Discover Buddhism & Culture
Package price 2560 per person sharing twin
Product Code : AGORA162
In his quest for the true meaning of life, Gautam Buddha sowed the first seeds of Buddhism in India. The Buddhist Circuit tours are the holy sites of Buddhism where Buddha was born, attained Enlightenment, preached his first Sermon and attained Nirvana. Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Nalanda, Sarnath, Kushinagar, Vaishali & Sravasti are the primary Buddhist sites. Equally rewarding Buddhist destinations like Ajanta, Ellora, Sanchi and non Buddhist sites to add a little variety to your tour. These sties enrich you with deeper understanding of Buddhism and the path that Buddha followed.
Day 01; Arrive Mumbai
On arrival at Mumbai airport meet with our office executive assistance and transfer to hotel (hotels check in time 1200hr afternoon, early check in subject to room’s availability).
Mumbai is a city that is disciplined by no time frame neither day nor night. It is also the country's financial powerhouse, the nation's industrial heartland, and its economic nerve center. Dazzling shopping arcades, exciting sport activity, nightclubs & discotheques, theater & music, gourmet restaurants and interesting sightseeing, offers visitors a heady mix of all this and more.
Rest time free for personal activities relax, you can take a walk to have a glance of the city, visiting local markets and restaurants. Overnight at hotel.
Day 02; Mumbai
Breakfast at hotel, city tour of Mumbai.
Drive to Marine Drive: one of the most beautifully laid boulevards in the city. Afterwards visit to Elephant caves (Monday closed), from Gateway of India here cruise by motorboats to Elephanta Caves. A flight of 100 steps takes you to the top of the hill where it is set. Afterwards in the afternoon cruise back to Gateway of India and then city tour starts visiting Parliament House: The Maharashtra State Assembly (view from outside), Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), formerly Victoria Terminus, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (view from outside), Dhobhi Ghat: to see the city's famous open-air laundry in action, Prince of Wales Museum (Monday closed): is a heritage museum comprises of a number of ancient artifacts, Mani Bhawan: Known also Gandhi Museum, here Gandhi laid the foundation for many independence movements; The three storied building has now converted into a museum in honor of Father of Nation. If time permits visit to Bandra and Juhu area where Bollywood celebrity houses are located like Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan etc., (can be seen from outside). Mount Mary Church, an ancient church, built in 1640 and then rebuilt in 1761, The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount is also an important religious place in Mumbai. In the evening, visit Iskcon Temple: dedicated to Lord Krishna, The architectural splendor of the ISKCON Temple is adorned with murals and sculptures. Overnight at hotel.
Day 03; Mumbai – Aurangabad (flight)
Breakfast at hotel, transfer to airport to board the flight for Aurangabad. On arrival assistance and transfer to hotel.
Later city tour, visit Bibi ka Maqbara Built by Azam Shah in 1678, the Bibi ka Maqbara is a son's loving tribute to his mother. Due to its similar design standing spectacularly on the lawns of the landscaped garden with ponds, fountains and water channels, the white marbled monument is popularly known as the mini Taj of the Deccan and Panchakki - which literally means 'Water Mill' by Malik Ambar in 1695. It receives water from an underground channel, with its source being 6 km away in the mountains. An artificial waterfall has been created near the mill, through which this water is discharged on to the wheel to power the flourmill and grind grain for the pilgrims. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 04; Aurangabad – Ajanta (105kms/ 2 hrs approx one way)
Breakfast at hotel. Full day excursion to Ajanta Caves (Monday closed). The Buddhist Caves of Ajanta were discovered by the British officers in 1819 while tiger hunting. Ajanta Caves were first mentioned in the writings of the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang who visited India between A.D 629 and 645. The Caves at Ajanta are older than those at Ellora, which date from about 200 B.C to 650 A.D. Thirty beautiful Buddhist Caves with mesmerizing sculptures and paintings depicting Buddha's life as well the lives of the Buddha in his previous births. Five of these Caves are Chaityas (Place of worship) while the other twenty-five are Viharas (monasteries). Ajanta Caves are divided in two categories based on two schools of Buddhist thought - Hinayana Caves and Mahayana Caves.
