelible mark of not only his existence but also of one of the greatest religions with the teachings relevant even today. Also visit Relic Stupa. Post lunch, you will be driven to Kushinagar and on the way you must visit Kesariya Stupa. On arrival at Kushinagar, check-in at your pre-booked hotel. Relax and enjoy your dinner as well as a comfortable overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 8 Kushinagar – Lumbini (135kms)
Next morning, enjoy your breakfast at the hotel and proceed to visit Mahaparinirvana Temple, where Lord Buddha attained nirvana or salvation. Visit the divine site of Ramabhar Stupa where he was cremeated. Post lunch you will be driven to the neighbouring country Nepal which is a proud home to the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. Before reaching here, it is important to obtain double entry visa for Indian and single entry visa for Nepal. On arrival at Lumbini, you will be escorted to your pre-booked hotel. Brace yourself for another important visit the next day. Meanwhile, enjoy your evening meal, take a stroll around and come back for the overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 9 Lumbini – Sharavasti via Kapilvastu ( 185kms)
The next morning post a gastronomic breakfast at the hotel, it is time to visit the Holy Birth Place of Lord Buddha, a true pilgrim site which leave all your senses elated at such a divine experience at Maya Devi Temple, adorned with sacred pool and garden. Also visit other international monasteries. Post lunch, it is time to drive to Sharavasti, a small town in Uttar Pradesh state of India. On the way, visit Kapilvastu, located in Nepal at Uttar Pradesh- Nepal border. On arrival at Sharavasti, you will be checking-in at your pre-booked hotel. Time to relax with sumptuous dinner and overnight stay at the hotel in Sharavasti.
Day 10 Sharavasti – Lucknow (164kms) & back to Delhi by afternoon Train
After the breakfast at the hotel, check-out and get ready to visit Jetvanaram and Angulimal caves, also known as Saheth and Maheth caves. Afterwards, enjoy the drive to the state capital, Lucknow also famous for its Nawabi culture. On arrival here you will be driven to the Railway station to board the Train to Delhi. Dinner will be catered on board. On arrival at Delhi, you will be escorted to your pre-booked hotel where you can take overnight rest and refresh yourself with a goodnight sleep.
Day 11 Delhi – Departure
Next morning enjoy a relaxed breakfast at the hotel before you proceed for sightseeing of New Delhi, the national capital which is a perfect blend of eventful past and a promising tomorrow. It is one place which shows you contrasting structures, the one that have stood the tests of time and symbolise its rich history and culture and the ones which personify modernity. You can drive through the most significant monuments like India Gate, the President’s House, and Mahatma Gandhi Memorial. If you are not a shopping freak, utilise more time in sightseeing of other ancient structures like Qutub Minar, Akshardham Temple and Laxmi Narayan Temple popularly known as Birla Temple which showcase the modern architecture of Delhi. Next, you will be driven to the airport to board the flight, taking you back home with bagful of rich and lavish experiences of the country where Buddha spread his sermons of peace and non-violence.