Arrive Delhi at 1220 hours. You will be met on arrival (after clearing passport and customs formalities) and transferred to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure to relax and acclimatise.
Delhi – Patna – by air
Morning transfer to Delhi airport for Indian Airlines flight IC809 departing at 1040 hours, arriving Patna at 1345 hours. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel.
All day visit to Vaishali, where the Buddha preached his last sermon, and where the second Buddhist Council was held 10 years after his death.
Patna to Rajgir – 102kms
Depart by car for Rajgir, where the Buddha preached at the Vulture’s Peak. Ascend to the peak by cable car. Enroute visit Nalanda, one of the greatest universities of the ancient world.
Rajgir to Bodhgaya – 103kms
This afternoon depart by car for Bodhgaya, the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in the world. The focal point is the Mahabodhi Temple. The Bo tree growing here is said to be a direct descendant of the original tree, under which the Buddha sat, meditated and achieved enlightenment. Bodhgaya is a small quiet village near the river Niranjana and offer a unique opportunity to relax, learn about Buddhism and meditate. Own arrangements on arrival.
Days 6 & Days 7
Two full days to tour Bodhgaya visiting the Mahabodhi Temple, the Bodhi Tree of Enlightenment and other temples.
Bodhgaya to Varanasi – 243kms
After breakfast depart by car to Varanasi. Situated on the banks of the sacred Ganges, Varanasi has been a centre of learning and pilgrimage for over 2000 years and is considered to be one of the oldest surviving cities in the world. In the past Varanasi has been known as Benares and Kashi, but its present name is a restoration of an ancient name meaning the city between rivers, the Varuana and Asi. With its array of temples, palaces and crowded ghats rising tier over tier above the water, it is not surprising that Varanasi is considered to be one of the most colourful and interesting cities in India.
Early morning boat ride on the Ganges to view the sunrise and witness the pilgrims who gather to perform their religious rituals along the banks of the river. After breakfast explore the city visiting the Bharat Mata Temple and the Durga Temple commonly known as the Monkey Temple. Next to the Durga Temple you will find the Tulsi Manas Temples which is a modern marble shikara-style temple built in 1964. A visit will also be made to Benares Hindu University and the noted Golden Temple.
Varanasi : Morning
Morning at leisure. In the afternoon drive 10km outside the city to Sarnath where Buddha first preached his message of enlightenment 2500 years ago. Visit the excavated stupas, the archaeological museum and the Mulgandha Kuti-Vihar Temple.
Varanasi to Kathmandu
Early morning boat ride down the Ganges river for a sunrise cruise to observe the ceremonies that take place along the bathing Ghats where pilgrims come to bath in the sacred waters. Fly to Kathmandu.