Buddhist Tours

Buddhist Trails
  • Tour Duration: 11 Night / 12 Days
  • Destination: Kolkata – Bodhgaya – Rajgir – Nalanda – Patna – Vaisali – Sarnath – Kushinagar – Lumbini – Kapilvastu – Sravasti – Delhi
Days 01 : Arrive Kolkata

Arrive Kolkata. Upon arrival meeting and assistance by NTP representative who will escort you to the hotel.
Overnight at hotel in Kolkata.

Days 02 : Kolkata / Bodhgaya (450 km / 9 hrs )

Morning after breakfast drive to Bodhgaya.Lunch in highway restaurant.Upon arrival check in at hotel.

Overnight at hotel in Bodhgaya.

Days 03 : Bodhgaya

After breakfast, take a tour of Bodhgaya. As the place of the Buddha’s Enlightenment, Bodhgaya is the spiritual home of Buddhists. Bodhgaya situated near the river Niranjana, is one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage centers since it was here that Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Later proceed for sightseeing including MahabodhiTemple ,Sujata Village, and Monasteries of different country’s around the city.

Overnight at hotel in Bodhgaya.

Days 04 : Bodhgaya-Rajgir-Nalanda-Patna (182 kms – 5 hrs)

Morning after breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Patna visiting Rajgir and Nalanda. The city of Rajgir was the first capital of the kingdom of Magadha, a state that would eventually evolve into the Mauryan Empire. Its date of origin is unknown, although ceramics dating to about 1000 BC have been found in the city.

Visit Rajgir. Rajgir pilgrimage is a very important Buddhist site since Lord Buddha spent 12 years over here and also preached two sermons. The first Buddhist Council, after the attainment of Nirvana by Buddha, was hosted over here in the Saptaparni caves. Buddha’s favorite retreat was at the Jivkamaravana monastery located amidst scenic thickets. Venuvana is a park presented to Buddha by king Bimbisara, who also built a vihara in it.

Later visit Griddhkuta Gautama Buddha spent several months meditating, and preaching at Griddhkuta, (‘Hill of the Vultures’) Further, drive to Nalanda. Here you can visit the ruins of the oldest known university of the world. The excavations undertaken at the site have unearthed a huge complex of a University founded and patronized by the Gupta emperors.

Drive continues to Patna. Upon arrival check in at hotel.

Overnight at hotel in Patna.

Days 05 : Patna/Sarnath via Vaishali (235 km / 5-6 hrs )

Morning after breakfast drive to Sarnathenroute visiting Vaishali. Buddha first visited Vaishali in the fifth year after his Enlightenment, and spent the rainy season here. It is the palace where Gautama Buddha delivered his last sermon at Vaishali and announced his Parinirvana. Visit Ananda Stupa, and Asokan pillar at Kolhua, Vaishali.

Drive to Sarnath. Upon arrival check in at a hotel.Evening free for relaxation.

Overnight at hotel in Sarnath.

Days 06 : Sarnath

Early morning excursion to Varansi for seeing the spectacular sunrise at holy river Ganges. Take a boat ride in the holly river from boat and you may witness the marvelous sun rising above the waters. At the same time you can see many people offering prayers in the water. Later return back to hotel for breakfast and visit Sarnath (also Mrigadava, Migadāya, Rishipattana, Isipatana) It is the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. Dhamek Stupa, MulagandhaKutiVihar, Chaukhandi Stupa.

Later in afternoon, free in Sarnath.

Overnight stay at hotel in sarnath.

Days 07 : Sarnath / Kushinagar (265 km / 6 hrs )

After breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Kushinagar. Upon arrival check in at a hotel.Kushinagar is named after the sacred death-place of Lord Buddha. At Kushinagar, Lord Buddha, an apostle of peace, compassion and non-violence, attained Mahaparinirvana (Salvation) in 483 BC.

Later in the evening free for relaxation in the hotel.

Overnight stay at hotel in Kushinagar.

Days 08 : Kushinagar / Lumbini (180 km / 5 hrs )

Morning after breakfast visit the main site in Kushinagar. The two places most frequently visited in Kushinagar are the Mahaparinirvana Stupa, which is built on the place of Buddha’s Mahaparinirvana (Great Nirvana or passing away), and the place of his cremation, which is 1.6 km away. Close to the Mahaparinirvana Stupa is located a 1500 year old image of Buddha as he attained Parinirvana. The Mahaparinirvana Stupa is surrounded by ruins of ancient monasteries.
Later after noon drive to Lumbani (Nepal). Upon arrival check in at hotel.

