Footsteps of Budha & Sacred Ganges

FootSteps of Budha & Sacred Ganges

A spiritual journey of breathtaking beauty lies in wait. You’ll get the chance to hike to remote locales to view famous and stunning temples, secret hidden monk villages and experience some of the most incredible scenery on the Indian subcontinent. Learn about the intriguing religious ceremonies in these diverse countries, from the funeral rites along the shores of the Ganges to the living embodiment of divine energy in Nepal.

Footsteps of Budha & Sacred Ganges

Interlace together the sacred sites of Buddhism and Hinduism – this voyage seeks answers to profound questions and unravels the paths to Nirvana.

Tour Highlight

  1. Visit the spot where Prince Gautama attained enlightenment.
  2. Explore the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Bodh Gaya.
  3. Enjoy early morning boat ride on the Ganges.
  4. Attend the atmospheric evening ‘Aarti’ ceremony in Varanasi.
  5. 02 nights cruise along River Ganges

Itinerary

Delhi – Lucknow – Sravasti – Lumbini – Kushinagar – Patna – Rajgir – Nalanda – Bhodhgaya –   Varanasi

Day 01 : Delhi arrival
Airport welcome and check in at the hotel in the center of Delhi. Night in hotel.
Day 02 : Delhi
Breakfast at hotel. Then, go down to Old Delhi to visit the 17th century Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. You will be visiting streets of old Delhi on cycle rickshaw, See Chandni Chowk, the shopping center of old Delhi and drive past the Red Fort for a photo stop. Visit Raj Ghat where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. Visit of New Delhi is built in a typically British colonial style with tree-lined avenues and colonial bungalows. Drive past the Parliament House, the Secretariat buildings and the Vice Regal Palace, now the official residence of the President of India. Visit Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti. After the visit to the Basti, you may want to go to the Dargarh and listen to Qawwali, which is a musical prayer sung in a group accompanied by rhythmic claps. This musical tradition stretches back more than 700 years. Often listeners, and even artists themselves, are transported to a trance-like state where they feel at one with the Supreme. Note: Thursday & Friday evenings are a sure bet for experiencing Qawwali at the Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. Performance times are 6:00 – 7:30 PM and 9:00 – 10:30 PM.
Day 03: Delhi (Flight) Lucknow (175 kms/ 04 hrs hrs) Sravasti
Breakfast at hotel Transfer to domestic airport for domestic flight to Lucknow, further transfer by surface to Sravasti. The capital of the ancient kingdom of Kosala, Sravasti was the biggest town in the Gangetic plains during the Buddha’s lifetime.
Day 04: Sravasti – Lumbini (155 kms/04 hrs)
Breakfast at hotel In the morning, we visit Jetavana,in Srasvati,  It was in the Jetvana Garden of this prosperous city that the Buddha spent 24 rainy seasons. It was also in this city that Buddha confounded his critics with the Twin Miracle, a million-fold manifestation of himself, seated on a thousand-petal lotus, as fire and water emanated from his body. Later we head north towards Lumbini and India’s border where you will obtain the required visa in order to enter the nation of Nepal. An Indian multi-entry visa is needed.
Day 05: Lumbini
Breakfast at hotel We will spend a day in Lumbini, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and sacred ground for Buddhists around the world, Lumbini Garden which means lovely in Sanskrit is where the Buddha was born. Lumbini Garden which means lovely in Sanskrit is where the Buddha was born. Lumbini, a powerful place for meditation, is characterized by scenes of prostrating pilgrims and thousands of prayer flags.
Day 06: Lumbini – Kushinagar (165 kms/ 04 hrs)
Breakfast at hotel, tranfer by suferface to Kushinagar. 2500 years ago, the Buddha also travelled an eventful trip to Kushnigar. After a long spiritual enlightened journey through life, the Buddha chose Kushinagar for his Mahaparinirvana making it one of Buddhism’s 4 most sacred sites. The Mahaparinirvana Temple is believed to be the site in which the Buddha passed away under the twin Sal trees. A 6-meter-long statue of the Reclining Buddha was discovered here. Nearby is the Ramabhar Stupa, which is the cremation site of the Buddha and the place where his relics were divided into eight equal parts.
Day 07: Kushinagar - Patna (220 kms/ 05 hrs)
Breakfast at hotel. We will drive to Vaishali where Buddha preached his last sermon. The Second Council took place in Vasihali 110 years after the parinirvana of the Buddha. This important Buddhist gathering of monks was discuss the teaching of Buddha and future of Buddhism. Today, we will stay for the night in Patna,the capital of Indian State of Bihar.
Day 08: Patna – Excursion to Nalanda & Rajgir
Breakfast at hotel. We will leave for excursion to Nalanda & Rajgir : Nearby 5th Century ruins of the Nalanda University, the first residential university in the world and also a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Nalanda was once home to 2,000 teachers and 10,000 students from all over the Buddhist world. It played a major role in the development of Buddhism. Lord Buddha and Emperor Ashoka frequently visited Nalanda, and the famous Chinese monk from the “Journey of the West” – Tang Hieun-Tsang, stayed and studied here. Our next stop is at Rajgir, he famous Vulture Hill in Rajgir, a site where the Budhha preached numerous sermons. The first Buddhist Council was held in the Saptaparni cave here.
Day 09: Pata – Bodhgaya (120 kms/03 hrs )
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Bodhgaya, the crucible of Buddhism, Bodhgaya was where Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment beneath a bodhi tree 2600 years ago and became Buddha (the 'Awakened One'). In terms of blessedness, this tiny temple town is to Buddhists what Mecca is to Muslims. In the afternoon, we will take you to explore one of the oldest Buddhist places of worship: the Mahabodhi Temple. It is also one of the most sacred places for Buddhists, for it is here, under the Bodhi tree, that prince Siddhartha vowed not to get up until he could understand the nature of the mind and reality. After a long meditation, he attained supreme enlightenment, nirvana. Around this sacred tree.
Day 10: Bodhgaya - Varanasi (250 kms/06 - 8 hrs)
Early morning breakfast at hotel and transfer by surface to Varanasi. It will be a long day on road therefore evening free at hotel.
Day 11: Varanasi
Breakfast at hotel. Early morning today, take a boat ride on the River Ganges to see the ghats from the water. Observe people performing their morning rituals from a respectful distance and admire the sunrise over the river. Return to the hotel for breakfast before heading out again for a half day tour of Varanasi with your guide. Rest this afternoon, as you'll take to the waters again tonight to observe the Aarti ceremony on the ghats. The night time here is starkly different to the early morning rituals and it's fascinating to see both.
Day 12: Varanasi (10 kms)– Bhatauli (70 kms) - Chunnar
Breakfast at hotel. Before heading for cruise along river Ganges, we will stop at Sarnath, the birthplace of Buddhist teaching, where over 2500 years ago, Buddha shared his ­ first lesson known as the Four Noble Truths.The sermon included a progressive study of oneself beginning with the acknowledgment of ‑suffering and concluding with the steps necessary to end suffering. Thus, one can achieve inner peace through abandoning his/her ego while focusing on compassion, in hopes of attaining enlightenment. After visit transfer by surface to Bhatauli to embark on cruise journey to explore remote villages on the bank of River Ganges. this cruise will give you an opportunity to experience India as few people know it. The boat can comfortably accommodate up to 4 people. Lying on mattresses on the top deck, sheltered from the sun under a canvas roof supported by bamboo, you can observe, smell and feel the real India hidden in these rural pockets, far from its bustling cities. We stop at small villages along the river to visit people, to learn about their lifestyle which is largely untouched by tourism or urbanization. If we are lucky, the elusive, enigmatic Gangetic dolphins may come to greet us around the boat. One is assured of the company of a multitude of migratory birds. In the evening, we dine on deserted beaches along the river. The food is prepared on board and a part of it on a makeshift traditional fireplace we set -up by the banks of the river. The cuisine of Uttar Pradesh is just as diverse as its geography. Ranging from everyday classics made from local vegetables, to an elaborate, princely spread, this diverse state has preserved the most exotic recipes in its kitty. We welcome you to assist or observe the traditional cooking by our local chef. We shall start rowing from Bhatauli ghat to visit nearby villages and lunch on an Island. Further rowing till Chunnar and visit of local market. Night on Island.
Day 13: Chunnar – Sultankeshwar
After breakfast we shall start rowing from Chunnar ghat to visit Shitalaji Temple, Lunch will be organized on Island, we shall start rowing again towards Sultankeshwar, upon arrival we shall visit a local NGO. Dinner and overnight on Island.
Day 14: Sultankeshwar - Varanasi
After breakfast we shall row towards Naryanpur to visit local artisans ( Pot village and weavers village). Lunch on board and further rowing to Ramgarh Fort, visit of fort and farms around. Arrival at Assighat and check in at hotel. Excursion to Sarnath, Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his message of the middle way to nirvana after he achieved enlightenment at Bodhgaya, and gave his famous first sermon at the deer park here in Isipatana. In the 3rd century BC, Emperor Ashoka erected magnificent stupas and monasteries here, as well as an engraved pillar. When Chinese traveller Xuan Zang dropped by in AD 640, Sarnath boasted a 100m-high stupa and 1500 monks living in large monasteries. Return to hotel for overnight at Hotel
Day 15: Varanasi - Delhi
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to airport to onboard flight, couple of hours in capital of India before onboard return flight.
  • Best Season:  From 01 September –  30 April
map of Nawabs of Lucknow
The high lights of this trip

