In the Footsteps of the Buddha
Day 1, VARANASI TO BODH GAYA
Situated 10 km north of Varanasi, it was in Sarnath that Gautama the Buddha preached his first sermon 2500 years ago. The Archeological Museum is worth a visit to view unique Buddha masterpieces.
In the afternoon drive from Varanasi to Bodh Gaya. It was here that Prince Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment beneath a bodhi tree and so became the Buddha. On this sacred spot now stands the majestic Mahabodhi Temple.
Stay at Taj Darbar for two nights.
Day 2, BODH GAYA
Bodh Gaya is not so much a town as a true Buddhist working centre surrounded by farmland and rural villages. The main site is the famous Mahabodhi temple built at the spot where Buddha became enlightened.
During the last century, Bodhgaya has been rejuvenated by overseas Buddhists, who have built an array of monasteries, temples and shrines. They attract pilgrims to study, meditate and absorb the ambience.
Day 3, BODH GAYA TO PATNA
Today you follow a trail of ancient and modern Buddhist sites by visiting the many shrines and temples at Rajgir, and the extensive ruins of nearby Nalanda, one of the ancient world's first universities.
You end the day in Patna, the capital of Bihar. The western part of the city still boasts gracious mansions and administrative buildings, while the area to the east includes the crowded, dusty old city with its bazaars and old mosques.
Stay at Hotel Maurya Patna.
Day 4, PATNA TO KUSHINAGAR
From Patna you continue to Kushinagar, stopping en route to visit Vaishali. This is where the Buddha preached his last sermon and announced his approaching Nirvana.
Kushinagar is celebrated as the place where the Buddha died and was cremated, and passed into nirvana. A modern temple, with a large "Reclining Buddha" statue, has been built to commemorate this, and various monuments relating to Buddha's last days on earth can be seen.
Stay at The Imperial Kushinagar.
Day 5, ONWARDS FROM KUSHINAGAR
From Kushinagar you return to Varanasi where your tour ends. Alternatively can you continue to the Nepalese border town of Lumbini, the place where the Buddha was born, and end at Kathmandu.
Ideas to personalize this sample itinerary:
There are plenty of ways to change this sample itinerary, either to extend your stay or experience different areas in more detail.
Visit Jharkhand's capital Ranchi
Explore Betla National Park
Discover Sikkim's Buddhist monasteries
Fact Finder for this Tour
- Sit below the sacred tree at Bodh Gaya where the Buddha gained enlightenment
- Walk up to Vultures Peak at Rajgir where the Buddha came to meditate
- Discover the vast ruins of the ancient university site of Nalanda
Daily from Varanasi Not advisable from April to October due to uncomfortable heat and monsoon rains.
From 700 USD per person - based on 2 people sharing
- Accommodation on twin share basis at selected hotels
- Stay on bed & breakfast basis
- English-speaking local guide for tour of Sarnath & Bodh Gaya
- Transport by air-conditioned vehicle with private chauffeur
- All transfers as per the itinerary
Tour price excludes
- International flights
- Entrance fees to historical monuments