Evening back to hotel in Aurangabad for overnight stay.
Day 05; Aurangabad – Ellora (36kms/ 1 hrs approx one way)/ Delhi (flight)
Breakfast at hotel, excursion to visit Ellora, a UNESCO World heritage sites (Tuesday closed). It houses 34 monasteries and temples with some exclusive uninterrupted sequence of monuments that date back from 600 to 1000 AD. The temples of Ellora are dedicated to Brahmanism, Jainism, and Buddhism. It also has some of the excellent stonework depicting the legends related to Lord Shiva.
Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana. The temple is an important pilgrimage site in Shaivism tradition of Hinduism, which considers it as the last or twelfth Jyotirlinga (linga of light).
On way back visit Daulatabad Fort one of the most powerful forts of the medieval Deccan. The defense system that made Daulatabad virtually impregnable comprises fortifications with double and even triple rows of massive walls.
Later transfer to airport to board flight for Delhi. On arrival assistance and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 06; Delhi
Breakfast at hotel, explore the historic city. Starting with Old Delhi visit the majestic Red Fort, a marvel in red sandstone, Jama Masjid, the largest and most splendid mosque in India, both built by Emperor Shah Jahan. Cycle rickshaw ride through the bustling and colorful bazaar of Chandani Chowk.
The sightseeing continues to explore the best tourist attractions of New Delhi including President House the regal residence of British rulers, a palace built for British Viceroys. India gate; built to honour and pay a tribute to the Indian soldiers who sacrificed themselves during the Afghan war, then visit Birla Mandir built by the Birla family. Humayun’s Tomb, lotus shaped Bhai’s Temple, Qutub Minar; built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty. Overnight at hotel.
Day 07; Delhi - Bodhgaya (flight)
Breakfast at hotel, transfer to airport to board flight for Gaya. On arrival at Gaya airport assistance and transfer to hotel.
Bodhgaya, the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site, where Siddhartha Gautama attained full enlightenment after sitting and meditating under the Bodhi tree for 49 days. The primary points of homage here are the Bodhi tree (the current tree is a descendant of the original tree); the Vajrasana, or “diamond seat,” under the tree; and the Mahabodhi Temple, whose 52-meter spire rises up to the skies. The diamond seat, the oldest monument at Bodhgaya, is believed to have been erected by Ashoka to mark the spot where the Buddha gained ultimate liberation. The Mahabodhi Temple Compound includes a number of other shrines where the Buddha spent seven weeks immediately following his experience of nirvana.
Bodhgaya, now a World Heritage Site and a thriving tourist center, draws devotees from all over the world, who meditate, chant, offer flowers and incense, do prostrations, and engage in their respective rituals with great devotion and concentration. For many, sitting in meditation under the Bodhi tree, where the Buddha himself sat, is a profound spiritual experience. Overnight at hotel.
Day 08; Bodhgaya - Rajgir - Nalanda - Patna (180km/ 4hr approx)
Breakfast at hotel. Morning to visit Mahabodhi Temple. Afternoon drive to Patna via visiting Rajgir 400m high Vishwa Shanti Stupa & Nalanda a hot seat of knowledge and learning established in the 5th century.
Rajgir - was the largest city in Majjhimadesa during the Buddha’s time. Among the many notable places in the area are the tranquil Vulture’s Peak (Gijjhakuta), where the Buddha meditated, and the Sattapanni Cave, where the First Council was organized after the Buddha’s passing.
Nalanda - the Buddha spent time in Nalanda, and his two chief disciples, Sariputta and Moggallana, also came from its vicinity. Later, the acclaimed Buddhist monastic university thrived here until its destruction by invaders at the end of the 12th century. Today there is a new Nava Nalanda university as well as a beautiful memorial honoring the 7th-century Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang (Hsüan-tsang), whose work was indispensable for preserving India’s Buddhist heritage.