Lumbini is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Rupandehi district of Nepal, near the Indian border.

It is the place where Queen Mayadevi is said to have given birth to Siddhartha Gautama.

Overnight stay at hotel in Lumbini.

Days 09 : Lumbini / Kapilvastu/ Lumbini

Morning after breakfast visit Lumban.Lumbini has a number of temples, including the Mayadevi temple and the Ashokan Pillar. South of the Ashokan Pillar, there is the famous sacred pool ‘Puskarni’ believed to be the same sacred pool in which Maya Devi took a holy dip just before giving birth to the Lord and also where infant Buddha was given his first purification bath.

Later afternoon half day excursion of Kapilvastu
Located 27 km. west of Lumbini lies the ruins of historic town of ‘Kapilvastu’. Believed to be the capital of Shakya republic where the Lord lived and enjoyed his life until his thirteeth year.

Evening return back to Lumbani.Overnight stay at hotel in Lumbani.

Days 10 : Lumbini /Sravasti (225 km / 5 -6 hrs )

Morning after breakfast drive to Sravasti. Upon arrival check in at hotel and later in the afternoon visit Sravasti. It is believed that Sravasti, also known as Sahet-Mahet, was founded by the legendary king Sravast. This place is important from Buddhism point of view because Lord Buddha performed a number of miracles here. It was in Sravasti that He displayed a million fold manifestation of himself. He was seated on a lotus (with thousand petals), with fire and water radiating from His body.
Overnight stay at hotel in Sravasti.

Days 11 : Sravasti / Lucknow (208 km / 5-6 hrs ) Lucknow / New Delhi by train Train details : Lucknow SwarnShatabdi 2003 Departure: 1535 Hrs , Arrival : 2205 Hrs

Morning after breakfast drive to Lucknow. Upon arrival transfer to Lucknow railway station to board train for New Delhi.
Upon arrival at Delhi, meet our representative who will further escort you to the hotel.
Overnight stay at hotel in New Delhi.

Days 12 : Departure Delhi

Morning after breakfast take a tour of Old Delhi, the 17th century walled city of Shah Jahanabad. Visit the great Jama Masjid, the principal mosque of Old Delhi. Built in the year 1656 AD by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, it is the largest & best known mosque in India. Later we walk down through Chandi Chowk, the old marketplace of Shah Jahanabad now a picturesque bazaar to reach Red Fort, built in the year 1648 by Shah Jehan.

In New Delhi, we visit Raj Ghat, memorial to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. It is a simple black marble platform that marks the spot of his cremation on 31 January 1948. Further we drive past India Gate, memorial built in the year 1931 to commemorate the Indian soldiers who died in the World War I & the Afghan Wars. The names of the soldiers who died in these wars are inscribed on the walls. President’s House, the official residence of the President of India, built in the year 1931. Until 1950 it was known as Viceroy’s House & served as the residence of the Governor-General of British India. We will also visit Humayun’s Tomb, memorial of Mughal Emperor Humayun, built in the year 1562. The complex is a World Heritage Site & the first example of this type of Mughal architecture in India. QutubMinar built in the year 1206 by Qutub-ud-din Aibek. It is the tallest (72m) brick minaret in the world, an important example of Indo-Islamic Architecture. QutubMinar& its monuments are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Later in the evening transfer to international airport to board flight for onward Journey.

Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour With Taj Mahal
  • Tour Duration: 13 Night / 14 Days
  • Destination: Kolkata – Bodhgaya – Rajgir – Nalanda – Patna – Vaisali – Sarnath – Kushinagar – Lumbini – Kapilvastu – Sravasti – Delhi
Days 01 : Arrive Delhi

Arrive Delhi. Meet and assistance by NTP India Tourism representative who will assist you to the hotel.

Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds the ancient with modern. Its strategic location was the prime reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power. In fact, more mythological cities are believed to be here, like the city of Indraprastha from the Hindu epic Mahabharata, founded around 5000 BC. Numerous monuments were built over several centuries by different rulers like Qutub-ud-din Aibek, AlauddinKhilji, Tughlaks, Humayun& Shah Jahan, who built the Walled City of Shah Jahanabad.

Later in first half of 20th century much of New Delhi was planned by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who laid out a grandiose central administrative area as a testament to British rule in India. The division in walled city & New Delhi also marks the division in life styles.

Overnight stay in Delhi.

