Walking in the Footsteps of Buddha

21 Days

Discover the ancient pilgrimage trails walked by the Buddha some 2,600 years ago in this exclusive tour, which also journeys west to the holy Hindu centre of Varanasi, and north to Nepal for further spectacular Buddhist sites, wildlife and the glorious Himalayas.

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Tour Highlights

  • Discover the ancient pilgrimage trail once walked by the Buddha
  • Deep cultural and spiritual interest alongside a rich natural panorama
  • Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, Lumbini and the magnificent Boudhanath stupa in Kathmandu
  • Pokhara, a beautifully located hill station in the Annapurna Himalayas
  • Wildlife at Chitwan National Park
  • Flexible tailor-made booking options

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Tour Details

This fascinating and varied tour will take you to some of the world’s most revered pilgrimage sites and great historical monuments in a journey that retraces the footsteps of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha. Much of the route lies off the tourist trail, and you’ll gain a real insight into the local way of life.

After sightseeing in Delhi, we arrive at Bodh Gaya, the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment, and visit other major Buddhist sites in the region such as Dungeshwara and Rajgir, where the first Buddhist Council was held. We’ll also explore Nalanda, a great Buddhist centre of learning until the 12th century, and admire the architecture of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka the Great.

A sunrise boat trip on the Ganges at Varanasi, holy centre for Hindus, is a highlight of the trip. From here it’s on to Sarnath, where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon after achieving enlightenment, and Kushinagar - the place of his death. Next we will cross over to Nepal to visit Lumbini - the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

In Nepal we take a marvellous elephant-back safari into Chitwan National Park to see the one-horned rhinoceros before heading into the Himalayas and the beautiful hill station of Pokhara, dominated by snowcapped peaks all around. Our trip ends at Kathmandu, where we’ll see the world’s largest Buddhist stupa at Boudhanath.

View Itinerary

  • Flexibility Guaranteed

    Please note: You can use this itinerary as a guide to fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have.

  • DAY 01 - Delhi

    Arrive Delhi and transfer to hotel for check-in

    Arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi. After a traditional 'Swagat' (Welcome) our KVT’s representative would assist you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel for check-in. Rest of the day is free to relax and explore the surrounding market.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 02 - Delhi

    Half-day sightseeing in Delhi and evening overnight train to Gaya

    This day after breakfast we proceed for the half-day sightseeing tour of Delhi; we start with Jama Masjid, is the largest mosque of Old Delhi in India and it was built between 1644 - 1658 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan who built the Taj Mahal and Red Fort. Then we visit Rajghat which is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi located on the bank of Yamuna River. Afterwards we drive pass through Colonial buildings and India Gate is a war memorial, also known as ‘All India War Memorial’. India Gate is 42m high located at the centre of New Delhi across Rajpath. In the evening we will be transferred to the railway station to catch the overnight train to Gaya.

    Overnight Train

  • DAY 03 - Bodh Gaya

    Arrive Gaya and transfer to Bodh Gaya hotel

    This morning we arrive Gaya railway station and will be transferred to Bodh Gaya hotel for check-in (Distance: 17km). Bodh Gaya is the most prominent and sacred Buddhist Pilgrimage site, Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment here under the tree which is now known as Bodhi tree. The famous Mahabodhi Temple stands just next to the Bodhi Tree and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 04 - Bodh Gaya

    Visit Mahabodhi Temple complex and afternoon free time to explore

    Today after breakfast we visit Mahabodhi Temple; the architecture of the temple is superb, figures of Buddha sitting in different postures on the walls and his footprints on the stones. The first temple of the complex was built by Emperor Ashoka in 3rd century and the present temples were built in 5th – 6th century. The temple is 55m in height with pyramid design, demarcated into seven storeys. Evening is free for us to explore the town and surrounding area of Bodh Gaya.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 05 - Bodh Gaya

    Sightseeing of Bodhgaya

    In the morning we walk to Sujata Temple. There lies a small shrine (Sujata Temple) dedicated to Sujata, the tribal woman who offered kheer to the starving Siddhartha (Gautama Buddha). Later we drive towards Dungeshwari and visit Dungeshwari cave temples, also known as the Mahakala caves. Gautama Buddha underwent years of penance here before he descended to Bodhgaya. There are three main caves containing Hindu and Buddhist shrines. After the visit we drive back to Bodhgaya and relax at the hotel.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 06 - Rajgir

