Footprints of Lord Buddha

Let us take you to the spiritual journey away from the chaos of every day mundane life. On this tour it is not a religion that we wish to showcase but a system of philosophy and code of morality. In the program we includes Birth Place of Lord Buddha and visit the Mahayana Buddhism in the remote part of India called Sikkim.  as the Buddha’s own world….. With natural beauty beyond compare, tropical valleys and stunning mountain peaks, most people consider Sikkim to be a slice of heaven. It has many names which all refer to the same cliche- Shambala, Tazik and Shangri-la. This region in the far north eastern pocket of India is bordered by Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Its tropical valleys are fed by the snow melts and support vast quantities of rice, mustard, mango’s, bananas, papaya, wheat and millet.

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Name of Program : Footprints of Lord Buddha.
Place to Visit :Arrival Delhi – Varanasi-Bodhgaya – Nalanda- Rajgir-Patna-Vaishali-Kushinagar-Lumbini (Nepal)-Sravasti-Lucknow-NJP-Darjeeling – Pelling – Gangtok-Kalimpong – Bagdogra Airport.
Duration :  Nights
Best Time :
 Oct – Sept. (Except Monsoon).
Highest Point:  2123 m
Trek Grade: Easy (Cultural Program)
Price: On Request

Day 1: Arrival Delhi:
Upon arrival at Delhi International airport will be met by our representative outside the customs enclosure and then escorted till hotel for an overnight.

Day 2: Delhi Sightseeing:
After breakfast proceed for the city tour of Old and New Delhi. Drive past the opulent Red Fort. Visit Jama Masjid – the biggest mosque of Asia, Raj Ghat – memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi and later enjoy a rickshaw ride through the busy streets of Chandini Chowk, the shopping center of Old Delhi. Later in the afternoon proceed for the tour of New Delhi and visit Humayun’s Tomb – the mausoleum of Emperor Humayun, Qutab Minar built by Qutab-ud-din Aibek. Drive past the secretarial offices, Parliament. Visit the India Gate – war memorial and Connaught Place, the city center. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3: Delhi- Varanasi (Flight):
Morning in time transfer to airport to connect flight for Varanasi. You will be met on arrival and escorted till hotel en route visiting Sarnath – where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon. Also visit the Sarnath museum. (Sarnath museum, is closed on every Friday) Check in at the hotel and later in the evening proceeds to the Ghats to witness the Puja (Aarti) ceremony. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 4: Varanasi – Bodhgaya (By surface, 6 hrs drive):
Early morning proceed to the Ghats of river Ganges and embark on a boat cruise. It is a spiritually uplifting sight. Multitudes of devotees come to the river to pay homage to the Sun God. Pass the bathing Ghats where thousands of pilgrims immerse themselves in the holy waters of the River Ganges, and the burning Ghats where cremations are conducted. Return to the hotel for breakfast and continue the surface journey to Bodhgaya, set in sylvan solitude on the banks of river Niranjana (now called Falgu) is Bodhgaya. It is one of the most sacred places for the Buddhist as well as Hindus. Here, under the Bodhi tree (Tree of awakening), Shakayamuni Gautama attained supreme knowledge.  Arrive early evening and check in at the hotel. Overnight hotel.

Day 5:  Bodhgaya-Rajgir-Nalanda-Patna (By surface, 5 hrs drive):
Morning visit “The Mahabodhi Temple” – It is the greatest and the most sacred shrine to the glory of Lord Buddha and is marked by stone lotuses and a soaring tower. Different aspects of the Buddha are depicted on its walls. Along the stone built balustrade he is shown as in one of his previous births. The Bodhi Tree – is on the western side of the temples. A raised platform marks the spot where the Buddha sat in meditation and where he attained Nirvana. 66 Kms from Bodg Gaya, Rajgir is 12 Kms south of Nalanda on the road to Patna and is located in the verdant valley surrounded by rocky hills. It was in Rajgir that Buddha delivered some of his famous sermons and converted king Bhimbisara of the Magadha Kingdom and countless other to his creed. Nalanda – Famous as an ancient seat of learning. The ruins of one of the world’s most ancient university. Founded in the 5th Century AD, this great seat of learning flourished until the 12th Century. The Chinese Chronicler Hiuen Tsang spent many years both as a student and as a teacher. Continue drive to Patna. Evening at leisure and overnight in Patna.