Days 02 : Delhi

Morning after breakfast take a tour of Old Delhi, the 17th century walled city of Shah Jahanabad. Visit the great Jama Masjid, the principal mosque of Old Delhi. Built in the year 1656 AD by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, it is the largest & best known mosque in India. Later walk down through Chandi Chowk, the old marketplace of Shah Jahanabad now a picturesque bazaar to reach Red Fort, built in the year 1648 by Shah Jehan.

In New Delhi, visit Raj Ghat, memorial to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. It is a simple black marble platform that marks the spot of his cremation on 31 January 1948. Further we drive past India Gate, memorial built in the year 1931 to commemorate the Indian soldiers who died in the World War I & the Afghan Wars. The names of the soldiers who died in these wars are inscribed on the walls. President’s House, the official residence of the President of India, built in the year 1931. Until 1950 it was known as Viceroy’s House & served as the residence of the Governor-General of British India. visitHumayun’s Tomb, memorial of Mughal Emperor Humayun, built in the year 1562. The complex is a World Heritage Site & the first example of this type of Mughal architecture in India. Also visit QutubMinar built in the year 1206 by Qutub-ud-din Aibek. It is the tallest (72m) brick minaret in the world, an important example of Indo-Islamic Architecture.

QutubMinar& its monuments are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Overnight stay in Delhi.

Days 03 : Delhi – Jaipur (265 km – 5hr)

Morning after breakfast drive to Jaipur, popularly known as Pink City, the flamboyant & colourful capital of Rajasthan. With its rich & colourful past, resplendent with tales of valour & bravery, it is now one of the most important heritage cities in India. The city was founded in the year 1728 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber. It remains the only city in the world symbolizing the nine divisions of the universe, through nine rectangular sectors. Upon arrival check in at hotel. Evening free in Jaipur.

Overnight stay in Jaipur.

Days 04 : Jaipur

Morning after breakfast excursion to Amber Fort, the palace complex which stands to this date was commenced under the reign of Raja Man Singh. Take an Elephant ride to reach the Fort situated on the hill, an overwhelming experience.

Later visit the City Palace, a perfect blend of Rajasthani& Mughal architecture. The center of the palace is a seven-storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine views over the gardens & the city. Further we visit JantarMantar (Solar Observatory), an astronomical treasure house, with solar devices that give accurate predictions till date. We also visit Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), a five-storied structure of pink sandstone. It was built in the year 1799 so that veiled royal women could peer down the busy street market unseen by the world through its 593 stone Jharokas.

Overnight stay in Jaipur.

Days 05 : Jaipur – Agra via FatehpurSikri (235 km 5 hr)

After breakfast drive to Agra, en route visit FatehpurSikri (Ghost Capital), the political capital of India’s Mughal Empire under Akbar’s reign, from the year 1571 until 1585, when it was abandoned, ostensibly due to lack of water. Visit Emperor Akbar’s Residential complex, Mosque & Tomb of Salim Chisti.

Further drive to Agra, beautifully situated on the banks of river Yamuna. It achieved prominence as the capital of the Mughals Emperors from the year 1526 to 1628, remains major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era monuments, most notably the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort &FatehpurSikri, all three are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Upon arrival at Agra, check-in at hotel.

Overnight stay in Agra

Days 06 : Agra / Varanasi by Overnight train

Train Details: Magadh Express 2402 Departure :2330 Hrs Arrival : 0740 hrs
At morning, witness one of most beautiful among the Seven Wonders of the World: Taj Mahal with its speculative view at the time of sunrise. Taj Mahal, the architectural modern day wonder of the world is a fine example of the fusion of many architectural styles is one of the wonders of the modern world. Taj, endowed it with some of the loveliest buildings in the world.

Return to hotel for breakfast and visit Agra Fort, designed and built by Akbar in 1565 A.D. Built with barricaded wall of red sand stone, it houses the beautiful and numerous palaces including the Jahangir Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Am, MacchhiBhawan, Nagina Masjid, , Moti Masjid, Sheesh Mahal, MusammanBurj where from Taj Mahal is visible in all its beauty from one side of the fort. Emperor Sahahjahan, prisoner of his son Aurangzeb in his old age was put in a cell from where he could gaze at the Taj Mahal at a distance, from his cell in the fort. Also visit the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daullah built by Empress Noorjehan in memory of her father.

Later visits Sikandra Tomb. Akbar was the third emperor of the Mughal dynasty. Before his death in 1605 Akbar started building the magnificent edifice at Sikandra which was later completed by he son Jahangir. The tomb stands in a large walled garden which can only now be entered through a magnificent gateway

Later in the evening transfer to railway station to board train for Varanasi.