    Drive to Rajgir and proceed for Sightseeing of Rajgir

    This day we drive to Rajgir (Distance: 80Km approx.). Rajgir was the capital of Kingdom of Magadha and it is located in a valley surrounded by seven hills: Vaibhara, Ratna, Saila, Sona, Udaya, Chhatha, and Vipula. Reach Rajgir and we visit Saptaparni Caves, situated on a hill where 1st Buddhist Council were held after Gautama Buddha attained Nirvana. Afterwards we return back to the hotel and relax.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 07 - Rajgir

    Sightseeing of Rajgir

    Today we visit Vulture's Peak also known as “Girddhraj Parvat” is a hill of religious, archeological and ecological importance. This is the place where Gautama Buddha spent so much time on retreat, meditating and teachings so many discourses. Afterwards we visit Venuvana Monastery also known as Venuvana Vihara it was built by King Bimbisara of Magadha Empire for Gautama Buddha to reside. This was the 1st offering by King Bimbisara to Gautama Buddha. In the vicinity of Venuvana is a large pond with a Buddha image at the centre.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 08 - Patna

    Drive to Patna en-route visit Nalanda

    This morning we drive towards Patna (Distance: 110km) en-route visit Nalanda, was famous centre of learning and it was founded in 5th century. The ruins of the world's most ancient university that Nalanda University lays here and Hieun Tsang the Chinese Buddhist Monk and traveller also visited here. He left detailed description of the excellence of education system and praised the purity of monastic life practiced here. After the visit we continue our drive and reach Patna and check-in to the hotel.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 09 - Varanasi

    Morning train to Varanasi, arrive Varanasi and evening boat trip on Ganges

    In the morning we will be transferred to the railway station to catch the train to Varanasi. Varanasi also known as Banaras or Kashi situated on the bank of River Ganga, it is considered to be the 7th holiest city of Hinduism. Pilgrims from all-over India come here to take holy dip into the sacred river to wash away their sins. Arrive Varanasi railway station and then transfer to hotel for check-in and in the evening we enjoy boat trip on River Ganges. We can witness evening puja ceremony on Ghats; devotees doing their rituals.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 10 - Varanasi

    Boat ride on Ganges and Sightseeing in Varanasi

    Early morning we enjoy the boat ride on the Ganges and observe daily miracle to unfold, as the Sun appears victoriously over the skyline. We can witness devotees doing their morning rituals and also get a chance to observe the lifestyle of riverside villagers. Afterwards we visit Sarnath, it is 10km away from Varanasi and located near the confluence of the Ganges and the Gomati rivers, here Gautama Buddha 1st taught the Dharma and it is one of the four Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Later we drive back to Varanasi and rest at the hotel.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 11 - Kushinagar

    Drive to Kushinagar, sightseeing of Kushinagar and evening free

    Today morning we drive from Varanasi to Kushinagar (Distance: 240km approx.). Reach Kushinagar and check-in to the hotel, in the afternoon proceed for the sightseeing tour. We visit Mahaparinirvana Temple, it houses a 6.10m monolithic statue of reclining Gautama Buddha carved out of red sandstone and it is believed by the Buddhists that Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana after his death. Then also visit Ramabhar Stupa, it is 15m high and Gautama Buddha was cremated here. This Stupa was also known as ‘Mukut-Bandhan Chaitya' according to ancient Buddhist textiles.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 12 - Shivpati Nagar

    Drive to Shivpatinagar; afternoon and evening free

    This day after breakfast we board the vehicle and drive to Shivpatinagar (Distance: 150km approx.). We reach there and check-in to the hotel; rest of the day is free for us to relax at the hotel.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 13 - Sravasti

    Drive to Sravasti, afternoon and evening free to explore

    This morning we drive from Shivpati Nagar to Sravasti (Distance: 170Km approx.). Sravasti was once the capital of Kosala Kingdom and located on the banks of Rapti River. Sravasti is associated with the life of Gautama Buddha, who is believed to have spent 24 rainy seasons here after his disciple Sudatta Anathapindika built a monastery for him. We reach Sravasti and check-in to the hotel; rest of the day is free for us to relax at the hotel or can explore the surrounding area on own.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 14 - Lumbini

