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Buddhist Holidays India

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Buddhist Holidays India ( 13 nights / 14 days )
Day 01 / Arrival Mumbai
Arrive Mumbai, meet assist at the airport and transfer to hotel. Night stay in Mumbai.

Day 02 / Mumbai - Aurangabad ( By flight )
After leisurely breakfast proceed for sightseeing tour of Mumbai, like the Gateway of India, Elephanta Caves, Marine Drive and the Prince Wales Museum. Later in the evening transfer to the airport and board the flight to Aurangabad. Arrive Aurangabad and transfer to hotel. Night stay in Aurangabad.

Day 03 / Aurangabad
After breakfast explore the caves of Ajanta & Ellora. Ajanta caves which offer a rich tapestry of images that speak of palaces, royalty, cultures and tales of everyday life of ancient India. Long buried in the debris of time, these 30 caves were built to offer seclusion to the Buddhist monks, who lived, taught and performed rituals. Ellora caves. Carved between fourth and fifth century, the rock temples and monasteries of Ellora represent the three major faiths of India - Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Like Ajanta, Ellora caves too are a fine example of cave temples with almost 34 caves with intricate interiors and ornamental facades. Night stay in Aurangabad.

Day 04 / Aurangabad - Bhusaval ( By road ) Approx. 04hrs. drive Busaval - Bhopal ( By air-conditione train Dep. 15:10 hrs. Arriv. 21:45 hrs. )
After breakfast check out from the hotel. Later lunch in good restaurant and transfer to railway station to board the air-conditioned train to Bhopal. On arrival at Bhopal railway station meet assist and transfer to hotel. Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh is a noted for stunning natural beauty, quaint traditions, ancient edifices and currently the cosmopolitan culture. Night stay in Bhopal.

Day 05 / Bhopal ( Day excursion to Sanchi Stupa & Bhimbetka caves )
After a leisurely breakfast procced to excursion to Sanchi Stupa - Sanchi is an exotic example of Buddhist architecture of ancient India. It is believed that Emperor Ashoka (273-236 BC) built these most magnificent structures of ancient India called the Stupas.Later in the afternoon proceed to Bhimbetka caves - 130 rock shelters….Biggest repository of prehistoric art in India. One of the earliest dwellings of human beings, Bhimbetka will take you back to the history 35000 years old. In fact, the place has witnessed a cultural sequences right from the late stone age to the early historic period. They had lived here for one hundred millennium and had created their own stone floors, left behind hand-axes, cleavers, scrapers. Over these caves the Stone Age artists painted their hopes and fears, weaving an enchantment that still ensnares us. These specimen, display great vitality and narrative skill. One sees on the weather worn walls, rhinoceros, elephants, horses, as well as domestic animals. There are scenes of domestic bliss-a women with a child or performing household chores, and documentation of a hunt, raid during warfare. One cannot remain immune to the excitement that slowly builds up- a memorable moment in time when our ancestors were taking the leap from animal to human existence-groping cautiously to achieve social organization. Experimenting with community life. Later back to Bhopal. Night stay in Bhopal.

Day 05 / Bhopal - Agra ( By super fast air-conditioned train Dep. 14:40 hrs. Arriv. 20:40 hrs. )
After breakfast viist local sightseeing of Bhopal covering Tribal Habitat Museum - offers a fascinating insight into India's tribal culture , twin lakes. Afternoon transfer to raiwlay sttaion to board the super fast air-conditioned train to Agra. On arrival at Agra raiway station meet assist and transfer to hotel. Night stay in Agra.

Day 06 / Agra - Varanasi ( by overnight train in air-conditioned sleeper class Dep. 21:20 hrs. Arriv. 11:15 hrs. )
At sunrise visit the world famous Taj Mahal , one of the seven wonders of the world surely the most extravagant expression of love ever created. 20,000 men laboured for over 17 years to build this memorial to Shah Jahan's beloved wife. Also visit the Agra fort - the rusty and majestic red-sandstone fort of Agra stands on the banks of the river Yamuna and the construction was started by Emperor Akbar in 1566. At the Diwan-I-Am (hall of public audience), a colonnaded hall of red-sandstone with a throne alcove of inlaid marble at the back, the Emperor heard public petitions, Evening transfer to railway station to board the air conditioned sleeper train to Varanasi.