Night on Board Note:

Taj Mahal Closed on Friday

Days 07 : Arrival Varanasi at 0740 hrs by train

Arrive Varanasi. Meet and assistance by representative and later transfer to the hotel. Varanasi, also commonly known as Benares, is a city situated on the banks of the River Ganges in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and probably the oldest of India.

Later visit Sarnath. It is the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. Dhamek Stupa, MulagandhaKutiVihar, ChaukhandiStupaOvernight stay in Varanasi.

Days 08 : Varanasi – Sravasti ( 300 kms / 7- 8hrs drive)

Early morning excursion to Varansi for seeing the spectacular sunrise at holy river Ganges. Take a boat ride in the holly river and from boat you may witness the marvelous sun rising above the waters. At the same time you can see many people offering prayers in the water.

Days 09 : SravastiLumbini (225 kms / 5-6 hrs drive)

Morning after breakfast visit Sravasti where the Buddha preached most of his sermons. It is believed that Sravasti, also known as Sahet-Mahet, was founded by the legendary king Sravast. This place is important from Buddhism point of view because Lord Buddha performed a number of miracles here. It was in Sravasti that He displayed a million fold manifestation of himself. He was seated on a lotus (with thousand petals), with fire and water radiating from His body.

During the monsoon, Buddha used to stay at the Jetavana monastery on the outskirts of this town.
Visit SahetMahet and Angulimal caves.
Afternoon drive to Lumbini. Lumbini is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Rupandehi district of Nepal, near the Indian border. It is the place where Queen Mayadevi is said to have given birth to Siddhartha Gautama.
Upon arrival check in at hotel. Overnight stay in Lumbini.

Days 10 : Lumbini Kushinagar (182 kms / 05 hrs drive)

Morning after breakfast visit Lumbini. Lumbini has a number of temples, including the Mayadevi temple, The Ashokan Pillar, South of the Ashokan Pillar, there is the famous sacred pool ‘Puskarni’ believed to be the same sacred pool in which Maya Devi took a holy dip just before giving birth to the Lord and also where infant Buddha was given his first purification bath. And other ruins.

Later drive to Kushinagar. Kushinagar is named after the sacred death-place of Lord Buddha. At Kushinagar, Lord Buddha, an apostle of peace, compassion and non-violence, attained Mahaparinirvana (Salvation) in 483 BC.

Upon arrival check in at hotel and later visit the main site in Kushinagar. The two places most frequently visited in Kushinagar are the Mahaparinirvana Stupa, which is built on the place of Buddha’s Mahaparinirvana (Great Nirvana or passing away), and the place of his cremation, which is 1.6 km away. Close to the Mahaparinirvana Stupa is located a 1500 year old image of Buddha as he attained Parinirvana. The Mahaparinirvana Stupa is surrounded by ruins of ancient monasteries.

Overnight stay in Kushinagar.

Days 11 : Kushinagar – Vaishali Patna (approx. 256 kms and 07 hrs drive)

After breakfast drive to Patna en-route visiting Vaishali-The Buddha first visited Vaishali in the fifth year after his Enlightenment, and spent the rainy season here, It is the palace where Gautama Buddha delivered his last sermon and announced his Parinirvana. Visit Ananda Stupa, and Asokan pillar at Kolhua in Vaishali

Drive continue to Patna, Upon arrival check in at hotel. Overnight at Patna

Days 12 : Patna Rajgir/Nalanda Bodhgaya (182 km / 6 hrs )

Morning after breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Bodhgaya visiting Rajgir and Nalanda, Ragir – The city of Rajgir was the first capital of the kingdom of Magadha, a state that would eventually evolve into the Mauryan Empire. Its date of origin is unknown, although ceramics dating to about 1000 BC have been found in the city.

Visit Rajgiri ,Rajgir pilgrimage is a very important Buddhist site since Lord Buddha spent 12 years over here and also preached two sermons. The first Buddhist Council, after the attainment of Nirvana by Buddha, was hosted over here in the Saptaparni caves. Buddha’s favorite retreat was at the Jivkamaravana monastery located amidst scenic thickets. Venuvana; a park presented to Buddha by king Bimbisara, who also built a vihara in it.

Later visit Griddhkuta Gautama Buddha spent several months meditating, and preaching at Griddhkuta, (‘Hill of the Vultures’)

Further drive continues to Nalanda. Here you can visit the ruins of the oldest known university of the world. The excavations undertaken at the site have unearthed a huge complex of a University founded and patronized by the Gupta emperors.