After sightseeing continue drive to Patna check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 09; Patna - Vaishali - Kesariya - Kushinagar (260kms/ 6 - 7hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Kushinagar enroute visit Vaishali a city of great importance in Buddhist history. Among other significant events, the Buddha admitted women into the monastic order at the Kutagarasala Vihara and delivered the famous Jewel Discourse (Ratana Sutta) to purge the city when faced with a devastating drought, famine, and plague.
Continue driver and visit Kesariya Stupa - Initially constructed as a mud stupa, it gained its present structure in the Maurya, Sunga and Kushana period. The stupa dates between 200 AD and 750 AD and may have been associated with the 4th-century ruler, Raja Chakravarti. Kesariya Stupa is 104 feet high. Huien Tsang mentions having seen the grand Stupa in Kia-shi-po-lo (Kesariya) but it was deserted and overgrown. The Kesariya stupa was discovered in 1958 during an excavation.
Arrive Kushinagar check in at hotel. Rest time free and easy to relax and visit the Mahapari-nirvaana Temple.
Day 10; Kushinagar - Lumbini (160kms/ 4hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel morning to visit Mahapari-nirvaana Temple.
The Buddha passed away at the age of 80 in Kushinagar. The important sites in Kushinagar are the Mahapari-nirvaana Temple, home to a superb 1,500-year-old red sandstone statue of the reclining Buddha, and the imposing Mahaparinirvana Stupa, which was built over the spot where the Buddha is said to have passed away under twin sal trees. The Buddha’s last words at Kushinagar were these: “All compounded things are subject to decay: strive with diligence” (Vaya dhamma sankhara; appamadena sampadetha). Pilgrims to Kushinagar walk in silence around the massive reclining statue of the Buddha to pay homage to the truth of anicca (impermanence) and cultivate a deep sense of gratitude for the Buddha and his teaching.
After sightseeing drive to Lumbini check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11; Lumbini
Breakfast at hotel full day to explore Lumbini.
Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born in Lumbini, in present-day southern Nepal. What is considered the exact location of the birth is identified by a stone slab in the inner sanctum of the Maya Devi Temple, named after Siddhartha’s mother. Above the stone slab is a damaged sculpture of Queen Maya Devi holding the branch of a sala tree after giving birth to Prince Siddhartha, who stands erect on a lotus pedestal. The oldest monument at Lumbini is the Ashoka Pillar, which marks it as the birthplace of the Buddha. A little south of the pillar is the spring-fed rectangular Puskarni pond, where Maya Devi is believed to have bathed before giving birth. The Sacred Garden, developed in recent years, lies beyond the Maya Devi compound and hosts some 40 monasteries from Asian Buddhist nations. At the end of a beautiful canal- and tree-lined avenue is the majestic World Peace Pagoda (Vishwa Shanti Stupa), built by the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Order. Today, the Lumbini Sacred Garden is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a symbol of world peace.
Kapilavastu - in Nepal where Prince Siddhartha spent the first 29 years of his life. However, some archaeologists believe that Piprahwa, in India’s Uttar Pradesh, ten miles south of the Nepali border, is the true location of Kapilavastu.
Day 12; Lumbini - Shravasti (160kms/ 3hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel drive to Sravasti check in at hotel. Afternoon sightseeing, overnight at hotel.
Shravasti - The Buddha spent 25 rain retreats at Shravasti (Pali, Savatthi). Three-fourths of the Buddha’s discourses, including the well-known Lovingkindness Discourse (Karaniya Metta Sutta), were given at Jetavana Vihara here, donated by the Buddha’s great lay disciple Anathapindika.