Day 6:  Patna-Vaishali-Kushinagar (By road, 6-7 hrs drive):
Morning post breakfast proceed to Kushinagar via Vaishali. It is 60 Kms from Patna, on the left banks of the Gandak River, is spiritually supreme, Lord Buddha visited this place frequently and at Beluva, close by, preached his last sermon. To commemorate the event, Emperor Ashoka, in third century BC erected one of his famous lion pillars here. A hundred years after the Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha, Vaishali hosted the second great Buddhist council. Two Stupas were erected to commemorate this event. Continue on your drive to Kushinagar. Arrive late evening and check hotel for overnight.

Day 7: Kushinagar- Lumbini “NEPAL” (By surface, 5 hrs drive):
Kushinagar is the place that the Buddha chose for his Mahaparinirvana, or final exit from earth. Kushinagar or Kushinara as it was known the capital of the Malla republic, one of the republican states of northern India dulumbini, kushinagarring 5th & 6th centuries BC. During his lifetime the Lord traversed the dusty plains of the Ganga valley, subsisting on whatever he collected as arms, and pausing to rest only during the rainy season. In 543 BC on the full moon night, the master lectured to the Sangha at the village, Beluva, near Vaishali, on the impermanence of all living things, and said that his own life on earth was soon to end. Later drive to Lumbini grove, the sacred site of Lord Buddha’s birth is today a small village in Nepal, 27 Kms from Sonauli on the Indo-Nepal border. The sacred site of the Buddha’s birth is at the southern end of Lumbini grove. Excavations have revealed a series of rooms and stone slab, which is now believed to mark the exact location at which the Buddha was born. Three hundred years after the Mahaparinirvana, Emperor Ashoka visited Lumbini and erected a pillar there. This pillar though broken, still remains at the site. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 8: Lumbini-Kapilavastu-Sravasti (By road, 6 hrs drive):
The little village of Piprahwa, 93 Kms from Lumbini via Sonauli on the Indian side, is identified as Kapilavastu, the capital of the Sakyas, where the Buddha spent the first thirty years of his life. We continue on our drive to Sravasti that is situated in Gonda district in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Sravasti that is also called Sahet-Mahet. Sravasti (ancient Savatthi) was the capital of Kosala Mahajanapada and was the biggest town in the gigantic plains during the Buddha’s lifetime. Saravasti was host to the Master for 25 years. It was also in Sravasti that the Lord performed the only miracle of his life in response to challenge from six non-believers. The Lord levitated on thousand petalled lotuses, causing fire and water to leap out of his body and multiplied his person in the air. Arrive late evening and check in the hotel for overnight.

Day 9: Sravasti – Lucknow (By road, 7 hrs drive):
Early this morning you will visit the ancient city of Sravasti, venerated by Buddhists Sravastiand Jains alike, is at present, a collection of ruins called Sahet-Mahet. This twin name is applied to distinct groups of remains. Sahet is the site of the famous Buddhist Monastery anciently known as Jetavana Vihara after prince Jeta’s donation to the Sangha, which lay outside the limits of the ancient city. The latter is identified with modern Mahet. The ruins at Sahet consist of Plinths and foundation of Monasteries and stupas, all Buddhist. Continue on your drive to Lucknow, after dinner, board train to New Jalpaiguri, Overnight train.

Day 10: Arrival New Jalpaiguri- Darjeeling (2150m):
Upon arrival meet to assistance drive to Darjeeling, 4-5 hrs drive, on arrival check in hotel, rest of the time visit Chowrasta the mall of Darjeeling, Overnight at hotel.

Day 11: Darjeeling:
Early in the morning (4 am) drive to Tiger Hill to witness the sunrise over Kanchenjunga Peak (subject to clear weather) on your way back visit Ghoom Monastery. After Breakfast Today visit Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, (Closed on Thursday), Happy Valley Tea Estate, Tenzing Rock & Gombu Rock & Tibetan Refugee Self – Help Center (Closed on Sunday) & Lablong Tibetan village.  Drive back to city rest of the time visit local market at Chowrasta. Dinner and Overnight at Hotel.

