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Buddhist Circuit Tour  

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Siddhartha Gautam, the prince was born in the Kingdom in Nepal who later found the enlightenment in India and came to be known as Gautam Buddha. Beautiful Buddhist monasteries and stupas over the relics have become an inseparable part of Nepalese & Indian art, culture and architecture.
 
The Buddhist Circuit is a trail on the footsteps of the Buddha. Winding our way through Bihar (India) and Nepal, where the Buddha spent most of his time, we will visit some of the holiest ancient Hindu and Buddhist cities. The tour takes us to ancient centers of learning, and we will visit old ruins and monasteries, museums and other places of interest.  Hope to find your inner peace on this tour, as you meditate under the Mahabodhi tree, where Siddhartha attained enlightenment.
 
DAY 01: ARRIVE DELHI & FLY DELHI - VARANASI
DAY 02: VARANASI SIGHTSEEING
DAY 03: VARANASI SIGHTSEEING & DRIVE VARANASI – BODHGAYA
DAY 04: DRIVE BODHGAYA – RAJGIR – NALANDA - PATNA
DAY 05: DRIVE PATNA – VAISHALI – KUSHINAGAR
DAY 06: DRIVE KUSHINAGAR – SRAVASTI – KUSHINAGAR
DAY 07: KUSHINAGAR SIGHTSEEING & DRIVE KUSHINAGAR – LUMBINI (NEPAL)
DAY 08: FLY LUMBINI - KATHMANDU
DAY 09: DRIVE KATHMANDU – NAMOBUDDHA – KATHMANDU
DAY 10: DEPARTURE
 
Tour Title: Buddhist Circuit Tour
Tour Duration: 09 Nights/ 10 Days
Tour Destinations: Delhi, Varanasi, Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Nalanda, Patna, Vaishali, Kushinagar, Sravasti, Lumbini, Kathmandu
Best Season: October – March
Grade: Easy plus
 
DAY 01: ARRIVE DELHI & FLY DELHI - VARANASI
Upon arrival in Delhi, our Fishtail representative and driver will meet you at Indira Gandhi International Airport with special welcome. The representative will later transfer you to the Domestic Aiport to board the flight for Varanasi. Upon arrival in Varanasi, our representative will welcome you and escort you to the designated hotel. In the hotel, you will be briefed about your daily activities during the tour. Overnight in Varanasi.
 
DAY 02: VARANASI SIGHTSEEING
Today you will proceed to Sarnath – 10 kms away from the holy city of Varanasi. Sarnath is the blessed locale where more than 2,500 years ago, Buddha chose to deliver his first sermon, after attaining Nirvana. The five disciples who had followed him were surprised to see the mesmerizing glowing countenance of Buddha, who convinced them and delivered his first sermon before them, now termed Dharmachakra Pravartan. This set in motion the great Buddhist tradition of the Sangha, for popularizing the teachings of the great ascetic, worldwide. Gautam Buddha with his five disciples formed the first Sangha along with Yasa of Varanasi and his 54 friends. The beginning of the celebrated Mantra, “Buddham Sharanam Gachhami” owes its origin to Sarnath. The three jewels “I go for refuge to the Buddha, I go for refuge to the Wheel of Law, I go for refuge to the Sangha” were first laid down here and have remained unchanged ever since. Hence, every Buddhist pilgrim after Bodhgaya, endeavors to be blessed with a visit to Sarnath in his lifetime.
 
In the evening, you will see “Aarti Ceremony” on the river Ganges and stroll along the narrow lanes and bazaars full of shops selling among other things, the world famous Banaras Silks. Overnight in Varanasi.
 
DAY 03: VARANASI SIGHTSEEING & DRIVE VARANASI – BODHGAYA
In the early morning, you will visit some of the Hindu temples that line the river Ganges and then proceed for boat excursion on the holy river to see the bathing ghats and cremation sites. Watching people bathing and worshipping at the ghats is one of the most extraordinary experiences one can get in India. Later you will be driven to Bodhgaya (260 kms/3 hrs) and en-route visit the Mahabodhi temple. Overnight stay in Bodhgaya.
 