The ruins at Saheth and Maheth are believed to be the site of ancient Shravasti. Maheth was the city-proper while the Jetavana monastery was at Saheth. Of the ancient Shravasti, the city walls are still standing. Within these, the remains of 3 ancient buildings can be visited: Angulimala's stupa, Anathapindika's stupa, and an old temple dedicated to a Jain Tirthankara. Outside of Shravasti is located the stupa where the Twin Miracle (Pali:Yamaka-pātihāriya) took place. The site of Jetavana monastery is the main pilgrim destination, with meditation and chanting mainly done at the Gandhakuti (Buddha's hut) and the Anandabodhi tree. Buddhist monasteries from the following countries have been constructed at Shravasti: Thailand, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Tibet, and China.
Day 13; Shravasti – Varanasi (315kms/ 6hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Varanasi check in at hotel. Evening walking tour of Ghats’s temples & mosque on ghats. Also attend Holy Ganga Aarti, a magical aarti performed at Dasashwamedh Ghat at sunset. Halt your boat right at the steps for the best view. Overnight at hotel.
Day 14; Varanasi
Breakfast at hotels full day to explore Sarnath & Varanasi.
Sarnath - here the Buddha delivered his first discourse, the Dhammacakka Pavattana Sutta (Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion), which explains the four noble truths and the noble eightfold path. It was also in Sarnath that the Buddha appointed his first group of disciples (sangha) to propagate his new teaching. Among the most notable monuments at Sarnath are the Dhamek Stupa, originally built by Ashoka, and the Ashoka Pillar, whose inscription points out the necessity of unity within the sangha. The ruins of various stupas and monasteries at Sarnath bear witness to of the monastic tradition that flourished here for over 1,500 years; among the new temples is the Mulaghandhakuti Vihara, built in 1922 by Anagarika Dharmapala. Today, hundreds of pilgrims visit the Vihara every evening to chant the Dhammacakka Pavattana Sutta, acknowledging with their voices the wisdom and compassion that began to emanate from Sarnath with the Buddha’s first sermon.
City tour of Varanasi visit World famous Benaras Hindu University, The Ramnagar Fort Palace & Many Temples. Overnight at hotel.
Day 15; Varanasi – Khajuraho (Flight)
Early morning boat ride and Ghat visit along the Ganges and catch the scene of devotees bathing and praying in the sacred water. Breakfast at hotel. Later transfer to airport to board afternoon flight to Khajuraho. On arrival assistance and transfer to hotel, check in. Visit exceptionally well maintained UNESCO World Heritage Site, the different temples astonishing beauty. Khajuraho is breath taking and its temples are amongst the most popular in India. Over the course of the 11th and 12th centuries the Chandela dynasty created the most sublime examples of erotic sculpture in India. The temple of Khajuraho are India’s unique gift to the world, representing, as they do, a paean to life, to love, to joy, perfect in execution and sublime in expression on account of their remarkable erotic sculptures. Overnight at hotel.
Day 16; Khajuraho – Sanchi (350kms/ 7hrs)
Breakfast at hotel drive to Sanchi check in at hotel. Visit the oldest surviving Buddhist sanctuary in India, which was once the principal center for Buddhism in the country. It’s the Great Stupa, India’s finest Buddhist structure and one of the subcontinent’s oldest remaining religious monuments that define Sanchi. The stupa convenes at the heart of a reminiscent complex of temples and monasteries all of which exhibit a unique character.
Udayagiri Caves early Hindu ritual site, they were extensively carved and reworked under the command of Chandragupta II, Emperor of the Gupta Empire, in the late 4th and 5th century AD. Udayagiri has a series of rock-shelters and petroglyphs, ruined buildings, inscriptions, water systems, fortifications and habitation mounds, all of which have been only partially excavated. Overnight at hotel.