Day 12 : Darjeeling-Pemayangtse-Pelling (2060m): (135 km/ 08 hrs drive):
After breakfast drive to Pelling, pulls most of the visitors for its representative status in history nature and culture of the State. Including the mountains namely Koktang, Kumbhakarna, Rathong, Kabru Dom, Khangchendzonga, Pandim, Jopuno, Simvo, Narsing, Sinoulchu, and some more. En route we through the Blue Pine forest, Rhododendron, Conifer, Spur, hemlock and Cunene trees. Whole route we have a nice view of Khangchendzonga and another peaks.  We have a break at Melli from we take the Sikkim permit this is the border West Bangle and Sikkim, cross the Testa River. Jorthan the lunch break. Before arrival at Pelling we will visit, Ruines of Rabtense Palace. This was the second capital of the erstwhile Kingdom after Yuksam and till the 1814 AD. Neary by the Pelling market  we visit Pemayantse, it is one of the oldest monasteries of the State. Originally established by Lhatsun Chempo, one of the revered Lamas to have performed the consecration ceremony of the first Chogyal (Religious Monarch) of Sikkim. This ancient monastery belonging to the Nyingma Sect, has been considered as one of the premier monasteries in the state. Overnight at hotel.

Day 13: Pelling-Gangtok (1850m) (130km/ 8 hrs)
Early in the morning after lunch drive to Gangtok via Ravangla, Legshipa, Singtham through the local villages and small hamlets. En route magnificent landscape, rice fields and through the forest. Gangtok is situated on a ridge at a distance of. We have the first break at Ravangla for visit the Buddha Statue & Bon Monastery, and lunch break. Singtham the second break for tea and stretch the leg because the whole way descend driving. On arrival at Gangtok, check in hotel.

Day 14: Gangtok Sightseeing:
After breakfast full day local visit, Rumtek Dharma Chakra Center, about 22 km (one side) drive away from Gangtok city, the seat of the Kagyud pa order, one of the four cuajor major Tibetan Bhddhist sects. Since the 1960s, after the arrival of his Holiness the XIth Gyalwa Karmapa, en route visit the Orchid Nursery. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, the most prestigious of its kind in India, this Buddhist Institute is a treasure of vast collection of rare Lepcha, Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscripts, statue and rare Thankas (tapestries used in Buddhist liturgy) it has over 200 Buddhist icons and other prized object of art. Do Drul Chorten, of Stupa ws bilt by the Venerable Trullshi Rimphche, head of the Nyigmapa order of Tibetan Buddhism, in 1945. inside the stupa there are compare mandala set of Dorjee phurba (Vajra Kilaya) a set of Kang Gyur Relic. Flower Complex exhibitions are organized round the year at the flowr show ven near the White Memorial Hall complex. The Orchid show is depend on the flowers. Directorate of  Handloom & Handicraft (DHH), Institute of the aim of promoting and keeping alive the state’s traditional art & craft. Enchey Monastery, An important seat of the Nyingmapa order of Buddhist. The Enchey Monastery is built on the Site Blessed by Lama Druptok Karpo, a tantric master know for his power of flying, this 200 years old monastery has in its premises images of gods, goddesses and other religious object. Rest of the time visit Lal Market, M. G. Road, & local vegetable market. Dinner & Overnight at hotel.

Day 15: Gangtok-Kalimpong (1350m) (85 km/ 3 hrs drive):
After an early breakfast drive to Kalimpong, after 60 km we cross the border Sikkim and West Bangle called Ragpo where the local police check the permit etc. continue drive to Kalimpong is a small hill station between Siliguri and Gangtok. The road is one of the most scenic routes in this part of the nation. The swift flowing Teesta river runs by the side of the road adding to the beauty of the scenery. The name, Kalimpong, has three different origins. One, it means the place where the local tribesmen gathered to organize field sports, second, it takes it’s name from the Bhutanese king’s minister’s stronghold and thirdly, it is named after Kaulim, a fibrous plant found in abundance in this region. On arrival at Kalimpong check in hotel rest of the time visit, Pine view cactus nursery, Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa, was built in the mid-70s at Durpin Dara Hill and was consecrated by the Dalai Lama. The gompa is worth a visit for its impressive wall paintings in the prayer room, and a rare three-dimensional mandala upstairs. The mountain views are amazing from Durpin Dara Hill. Mother Merry Church the temples as a Bhutanese style. Rest of the time local market. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 16 : Kalimpong-Bagdogra(75 km/ 2-3 hrs drive)-Delhi or Kolkata:
Early in the morning drive to Bagdogra airport, take flight to Delhi or Kolkata, our services will be finish here.

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