Drive continues to Bodhgaya. Bodhgaya is the place of the Buddha’s Enlightenment and spiritual home of Buddhists. It attracts many believers from all over the world. Bodhgaya situated near the river Niranjana, is one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage centers and in the second place of the four holy sites in Buddhism. Upon arrival check in at hotel.
Overnight stay in Bodhgaya.

Days 13 : Bodhgaya / New Delhi by train

Train Details: Calcutta Rajdhani 2301 Departure : 2239 Hrs, Arrival: 0955 hrs
Morning after breakfast, take a tour of Bodhgaya. As the place of the Buddha’s Enlightenment, Bodhgaya is the spiritual home of Buddhists. 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 proceed for the sightseeing including MahabodhiTemple ,Sujata Village and Monasteries of different country’s around the city.Later in the evening transfer to Gaya railway station to board train for New Delhi.

Night on Board

Days 14 : Arrive Delhi / Departure to home country

Arrive Delhi from Gaya. Meet our representative at New Delhi railway station and further transfer to International airport to board flight for onward destination.

Dharamsala Buddhist tour with Taj Mahal
  • Tour Duration: 07 Night / 08 Days
  • Destination: Delhi – Dharamsala – Mcleodganj – New Delhi – Jaipur – Agra – New Delhi
Days 01 : Arrive Delhi

Arrive at Delhi. Meeting and assistance at the airport by NTP representative who will assist you to the hotel.

Delhi is a busy metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds the ancient with modern. Its planned location was the prime reason why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power. In fact, more mythological cities are believed to be here, like the city of Indraprastha from the Hindu epic Mahabharata, founded around 5000 BC. Numerous monuments were built over several centuries by different rulers like Qutub-ud-din Aibek, AlauddinKhilji, Tughlaks, Humayun& Shah Jahan, who built the Walled City of Shah Jahanabad.

Later in first half of 20th century, most of New Delhi was planned by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who laid out an ostentatious central administrative area as a testament to British rule in India. The division in walled city & New Delhi also marks the division in life styles.Overnight stay in Delhi.

Days 02 : Delhi / Pathankot by Overnight train

Train: Jammu Mail -4033 Departure: 2100 hrs Arrival : 0650 hrs
After breakfast, tour Old Delhi, the 17th century walled city of Shah Jahanabad. Visit Jama Masjid, the principal mosque of Old Delhi. Built in the year 1656 AD by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, it is the largest & best known mosque in India. Later walk through Chandi Chowk, the old marketplace of Shah Jahanabad which is now a picturesque bazaar to reach Red Fort, built in the year 1648 by Shah Jehan.
In New Delhi, visit Raj Ghat, memorial to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. It is a simple black marble platform that marks the spot of his cremation on 31 January 1948. Further we drive past India Gate, the memorial built in the year 1931 to commemorate the Indian soldiers who died in the World War I & the Afghan Wars. The names of the soldiers who died in these wars are inscribed on the walls. Bypass President’s House, the official residence of the President of India, built in the year 1931. Until 1950 it was known as Viceroy’s House & served as the residence of the Governor-General of British India. Visit Humayun’s Tomb, memorial of Mughal Emperor Humayun, built in the year 1562. The complex is a World Heritage Site & the first example of its type of Mughal architecture in India. Also visit QutubMinar built in the year 1206 by Qutub-ud-din Aibek. It is the tallest (72m) brick minaret in the world and an important example of Indo-Islamic Architecture. QutubMinar& its monuments are listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Later in the evening transfer to railway station to board train for Pathankot. Night on Board

Days 03 : Pathankot / Dharamsala (92 km / 3 hrs appx.)

In the morning, arrive at Pathankot and meet our representative at railway station and further drive to Dharamsala. Situated in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamsala is a beautiful hill station and is also the place where spiritual leader of Tibetans, Dalai Lama has established the government in exile.
Upon arrival, check-in at hotel. Later in the afternoon, you would be free for relaxation. Overnight at Dharamsala.

Days 04 : Dharamsala

After breakfast, go for sightseeing of Dharamsala including verdant surroundings. Day will begin with a tour of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) and attend the cultural programs that are performed there. The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) is the premiere exile institute entrusted with the responsibility of preserving and promoting Tibet’s unique tradition of performing arts. The Communist Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959 forced His Holiness the Dalai Lama and some 80,000 Tibetans to flee india. After the occupation, the Chinese authorities attacked every aspect of Tibetan culture and civilization.

