Following Lord Buddha’s Footsteps is a spiritual journey for all Buddhists and others who are interested in Buddhism that covers the most important sites associated with the life of Lord Buddha starting from his birthplace in Lumbini, Nepal through Bodhgaya where he attained enlightenment, Sarnath - the site where he started the Dharmachakra by his first sermon to his initial 5 desciples, to Nalanda and Rajgir where he regularly taught Buddhist philosophy to his Mahaparinirwana (demise) place in Kushinagar. For groups of 14 and above an accompanying escort will be provided. For private travelers English speaking guides will be provided in each place. Other language speaking guides can be arranged if required. The fascinating journey begins in New Delhi with sightseeing of Qutub Minar - later on the last day of the tour you will witness the busy bazaars of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi (the ancient Shahjahanabad) and monuments of New Delhi. Other interesting sites include the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Itmad-ud-Daulah in Agra as well as Amber Fort with elephant ride and City Palace of Jaipur and the Astronomical Observatory of Sawai Jai Singh.
Departure with Air India direct flight to New Delhi (AI173 departing at 2.35 PM on all days except Tuesdays)
Arrival in New Delhi. Traditional Indian welcome with marigold garlands and transfer to Surya Hotel. Dinner and overnight in Surya Hotel.
New Delhi – Gorakhpur - Lumbini:
Sightseeing of Qutub Minar on the way to airport to board Air India flight # AI9809 departing at 12.15 PM and arrive in Gorakhpur at 2.15 PM. Transfer by chauffeur driven car or coach in case of group to Lumbini (123 kilometers or 76.40 miles in about 3 hours), the birthplace of Lord Buddha across the border in Nepal. Dinner and overnight in Lumbini Hotel Kasai (Japanese owned hotel).
Full day sightseeing of Lumbini. Dinner and overnight in Lumbini Hotel Kasai.
Lumbini – Kushinagar (Mahaparinirwana or passing away place of Lord Buddha):
After breakfast drive about 143 kilometers or 89 miles (via Janpul Road) in approximately 4 hours. In the afternoon pilgrimage of the two stupas, mahaparinirwana stupa, Japanese Temple, Japanese Garden, Kushinagar Museum. Dinner and overnight in Royal Residency (second floor / garden facing room/s).
Kushinagar – Patna:
After breakfast drive 213 kilometers or 132 miles in about 5 hours (via NH27). In the afternoon sightseeing of Patna Museum. Dinner and overnight in Maurya Patna Hotel.
Patna – Nalanda – Rajgir:
After breakfast drive about 1.25 hours to Nalanda, the site of famous ancient university. Lord Buddha is believed to have taught in this university. After visiting drive further to Rajgir. Dinner and overnight in Gargee Gautam Vihar Resort.
Rajgir – Bodhgaya:
After breakfast enjoy the sites of Rajgir. Later drive to Bodhgaya, the site where Lord Buddha sat under the Bodhi Tree and attained enlightenment. Visit the Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhi Tree and various monasteries. Dinner and overnight in Bodhgaya Gautam Hotel
Full day to relax, meditate and enjoy the site of Lord Buddha’s enlightenment. Dinner and overnight in Bodhgaya Gautam Hotel.
Bodhgaya – Varanasi:
After breakfast transfer to Gaya Railway Station to board the train # 12321 Howrah Mumbai Mail in air-conditioned 1st class compartment to Mughal Sarai (30 minutes drive to Varanasi – departure 5.27 AM arrival 8.17 AM). On arrival transfer to Ramada Plaza Hotel. Sightseeing of Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple and Bharat Kala Bhawan Museum in Banaras Hindu University campus.
In the afternoon drive ½ hour to Sarnath, the site where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon to his initial 5 disciples starting the Dharma Chakra. In the evening enjoy the Ganga Aartee Ceremony at the banks of Ganga River. Dinner and overnight in Ramada Plaza Hotel.
Before sunrise drive to the Ganga River for boat ride on the river to watch the morning religious ritual of Hindu pilgrims. Return to hotel for breakfast. Later transfer to airport to board the Air India flight # AI402 (2 to 3 days per week as Air India schedule) departing at 12.10 PM and arrive in Kheria Airport of Agra at 1.10 PM. Transfer to Crystal Sarovar Premier Hotel.
PM: Agra Fort and Itmad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb sightseeing. Dinner and overnight in Ramada Plaza Hotel.
Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Jaipur:
Before sunrise enjoy the unforgettable sight of the white marble Taj Mahal in the golden glow of sunrise. Ample time to soak in the beauty of the mausoleum, photograph and explore the buildings and gardens of this amazing monument.
Breakfast at hotel.
In the morning drive an hour to Mughal Emperor Akbar’s deserted capital, Fatehpur Sikri. Sightseeing of the palaces and mosque with the beautiful white marble mausoleum of the Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chistie. Drive further to Jaipur. Afternoon is free to relax, shop and enjoy a rickshaw ride in the historic, walled city, Jaipur. Dinner and overnight in Shahpura House
After breakfast sightseeing of Hawa Mahal - a royal parades viewing galary for women of royal palace, the women in the gallery could view the parade without being seen by people on the road below.
Drive further to Amber Fort to enjoy the majestic elephant ride to the palaces of Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Maharaja Mansingh.
Later enjoy lunch at Stag Café. PM: City Palace and Astronomical Observatory sightseeing. Dinner and overnight in Shahpura Haveli Hotel.
Jaipur – Delhi:
After breakfast drive to New Delhi. PM: sightseeing of Humayun’s Tomb, drive by British colonial government buildings and monuments designed by Edwin Lutyens (stop for photography at India Gate). In the afternoon stop by Red Fort for photography from outside and drive further to Mughal Emperor Shahjahan’s Jama Masjid.
Later rickshaw ride from Jama Masjid to Chandni Chowk. Dinner and overnight in Atrio Boutique Hotel near Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Delhi – San Francisco:
After early breakfast transfer to IGI airport to board AI174 departing at 10.30 AM.
Arrive in San Francisco at 4.15 PM.
PRICE OF USD 2,777 INCLUDES FOLLOWING FACILITIES AND SERVICES:
- 13 overnights hotel accommodation in above chosen or similar hotels in double or twin bedroom occupancy on room on MAP (room with breakfast & dinner basis)
- All transportation & sightseeing by air-conditioned Medium car for 2 persons, Toyota Innova for 3 - 4 persons & Tempo traveler for 5-14 persons.
- 2 bottles water per person daily in the car or coach
- Train ticket for Bodhgaya – Varanasi (1st class) in Howarh Mumbai Mail / assistance by our local representative on platform at arrival
- Elephant ride during the visit of Amer Fort
- Monument entrance fees during sightseeing
- English speaking tour guide during sightseeing / accompanying escort in groups of 14 or more persons
- Flight ticket for Delhi / Gorakhpur and Varanasi / Agra in economy class
- Nepal visa 25 USD per person
- All currently applicable GST 28% & parking fees during the tour
Our cost does not include the following services: -
- Lunches (or any meal which is not mentioned in the program)
- Visa Fees
- International Airfare
- Travel Insurance
- Expenses of personal nature such as drinks, telephone, laundry bills etc
- Tip to driver (suggested: $ 4 per person per day), English speaking guide ($ 9 per person per day) and hotel porters ($ 1 per person)
- Any additional expenses incurred due to any flight delay or cancellation, weather conditions, political closures, technical faults etc
- Any other service/s not specified above
An advance payment of USD 950 is required with registration. Balance amount is due and payable 90 days before departure date.