Day 07 / Varanasi
Arrive Varanasi, meet assist at the railway station & transfer to hotel. Later visit city sightseeing of Varanasi. Evening view “Aarti” ceremony on the Ghats. Night stay in Varanasi.

Day 08 / Varanasi - Bodhgaya ( By road ) Approx. 05 hrs. & half drive
Morning drive to Bodhgaya. Visiting Sarnath - where the Buddha preached his first sermon in the Deer Park, contains the most impressive remains, as well as a modern temple. Arrive Bodhgaya & transfer to hotel. Bodhgaya - As the place of the Buddha's Enlightenment, Bodhgaya is the spiritual home of Buhddhists. Bodhgaya situated near the river Niranjana, is one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage centres since it was here that Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Later visit Mahabodhi Temple, Niranjana River, Sujata Village. Night stay in Bodhgaya.

Day 09 / Bodhgaya - Ragjir ( By road ) Approx. 03 hrs. drive
After Breakfast drive to Rajgir enroute sightseeing of Nalanda. Rajgir -The picturesque Rajgir, or Rajagriha as it was known in the past (literally, the abode of kings) is surrounded by the meandering river Banganga and 5 hills. During the lifetime of the Buddha this was the capital of the powerful Magadhan kingdom, ruled by the virtuous King Bimbisara. The hills and caves surrounding Rajagriha were home to spiritual teachers, ranging from the materialism of the early Charavaka school to the metaphysics of Upanishadic philosophers. Like many others in search of truth, Prince Siddhartha, after he renounced his royal heritage came to this city to seek the path of vation. Nalanda -Nalanda was the most renowned university in ancient India. It derived its name from Na-alam-da, meaning Insatiable in Giving, one of the names by which the Lord Buddha was known. Arrive Rajgir and tranfer to hotel . Night stay in Rajgir.

Day 10 / Rajgir - Vaishali - Kushinagar ( By road ) Approx. 10 hrs. drive
After breakfast drive to Kushinagar,Kushinagar is where the Buddha finally attained Mahaparmirvana. Amongst the ruins are the Mukutbandhan Stupa and a beautiful statue of the reclining Buddha enroute visiting Vaishali. Arrive Kushinagar & transfer to hotel. Night stay in Kushinagar.

Day 11 / Kushinagar- Lumbini ( By road ) Approx. 05 hrs. drive
After breakfast visit the Mahaparinirvana Temple & Stupas , later drive to Lumbini & transfer to hotel. Lumbini - the birthplace of the Buddha, was located in 1890 after being untraced for 1,500 years. Evening sightseeing tour of Lumbini including a visit to the birth Place of Lord Buddha. Night stay in Lumbini.

Day 12 / Lumbini - Sravasti ( By road ) Approx. 06 hrs. drive
After breakfast drive to Lucknow enroute Sravasti - the capital of the ancient kingdom of Kosala, has the honour for sheltering Buddha for 24 rainy seasons in the Jetvana Gardens. 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. In Sravasti visit Saheth - Maheth & Jetvan. Night stay in Sravasti .

Day 13 / Sravasti - Lucknow ( By road ) Approx. 5 hrs. drive Lucknow - Delhi ( by fast air-conditioned train Dep. 15:35 hrs. Arriv. 22 :00 hrs. )
After breakfast drive to Lucknow & transfer to railway station to board the air conditioned train for Delhi. Arrive Delhi, pickup from railway station & transfer to hotel. Night stay in Delhi.

Day 14 / Delhi - Departure
After breakfast checkout from hotel and proceed for sightseeing tour of New Delhi where ornate buildings recall the days when India was the Jewel in the crown of the British empire. Visit the 11th century Qutab Minar ,India Gate and the grand government buildings, the President’s House, Mahatama Gandhi Memorial. Also visit Laxmi Narayan temple popularly known as Birla Temple. Evening transfer to airport to board the onward flight.

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