Day 17; Sanchi – Bhimbetka - Bhojpur - Bhopal (135kms/ 3hrs)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to visit the Bhimbetka rock shelters an archaeological site dating back to the Paleolithic age. They exhibit the earliest traces of human life on the Indian subcontinent, and show a gimps into the beginning of the South Asian during the Stone Age. Some of the shelters were inhabited by the homo erectus more than 100,000 years ago. Some of the stone age rock paintings found among the Bhimbetka rock shelters are roughly 30,000 years old.
Next proceed to Bhojpur and see its famous temple that is dedicated to Shiva. The temple houses one of the largest lingas in India and it's crafted out a single rock.
Arrive Bhopal check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 18; Bhopal - Delhi (flight)
Breakfast at hotel, city tour of Bhopal. Bhopal has beautiful parks and palaces, forward-thinking Muslim women ruled Bhopal. The city quickly modernized with the establishment of an early postal system and comprehensive rail network. Visit the historical Taj-ul-Masjid mosque, Jama Masjid and Shaukat Mahal to satisfy our soul with tales and stories.
Later transfer to airport to board flight Delhi. From Delhi board connecting flight for your onward destination.
Garland welcome and assistance of our office representative at airport
17 Nights/ 18 days accommodation in mentioned hotels or similar
Daily breakfast at hotel.
Bottled drinking water in car
Private English speaking guide in each cities on sightseeing days.
Private chauffer driven air-conditioned deluxe car for airport transfers, sightseeing & excursion as per program.
01 Time monument entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary. (Almost all places of tourist interest are included in our itinerary)
Applicable GST (Government taxes)
Hotel used or similar
Mumbai x 2 nights
3* - Hotel Suba Palace/ BW Hotel Sahil
4* - Sun-N-Sand Hotel/ Fariyas Hotel
5* - Trident Hotel/ ITC Grand Central
Aurangabad x 2 nights
3* - Keys Hotel The Aures/ Aurangabad Gymkhana Club
4* - Ambassador Ajanta / VITS Hotel
5* - WelcomHotel Rama International / Lemon Tree Hotel
Delhi x 2 nights
3* - Madhuban Hotel/ Meridian Plaza
4* - The Royal Plaza/ Country Inn & Suite Saket
5* - Le Meridien/ The Claridges
Bodhgaya x 1 night
3* - Hotel Taj Darbar/ Hotel Mahamaya
4* & 5* - The Royal Residency/ Lotus Nikko Hotel
Patna x 1 night
3* - Hotel Patliputra Ashok/ Patliputra Exotica
4* - Lemon Tree Premier/ Hotel Gargee Grand
5* - Maurya Hotel/ The Panache
Kushinagar x 1 nights
3* - Hotel The Ideal/ Hotel Adelphi Grande
4* & 5* - The Royal Residency/ Lotus Nikko Hotel
Lumbini x 2 nights
3* - Hotel Nirvana/ Lumbini Bamboo Resort
4* & 5* - Buddha Maya Hotel/ Lumbini Hokke Hotel
Sravasti x 1 night
3* - Hotel Pawan Palace/ the sravasti residency
4* & 5* - Lotus Nikko Hotel/ Hotel PlatinumBodhgaya x 1 night
3* - Hotel Taj Darbar/ Hotel Mahamaya
4* & 5* - The Royal Residency/ Lotus Nikko Hotel
Varanasi x 2 nights
3* - Meraden Grand/ Amaya Hotel
4* - Rivatas by Ideal/ Palace On Ganges
5* - Radisson Hotel/ Gateway Hotel Taj
Khajuraho x 1 night
3* - Ramada/Clarks Hotel
4* - Ramada/Clarks Hotel
5* - Radisson Hotel/ Hotel Chandela
Bhopal x 2 nights
3* - Lake View Ashok/ Hotel Grand Ashirwad
4* - Noor Us Sabha Palace/ Graces Resort
5* - Jehan Numa Palace/ Courtyard by Marriott
Any air fare
Camera charges at monuments
Main Meals, Lunch or dinner unless mentioned
Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
Or anything not mentioned above.