On His arrival in India, His Holiness the Dalai Lama felt the need to take immediate steps to preserve the traditional performing arts before it was lost forever. Thus, TIPA was established in August 1959, four months after His arrival in India.

Thereafter, visit Norbulingka. The dreams that gave rise to the Norbulingka Institute began to emerge in 1980s, when the Tibetan refugee community had been in exile. With the means of physical survival secured, many monasteries re-established and a satisfactory education system set up, thoughts turned to better preserving Tibetan identity and cultural roots. At the same time, a revelation took place as conditions in Tibet were relaxed and communications between the community in exile and their compatriots in Tibet opened up once more. The Norbulingka emerged from the need to fill the gap between the old and new
Later in the afternoon, you will be free in Dharamsala. Overnight stay in Dharamsala.

Days 05 : Dharamsala

After breakfast, go for sightseeing tour of the city which will include a visit to Namgyal Monastery. In 1959, the Red Chinese invaded Tibet and after being unsuccessful, popular uprising against Chinese rule, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and approximately one hundred thousand Tibetans, including fifty five Namgyal monks, fled into the neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bhutan and India. His Holiness then re-established Namgyal Monastery in India, and a small group of new, young monks from various Tibetan refugee schools joined those Namgyal monks from Tibet who had survived the desperate early years as refugees. Thus the monastery ancient rituals, artistic skills and tradition-making butter sculptures, constructing colored sand mandalas, performing sacred monastic dance, ritual music and chanting were gradually preserved and revived.

Later excursion to Baijnath for visiting Sherabling monastery. It provides a complete range of facilities for monks to study and practice. The monastery has shrine halls, a monastic college, school, library, museum, exhibition hall and dispensary.

Later in afternoon, go for a sightseeing tour of the McLeodganj where Tibetan exiles have established various monasteries, schools and temples. Later in the evening, guests will be transferred back to the hotel for the nights stay.

Days 06 : Dharmsala/ Pathankot (92 km / 3 hrs )Pathankot/ new Delhi by train

Train detail: Jammu Mail -4034 Departure : 1905 hrs Arrival: 0545 hrs

After breakfast you will be free in Dharamsala and later in the afternoon drive to Pathankot railway station to board overnight train for Delhi. Night on Board.

Days 07 : Arrival Delhi

Meet and assistance by GeTS Holidays representative who will assist you to the hotel.
Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds the ancient with modern. Its strategic location was the prime reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power. In fact, more mythological cities are believed to be here, like the city of Indraprastha from the Hindu epic Mahabharata, founded around 5000 BC. Numerous monuments were built over several centuries by different rulers like Qutub-ud-din Aibek, AlauddinKhilji, Tughlaks, Humayun& Shah Jahan, who built the Walled City Shah Jahanabad.
Later in first half of 20th century much of New Delhi was planned by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who laid out a grandiose central administrative area as a testament to
British rule in India. The division in walled city & New Delhi also marks the division in life styles.

Overnight stay in Delhi.

Days 08 : Delhi/ Agra (205 km / 4-5 Hours)

Morning after breakfast visit New Delhi. Visit Raj Ghat, memorial to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. It is a simple black marble platform that marks the spot of his cremation on 31 January 1948. Further, drive past India Gate, memorial built in the year 1931 to commemorate the Indian soldiers who died in the World War I & the Afghan Wars. The names of the soldiers who died in these wars are inscribed on the walls. Bypass the President’s House, the official residence of the President of India, built in the year 1931. Until 1950 it was known as Viceroy’s House & served as the residence of the Governor General of British India. Visit Humayun’s Tomb, memorial of Mughal Emperor Humayun, built in the year 1562. The complex is a World Heritage Site & the first example of this type of Mughal architecture in India. Also visit QutubMinar built in the year 1206 by Qutub-ud-din Aibek. It is the tallest (72m) brick minaret in the world, an important example of Indo-Islamic Architecture. QutubMinar& its monuments are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Later in the afternoon drive to Agra, which is beautifully situated on the banks of river Yamuna. It has achieved prominence as the capital of the Mughals Emperors from the year 1526 to 1628 and remains a major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era monuments, most notably the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort &FatehpurSikri, all three are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Overnight stay in Agra.

Days 09 : Agra- Jaipur via FatehpurSikri (235 km 5 hr)

In the morning, witness one of most beautiful among the Seven Wonders of the World: Taj Mahal with its speculative view at the time of sunrise. Taj Mahal, the architectural modern day wonder of the world; this monument is a fine example of the fusion of many architectural styles is one of the wonders of the modern world. Taj, endowed it with some of the loveliest buildings in the world.

