BodhGaya – Patna – Kushinagar – Lumbini – Sravasti – Varanasi
Arrival in Gaya airport and transfer to BodhGaya, the place where Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment. This small temple town is like the pilgrim’s Mecca. It attracts many visitors every year wanting to attain solitude and practice meditation. Mahabodhi Temple is the most scared spot in the city and is venerated both by Buddhist pilgrims and local Hindus, who worship Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu.Additionally there are many monasteries and temples that offer monastic tranquility.
Drive to Rajgir, the first capital of the kingdom of Magadha, where Buddha spent 12 years and had the first Buddhist council. It is one of the most revered places in Jainism and Buddhism. Also visit the remains of Nalanda University, once a great centre of education. Spend the night in Patna.
Drive to Vaishali, the birth place of Mahavira, the last Tirthankara, for Jain followers. This was also the place where Buddha delivered his last sermon and announced his impending Nirvana. See the majesty of Ashok Pillar, Lotus tank, and the Hindu Temple of Chaumukhi Mahadeva. Spend the night in Khushinagar.
Kushinagar, is another place of preference for Buddhist pilgrims. In this holy town, Buddha took his last breaths and attained the state of Nirvana. In the morning visit Maha Nirvana Temple, Ramabhar Stupa and then head to modern Japan or Sri Lankan Buddhist centre and monasteries. Enter Nepal and stay overnight in Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Head out in the morning to visit Sravasti and its surroundings: Saheth, a cluster of shrines and stupas, Maheth, an ancient city lying towards Rapti river, and Shvetambara Tirth Temple, dedicated to Jain cult. Then drive to Varanasi, the Hindu pilgrimage hub.Attend the Aarti ceremony on the holy Ganges to enjoy the essence of this holy town.
Begin your day with a boat ride on the Ganges- the holy Indian River. You will see pilgrims take a dip in the river. Move on for a tour of this temple city hopping from one temple to the other: Vishwanath Golden Temple, Durga Temple, Tulsi Manas Temple. Visit the Sarnath shrine where Buddha first taught Buddhism after his enlightenment. Admire the ancient stupas of Dhamek, Dharmarajika and Chaukhandi. Later head back to Bodhgaya.