Rediscover the sanctity of the land of Buddha. This tour is specially designed to trace the footsteps of Gautam Buddha. It traverses through the remains of monasteries and gardens, through dusty plains to the Himalayan foothills, treading the sites long sanctified by Lord Buddha.
Absorb the aura of solemn grandeur that surrounds Bodhagaya - the cradle of enlightenment. Here more than 2500 years ago came Siddhartha, a young ascetic, having renounced royal heritage. As he gazed across the river Phalgu upon the serene landscape of Uruvea village (modern BodhGaya) he knew his quest had ended. Also visit the Lumbini Gardens, the birthplace of Prince Siddharth.
Kapilavastu is where the young prince spent his childhood and Sarnath is where he first took to preaching after attaining Enlightenment. Continue your experience with Nalanda, the famed ancient university, which is the bedrock of all Buddhist learning. The tour also navigates through Sravasti, Lucknow, Varanasi and Kushinagar, places which are associated with the life of the Buddha. Each city is teeming with possibilities for the discerning travelers seeking something beyond the routine tourist attractions.
Day 1: Depart from origin (you can ask us to include international flights if you choose).
Day 2: Arrive at Delhi (most flights arrive either in the evening or at night). Our services begin here. You are greeted at the airport by our Travel Facilitator or your Tour Director, and then ushered to a chauffeur driven vehicle. You are then driven to your hotel where you are assisted with your check in. The next few day’s plans are briefly reviewed and the Travel Facilitator or Tour Director hands over travel documents such as your air tickets and hotel vouchers to you.
Day 3: Delhi. Start your exploration of India with a city tour of Old Delhi that includes visits to the Jama Masjid (1650 AD) which is the largest mosque in India, and the amazing Red Fort (1639-48) which was the seat of the Moghul Empire for more than 250 years. Enjoy a rickshaw ride along the alleys of the ancient bazaar at Chandni Chowk. You also visit the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi (Raj Ghat).
There is a break for lunch.
After lunch, you continue with a half day city tour of New Delhi. This tour begins with a drive past Safdarjang’s Tomb (1753 AD) while driving to the Qutab Minar (1193 A.D.) which is a striking medieval tower of victory of Persian architectural style and is 239 ft high. Within the Qutab complex, amidst the ruins of Quwat-ul-Islam mosque, stands the Iron pillar which has stood the vagaries of weather and has not rusted over 1500 years. Later, visit the Tomb Moghul Emperor Humayun and then drive through Lutyens New Delhi which includes the Embassy area (Diplomatic enclave), Government buildings, India Gate, a golden domed Sikh Temple (Bangla Sahib Gurudwara), Birla Temple and Connaught Place, which is New Delhi’s main shopping area.
Day 4: Delhi - Varanasi. Board the mid-morning flight to Varanasi. Check in to your hotel upon arrival.
Afternoon – Enjoy a visit to Sarnath, where the Buddha gave his first discourse. If time allows, proceed for a sightseeing tour of Varanasi that includes visits to the numerous temples that dot the banks of the holy river. You will be able to walk through the narrow lanes and stop by at the bazaars to have a look at, among other things, the world famous Banaras silks.
Sunset cruise on the Ganga – cruise on the Ganga at sunset and have a grandstand view to witness to the ancient prayer and oil lamp ceremony, as hundreds of lamps are sent floating on the holy river as the sun sets.
Day 5: Varanasi – Bodhgaya. Start your day with a sunrise boat cruise on the Ganga - duration about two hours – The best time to visit the Ghats is dawn when pilgrims take their morning dip. The most famous Ghat is the Dasadwamedh Ghat from where we begin this tour. Enjoy the boat ride while looking out for the people on the Ghats – the women bathing discreetly in their sarees, the young men displaying prowess in yogic postures & the Brahmin priests offering prayers.
Check out of your hotel and proceed on the drive to BodhGaya. Arrive at BodhGaya in the late afternoon and check in to your hotel.
Day 6: BodhGaya. Morning – Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Bodhgaya, including the spot where Buddha attained enlightenment under the Mahabodhi tree.
Afternoon – You are at leisure with no services from ETI
Day 7: BodhGaya – Patna. Check out of your hotel in the morning and drive to Patna (220 kms/6 hours). Stop en route to visit the ancient university of Nalanda, which was a seat of Buddhist learning. Also tour Rajgir, the ancient capital of the Magadha kingdom.
Arrive at Patna and check in to your hotel.
Day 8: Patna. Morning proceed for an excursion to nearby Vaishali (55 kms/1.5 hours). Among the wonders you will get to experience is one of the seven Ashoka pillars and the Anand Stupa.
Return to Patna by the afternoon and you are at leisure to explore the old city with your guide and driver who are available to you till 6 pm.
Day 9: Patna – Kushinagar. Check out of your hotel in the morning and drive to Kushinagar (260 kms/7 hours). Arrive at Kushinagar and check in to your hotel. Afternoon – Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Kushinagar. This is where Lord Buddha passed into Mahaparinirvana at the age of 80.
Day 10: Kushinagar – Lumbini (Nepal). Check out of your hotel in the morning and drive to Lumbini (160 kms/5 hours). Lumbini is the birth place of Lord Buddha.
Afternoon - Proceed for a sightseeing tour of Lumbini where you will see another amazing Ashoka Pillar, the Sacred Pond, the Maya Devi Temple, the Temple of Lords, and the ruins of an ancient monastery.
Day 11: Lumbini - Kapilavastu – Sravasti. Check out of your hotel in the morning and drive to Sravasti. Stop at Kapilavastu on the way and tour the area where Gautam Buddha spent his early childhood (240 kms/7-8 hours).
Afternoon – Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Sravasti, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Kosala.
Day 12: Sravasti – Lucknow. Check out of your hotel at your leisure (by 11 am) and drive to Lucknow (220 kms/6 hours).
Evening – Arrive at Lucknow and check in to your hotel.
Day 13: Lucknow – Delhi – International Flight. In the morning you can enjoy a sightseeing tour of the ancient Lucknow, the city of the Nawabs and Begums.
Afternoon – you are driven to the airport to board your flight to Delhi.
Arrive at Delhi and you are greeted at the airport by our travel facilitator and your personal driver. Do any last minute shopping and sightseeing that you feel you may have left for the end.
Your vehicle and driver stay with you till your (usually late evening) assisted check in at the airport.
Our services end at Delhi airport.
Day 14: Arrive at your next destination.