Return to hotel for breakfast and visit Agra Fort, designed and built by Akbar in 1565 A.D., built with barricaded wall of red sand stone; it houses the beautiful and numerous palaces including the Jahangir Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Am, MacchhiBhawan, Nagina Masjid, Moti Masjid, Sheesh Mahal, MusammanBurj where from Taj Mahal is visible in all its beauty from one side of the fort. Emperor Shahjahan, prisoner of his son Aurangzeb in his old age was put in a cell from where he could gaze at the Taj Mahal at a distance, from his cell in the fort. Also visit the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daullah built by Empress Noorjehan in memory of her father.

Later drive to Jaipur en-route visit FatehpurSikri (Ghost Capital), the political capital of India’s Mughal Empire under Akbar’s reign, from the year 1571 until 1585, when it was abandoned, ostensibly due to lack of water. Visit Emperor Akbar’s Residential complex, Mosque & Tomb of Salim Chisti. Upon arrival in Jaipur, check-in at hotel.

Overnight stay in Jaipur.

Days 10 : Jaipur

Morning after breakfast excursion to Amber Fort; the palace complex which stands to this date was commenced under the reign of Raja Man Singh. Take an Elephant ride to reach the Fort situated on the hill, an overwhelming experience.

Later visit the City Palace, a perfect blend of Rajasthani& Mughal architecture. The center of the palace is a seven-storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine views of the gardens & the city. Further we visit JantarMantar (Solar Observatory), an astronomical treasure house, with solar devices that give accurate predictions till date. We also visit Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), a five-storied structure of pink sandstone. It was built in the year 1799 so that veiled royal women could peer down the busy street market unseen by the world through its 593 stone Jharokas.

Overnight stay in Jaipur.

Days 11 : Jaipur-Delhi (265 km 5 hours)

Morning after breakfast drive to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi, directly transfer to International airport for boarding onward flight.

Days 12 : Patna Rajgir/Nalanda Bodhgaya (182 km / 6 hrs )

Morning after breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Bodhgaya visiting Rajgir and Nalanda, Ragir – The city of Rajgir was the first capital of the kingdom of Magadha, a state that would eventually evolve into the Mauryan Empire. Its date of origin is unknown, although ceramics dating to about 1000 BC have been found in the city.

Visit Rajgiri ,Rajgir pilgrimage is a very important Buddhist site since Lord Buddha spent 12 years over here and also preached two sermons. The first Buddhist Council, after the attainment of Nirvana by Buddha, was hosted over here in the Saptaparni caves. Buddha’s favorite retreat was at the Jivkamaravana monastery located amidst scenic thickets. Venuvana; a park presented to Buddha by king Bimbisara, who also built a vihara in it.

Later visit Griddhkuta Gautama Buddha spent several months meditating, and preaching at Griddhkuta, (‘Hill of the Vultures’)

Further drive continues to Nalanda. Here you can visit the ruins of the oldest known university of the world. The excavations undertaken at the site have unearthed a huge complex of a University founded and patronized by the Gupta emperors.

Drive continues to Bodhgaya. Bodhgaya is the place of the Buddha’s Enlightenment and spiritual home of Buddhists. It attracts many believers from all over the world. Bodhgaya situated near the river Niranjana, is one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage centers and in the second place of the four holy sites in Buddhism. Upon arrival check in at hotel.
Overnight stay in Bodhgaya.

Days 13 : Bodhgaya / New Delhi by train

Train Details: Calcutta Rajdhani 2301 Departure : 2239 Hrs, Arrival: 0955 hrs

Morning after breakfast, take a tour of Bodhgaya. As the place of the Buddha’s Enlightenment, Bodhgaya is the spiritual home of Buddhists. 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 proceed for the sightseeing including MahabodhiTemple ,Sujata Village and Monasteries of different country’s around the city.Later in the evening transfer to Gaya railway station to board train for New Delhi.

Night on Board

Days 14 : Arrive Delhi / Departure to home country

Arrive Delhi from Gaya. Meet our representative at New Delhi railway station and further transfer to International airport to board flight for onward destination.

The Buddhist calendar

The Buddhist calendar is luni-solar, a combination of lunar and solar calendars. History of Buddhismsuggests that in original Surya Siddhanta calendar of third century, months vary between 29 and 30 and at regular intervals, an intercalated day and a 30-day month is added to it. People living in Southeast Asia including Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar use the original Buddhist calendar.