    Cross India-Nepal border to Lumbini via Piperwa

    Today we drive from India to Nepal via Piperwa (Distance: 170Km approx.). Lumbini is the place where Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama in 623 BCE. Lumbini has a number of temples, including the Maya Devi Temple, is the birthplace of Gautama Buddha and here located the sacred pool known as Puskarni and a sacred garden. Lumbini was granted a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and the most prominent Buddhist Pilgrimage sites. Reach Lumbini and check-in to the hotel.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 15 - Chitwan

    Visit Maya Devi Temple and afternoon drive to Chitwan

    Morning we visit Maya Devi Temple which is birthplace of Gautama Buddha and it is believed that Queen Maya Devi took a bath in the sacred pool (also known as Puskarni) before the Gautama Buddha was born. The Ashokan pillar it was placed there during the visit of Emperor Ashoka in 249 BCE at Lumbini and erected an inscribed Ashokan Pillar on the spot of Buddha's birth. Later we drive towards Chitwan where the Chitwan National Park lies; reach there and check-in to the hotel. Afterwards we stroll around Chitwan village and explore the village.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 16 - Chitwan

    Jungle walk in Chitwan National Park, afternoon canoe trip and evening elephant safari

    Early morning we go for a jungle walk in the Chitwan National Park as this is one of the best time to observe and experience the wildlife of the park. Chitwan National Park is the 1st National Park in Nepal and was established in 1973; granted a World Heritage Site in 1984. After lunch we enjoy canoe ride in Chitwan National Park; the park is home to rare species such as one horned Rhinoceros (Indian Rhino), Royal Bengal Tiger and Gharials (Crocodile). In the evening we take elephant safari as it is one of the best ways to spot wildlife from up close.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 17 - Pokhara

    Drive to Pokhara and evening free to explore

    This day we drive towards Pokhara (Distance: 160km) with bewitching beauty throughout the driveway. Pokhara is located in western Nepal and the 2nd largest city of Nepal. Three highest mountains in the world — Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I and Manaslu — are within 30 miles of the city. Pokhara is the base for trekkers undertaking the Annapurna Circuit. Reach Pokhara and check-in to the hotel and relax or free to explore the surrounding on own.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 18 - Pokhara

    Day free to explore Pokhara or day walk to Sarangkot

    Today we have a day free to explore the beautiful city of Nepal (Pokhara) or walk to Sarangkot. Sarangkot is a beautiful village and famous tourist destination of Nepal; the village is located on a mountainside ridge at an altitude of 1600m with panoramic Himalayan views. Here you can enjoy bird watching, Paragliding, Ziplining, Hiking and trekking.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 19 - Kathmandu

    Drive to Kathmandu, arrive there and evening free

    Morning after breakfast we drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu (Distance: 210km). The drive is loaded with breathtaking views of the valleys, mountains and snow-capped peaks. We reach Kathmandu and check-in to the hotel; in the evening we have free time to explore the beauty of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Kathmandu is one of the most picturesque capitals in the world. It is situated at an altitude of 1400m and surrounded by high mountains all around, with the white peaks looking down and can be viewed clearly from vantage points at the foothills around Kathmandu. The city of Kathmandu is a perfect mixture of the ancient, traditional and modern.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 20 - Kathmandu

    Half day sightseeing of Kathmandu and evening free

    This morning we visit Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu shrine and one of the great Shiva sites. It is located on the banks of the Bagmati River. The temple serves as the seat of the national deity, Lord Pashupatinath. Then we visit Boudhanath, which is an ancient Stupa and one of the largest in the world and the biggest in Nepal. The influx of large populations of refugees from Tibet has seen the construction of over 50 Tibetan Monasteries around Boudhanath; then visit Durbar Square is a plaza and area opposite the old royal palaces in Nepal. It consists of temples, idols, open courts, water fountains and more. Evening is free for us to explore around the market area on own.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 21 - Kathmandu

    Departure to the International Airport

    Today you will be transferred to the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu to board the flight for your onward destination.

Tour Map (Only key areas marked)

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Flexibility Guaranteed! Using the above itinerary as a guide you can fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have. On receiving your enquiry we will respond with prices and work with you to create a truly personalised holiday experience that is in your budget and personal style.

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Enjoy complete flexibility in planning and booking our tours for a truly personalised India holiday that is in your budget and personal style.

  • Flexible travel dates and duration
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