DAY 04: DRIVE BODHGAYA – RAJGIR – NALANDA - PATNA
In the morning, after breakfast, you will proceed to Patna (204 kms/ 2 hrs). En-route you will visit Rajgir - was the ancient capital of the Magadh kings. Buddha used to come here often. Rajgir is an important place of pilgrimage for Hindus as well as the temple complex here is to the Sun God. Then you will proceed to Nalanda – the center of one of the oldest known universities of the world, Nalanda University. Its ruins show that over 2,000 teachers and 10,000 students from all over the Buddhist nations lived and studied here. An international center for Buddhist studies also operates here. Upon arrival in Patna, you will check into the hotel and rest of the day you can relax. Overnight in Patna.
 
DAY 05: DRIVE PATNA – VAISHALI – KUSHINAGAR
In the morning you will be driven to Kushinagar (320 kms/ 4 hrs) via visit to Vaishali. Vaishali is believed to be the first republic of the world, having an elected body of representatives holding special significance for Buddhist devotees. At Kolhua, Buddha delivered his last sermon, hinting at his impending departure from the mortal world. Later Emperor Ashoka erected a huge pillar to commemorate the spot of the last sermon. You will then proceed to Kushinagar. Overnight in Kushinagar.
 
DAY 06: DRIVE KUSHINAGAR – SRAVASTI – KUSHINAGAR
Today after early breakfast, you will proceed to Sravasti (239 kms/ 3-3.5 hrs drive). Sravasti is the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Kosala and it has the honor for sheltering Buddha for 24 rainy seasons in the Jetvana Gardens. Also known as Sahet-Mahet, there are two different sits. Main one being Sahet and about 500m away is Mahet. The city believed to be founded by the mythological king Sravast, has age-old Stupas, majestic monasteries and several temples. Buddha is said to have performed some miracles here. This holy place also has the famous Anand Bodhi tree, an offspring of the one said to have been planted by Buddha’s main disciple Anand. 
 
After the completion of Sravasti sightseeing, you will proceed back to Kushinagar. Overnight in Kushinagar.
 
DAY 07: KUSHINAGAR SIGHTSEEING & DRIVE KUSHINAGAR – LUMBINI (NEPAL)
In the early morning, you will proceed for Kushinagar sightseeing. Earlier known as Kushinara, it is believed that Buddha attained “Mahaparinirvana – release from the endless cycle of birth and rebirth” here. The statue of the reclining Buddha at the temple is one of the most sacred sights for the pilgrims and a mound of bricks marks the place where Buddha is said to have been cremated. Then you will proceed to Lumbini, Nepal (198 kms/ 2.5 hrs drive). Lumbini is the birthplace of Buddha and lies in western plains of Nepal. Here is the seat of Buddhism, a religion that blossomed and spread across the world. Lumbini tour includes visit to Mayadevi temple, Ashoka pillar and surrounding areas of Lumbini Development Trust (LDT). The three square mile area of LDT includes Sacred Garden, Monastic Zone and New Lumbini Village. Overnight stay in Lumbini.
 
DAY 08: FLY LUMBINI - KATHMANDU
After finishing the pilgrimage tour of Lumbini, you will board an early flight to Kathmandu from Lumbini airport. Kathmandu valley is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The valley offers you a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. Upon reaching Kathmandu, you will visit renowned and two of the largest Buddhist monasteries - Swoyambhunath Stupa and Bouddhanath Stupa. All these are protected by UNESCO as world heritage site. Overnight in Kathmandu.
 
DAY 09: DRIVE KATHMANDU – NAMOBUDDHA – KATHMANDU
After breakfast, you will proceed for the full day trip to Namo Buddha. The pilgrimage site of Namo Buddha is about forty kilometers from Kathmandu. Located on slightly elevated land, it is a pleasant and out-of-the way place. Overnight in hotel in Kathmandu.
 
DAY 10: DEPARTURE
After checking out of the hotel, our representative will take you to the Tribhuvan international airport for your flight towards onward destination. 
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