Luni solar intercalation system

Every 19 years, this calendar version has seven extra months (adhikamasa) and every 57 years there are 11 extra days (adhikavara). On an average, a year has 365.25875 days, judged from the mahayuga of 4,320,000 years, simplified to 292,207 days every 800 years by removing common factor of 5400 from the total days and years. This year is slightly longer than modern sidereal year and substantially longer than modern tropical year.

  • Hindu version : Buddhism in India has additions and deductions based on astronomical formulae
  • Southeast Asian : Delayed additions
  • Thai/Lao/Cambodian : Extra day will not be added in the year having an extra month.
  • Burmese : Extra day will be added in the years having an extra month

Each version of the calendar has 354, 355, 384, or 385 days respectively.

Months
  • In Sanskrit, months include Chaitra, Vaisakha, Jyestha, Ashadha, Shravan, Bhadrapada, Asvina, Kartik, Maragasirsha, Pausha, Magha and Phalguna.
  • Old Burmese months were Tagu, Kason, Nayon, Wazo, Wagaung, Tawthalin, Thadingyut, Tarzaungmon, Natdaw, Pyatho, Tabodwe and Tabaung.
  • Common years have 29 – 30 day months with an extra day added to Jyeshtha/ Nayon, making it 30 days. Extra month is added by doubling the month, Ashadha/ Wazo. Each month has waxing and waning of half, about 15 days.
  • Overlapping the sidereal year, the numbered year includes twelve zodiacal signs that can begin on any date from 6 Caitra/Tagu to 5 Vaisakha/Kason. Thus numbered years may not have some days of the month; an adjacent year having the same set of dates at both its beginning and end.
Chronology of Buddhism in Indi Four eras introduced in Buddhist calendars :
  • Rarely used Anchansakarat : (Since March 10, 691 BC)
  • Commonly used Buddhasakarat : (The Buddhist Era from March 11, 545 BC)
  • Mahasakarat : (March 17, 78 – during Saka Era in India) Used in Thailand till the mid 13th century and standard in Cambodia
  • Chulasakarat : (March 22, 638) Adopted in Thailand mid-13th century and standard in Burma
    As all years have completed, their epochal year is year 0 not year 1, as a full year had not elapsed. For entry of the Sun into the first rasi (the beginning of the sidereal year), the epochal dates only apply to year 0, while modern dates occur later in the Gregorian calendar due to precession of the equinoxes. Calculations do not begin with zero at epoch but an offset of certain whole and fractional days, which can amount to more than one year. This must be added to all calculations, which explains the Buddhasakarat inconsistency. 544, here have an offset of 4 days at epoch whereas 543 have an offset of 369 days.
Buddhist Festivals

Hemis Festival – Ladakh, Jammu Kashmir

Hemis, a picturesque town that lays 40 km in the southeast of Leh in Ladakh becomes a place oozing with exuberance and exhilaration in July every year. Hemis Festival is celebrated with great pomp and show in ‘Hemis Monastery’, which is acclaimed as wealthiest, well-known and biggest gompa of Ladakh. This festival is characterized by splendid masked dances that are performed accompanied by cymbals, drums and long horns. Besides music and dance, a prismatic fair is held that showcases some important Buddhist events and also displays beautiful artworks and handicrafts.

Buddha Poornima

Commemorating the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, Buddha Poornima is celebrated with all its Buddhism essence. This day falls on full moon night in the month of Vaisakha (either in April or May) and is beautifully and majestically celebrated in Mahabodhi temple in bodhgaya. The day goes in prayer meets, recitation of invaluable Buddha sermons & Buddhist scriptures, religious processions, meditation episodes and Buddha worshiping. On this auspicious day, Mahabodhi temple can be seen at its full bloom and charm.

Ulambana Sutra

Ullambana, or the Ghost Festival, is the most popular festival celebrated by Buddhists in different countries across the world. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar. Ullambana is a festival of liberation, it means ‘deliverance from suffering’ and refers to salvation, which is granted to tormented or damned souls in hell. On this day, Buddhists offer prayers both to their departed forefathers and to their living parents and elders, as its considered that this act helps the dead to be reborn in good realms and alleviate his/her suffering.

Losar Festival

Characterized by music, dance and merry-making, Losar Festival is the Ladakhi or Tibetan festival celebrated to commemorate the onset of New Year. It is celebrated for two weeks during the month of January or February according to the Gregorian calendar. This festival is marked with ritualistic chantings, passing through crowds with fire torches and enacting stage fights between good & evil. This period of happiness and mirth is a sacred time for Buddhist and is considered as highly auspicious.

Map & Video