In Buddha's Footsteps
Trip code: 15-day private journey
Price from: £2925
Day 1 London - Delhi
Take an evening flight from Heathrow.
Day 2 Delhi
Transfer to the Maidens or Claridges Hotel. In the afternoon visit the bustling sights of Old Delhi including the largest mosque in India known as the Jama Masjid and Rajghat, the resting place (Samadhi) of India’s favourite son, Mahatma Gandhi. The day’s sightseeing ends with a rickshaw ride through the convergent bazaars of Chandni Chowk, the main trading centre of Old Delhi.
Day 3 Delhi - Lucknow
Take an exciting day train to the city of Lucknow where you spend two nights at the first class Vivanta by Taj hotel.
Day 4 Lucknow
In the morning visit the Residency Complex, site of the infamous siege of 1857 which was one of the first revolts against the British authorities. Continue your sightseeing tour of the city with visits to the Islamic Imambara shrine and Romi Darwaja city gate. Round off the day exploring Lucknow’s colourful bazaars.
Day 5 Lucknow- Sravasti
Today provides your first real taste of the ’Buddhist landscape’ as we approach the site of Sravasti. It is here that the historical Buddha spent much of his life teaching the path to enlightenment to those men and women ’ready’ to listen. Stay at the Lotus Nikko or Residency hotels for the night. In the afternoon visit the local sites of significance including Ananthapindika’s Stupa, Anandabodhi tree and Gandhakuti or Buddha’s hut.
Day 6 Sravasti - Lunbini
Heading further east with your private car and driver you’ll cross Nepal’s southern border and come to the birth place of Buddha at Lumbini. Stay at the Maya Garden or Nirvana Hotels for the night. In the afternoon visit the Lumbini gardens and the Maya Devi Temple which is dedicated to Buddha’s mother. There are various modern monasteries that are also worth a quick visit.
Day 7 Lumbini - Kushinagar
Moving on to Kushinagar stay at either the Lotus Nikko or Residency hotels. Visit the Mahaparinirvana Temple which is where Buddha is said to have attained Parinirvana. His final words to those congregated at the site are thought to have been, ’All composite things pass away. Strive for your own liberation with diligence.’
Day 8 Kushinagar - Patna
Leaving Kushinagar drive to the city of Patna, stopping en route at Vaishali which is an auspicious site for devotees of both the Jain and Buddhist faiths respectively. The Buddha is said to have given his final public discourse here and the site was later the birth place of the great Jain saint Bhagwan Mahavira. Your overnight stay is at the Maurya Hotel.
Day 9 Patna - Bodhgaya
Drive on to Bodhgaya with a stop at the historic site of Rajgir. Bodhgaya is the site where the young, Siddhartha Gautama, attained enlightenment beneath the Bodhi tree and became the awakened one or Buddha. Stay at the either the Lotus Nikko or Residency hotels for two nights.
Day 10 Bodhgaya
Spend the day calmly exploring the Mahabodhi Temple Complex and other sights associated with the life of Buddha.
Day 11 Bodhgaya - Varanasi
This morning drive to Nalanda. The archeological was once the largest university in existence and students were dedicated to the study of the ’Buddha Dharma’. Continuing on to Varanasi you’ll stay two nights at the Ganges View Hotel (or there is the option of an upgrade to Suryauday for a supplement). This evening witness a ceremonial worship or "aarti" on the banks of the Ganges River.
Day 12 Varanasi
Varanasi is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world today and a highlight for the culturally minded traveller. An early morning boat ride is arranged on the Ganges to see devotees at prayer along the "ghats". In the afternoon visit Sarnath, the site of Buddha’s first public discourse and a peaceful space to spend a few hours.
Day 13 Varanasi - Agra
Take an exciting day train to Agra and watch the Indian countryside slower pass by. The night is spent at the either Gateway or Trident hotels.
Day 14 Agra - Delhi
Visit the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur-Sikri today, before returning to Delhi on the Shatabdi Express train. The Grand Hotel is your€commodation for the night.
Day 15 Delhi - London
Take a midday flight back to London.