Day 1: Arrive Bodhgaya
Upon arrival at Gaya airport, you'll be received and transferred to your hotel in Bodhgaya. After settling in, you'll embark on a visit to the Mahabodhi Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which enshrines a large golden Buddha and is surrounded by an ancient railing dating back to 100 BC. The temple complex also includes the sacred Bodhi Tree, believed to be where Buddha attained enlightenment, and the Vajrasana where Buddha sat. In addition, you'll explore the Great Buddha Statue, Tibetan Monastery, Burmese Temple, Chinese Temple, and more. You'll spend the night at the hotel.
Day 2: Bodhgaya - Patna (180km)
After breakfast, your journey continues as you drive to Patna via two significant Buddhist sites. In Rajgir, you'll find spiritual serenity amidst dense forests, mysterious caves, and springs. Rajgir is famous for its religious shrines related to both Buddhism and Jainism. You'll visit places like Vulture's Peak (Gijjhakuta) and the Sattapanni Cave. Next, you'll explore Nalanda, an ancient center of learning and home to Nalanda University. You'll witness the ruins of this prestigious institution and its historical significance. Upon arrival in Patna, you'll check in at the hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 3: Patna - Vaishali - Kesariya - Kushinagar (260km)
Today's journey takes you to Kushinagar, but you'll make two stops en route. First, in Vaishali, you'll visit sites such as the Ashokan Pillar, the Vishwa Shanti Stupa, and a museum. Then, at Kesariya, you'll explore Kesariya Stupa, a significant Buddhist monument dating back to ancient times. Continuing your drive, you'll reach Kushinagar and check in at your hotel. Here, you'll visit Mahapari-nirvaana Temple, the Ramabhar Stupa, and more. Kushinagar holds immense spiritual importance in Buddhism, being the place of Buddha's passing away. The city is home to various Buddhist monasteries and temples, offering a serene atmosphere for reflection. You'll spend the night in Kushinagar.
Day 4: Kushinagar - Lumbini (160km)
After breakfast, you'll travel to the Sonauli border, where you'll switch to a Nepali vehicle for the onward journey to Lumbini. Upon reaching Lumbini, you'll check in at your hotel and have the rest of the day at your leisure to unwind. Lumbini is revered as the birthplace of Lord Buddha and holds great significance for Buddhists worldwide. It's a place of pilgrimage with numerous temples, monuments, and the Sacred Garden, all honoring Buddha's life and teachings. You'll spend the night in Lumbini.
Day 5: Lumbini
Today, you'll explore Lumbini further. You'll visit important sites such as the Maya Devi Temple, the Ashokan Pillar, the Chinese Maitreya Temple, the Myanmar Golden Temple, and the Shanti Stupa. Lumbini is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a symbol of world peace. The Maya Devi Temple, in particular, is believed to mark the exact spot of Buddha's birth and is a place of deep reverence. Lumbini's serene ambiance and historical significance make it a spiritually enriching experience. You'll spend another night at the hotel.
Day 6: Lumbini - Shravasti (160km)
After breakfast, you'll proceed to the Sonauli border, where you'll transition back to your Indian driver for the journey to Shravasti. Upon arrival, you'll check in at the hotel and explore the ancient city of Shravasti. This city holds special significance as Lord Buddha spent 25 rain retreats here and delivered many teachings. You'll visit the Jetavana Vihara, Saheth and Maheth ruins, Angulimala's stupa, Anathapindika's stupa, and more. Shravasti is a place where the teachings of Buddha continue to echo through the centuries. You'll spend the night in Shravasti.
Day 7: Shravasti - Varanasi (315km)
Today, you'll drive to Varanasi, one of India's oldest and holiest cities. Upon arrival, you'll check in at the hotel and prepare for a mesmerizing evening by attending the Ganga Aarti ceremony on the banks of the sacred Ganges River. This ceremony is a magical spectacle, with brass lamps lit, priests chanting holy mantras, and the entire Ghat illuminated with a divine light. The spiritual atmosphere is truly captivating. You'll spend the night in Varanasi.
Day 8: Varanasi
Your day in Varanasi begins with an early morning boat ride along the Ganges, where you'll witness the rituals and devotion of pilgrims bathing and praying by the river. Afterward, you'll visit Banaras Hindu University, Bharat Mata Temple, Tulsi Manas Mandir, and Sarnath, the place where Buddha delivered his first sermon. Sarnath is adorned with the grand Dhamekh Stupa and the serene Mahaparinirvana Stupa. Optional visits include the Ram Nagar Fort, known for its unique museum featuring vintage cars, swords, palanquins, and an astrological clock. You'll spend another night in Varanasi.
Day 9: Varanasi - Departure
Your spiritual and cultural journey comes to an end today. After breakfast, you'll be transferred to the airport for your onward flight, filled with memories of your remarkable journey through the sacred and historic sites of India and Nepal.