Sprituality

Buddhist India with this itinerary that will take you to some of the most important places in Buddha’s life. The birthplace of Buddhism, India is home to some of the religion’s most significant sites, including the place of Buddha’s enlightenment at Bodhgaya, his first sermon at Sarnath, and last sermon at Vaishali.

Mahbodhi Tree

Undoubtedly, the most sacred fig tree ever to grace the Earth was the Bodhi Tree at Bodhgaya, under which Prince Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism, achieved enlightenment. Buddha was said to have stared unblinkingly at the tree in an awed gesture of gratitude and wonder after his enlightenment. 

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Meditation

Meditation is the best way to deepen the practice and dive deeply into yourself. Far from everyday life, from confusion and mental noise, we can develop the best conditions to get in touch with ourselves, to understand each other and to love each other.

Cruise on Ganges

Spiritual, chaotic, beautiful colors, devastating poverty: a river cruise on India’s Ganges will expose you to the country’s extremes. It’s the type of experience that isn’t for everyone, but if you have an open mind, a sense of adventure and are willing to see beyond the surface, a Ganges River cruise should take a place on your traveler bucket list.

  • Cultural 80% 80%
  • Sprituality 95% 95%
  • Local Experience 85% 85%
  • Meditation & Yoga 70% 70%

Such a wonderful trip along the Buddha’s path

“Thank you for such a wonderful trip along the Buddha’s path in the middle land and beyond. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey which was truly one of a lifetime. ” 

Dave, London, England

Despite being a Buddhist novice, my experience changed me forever.

“Despite being a Buddhist novice, my experience changed me forever. I still struggle in Samsara (as most of us do), but my understanding of the fundamentals of Buddhism have truly not only solidified, but literally exploded. “

Ulrich & Kay, Amsterdam, Netherland.

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