The Northern Nirvana !!
The Northern Nirvana - 11 days
Destinations of Northern Nirvana - Delhi, Varanasi, Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Nalanda, Patna, Vaishali, Kushinagar, Kapilavastu, Lumbni, Balrampur, Sravasti, Lucknow , Delhi
Arrive at DELHI. Meet on arrival by company representatives. Proceed to hotel and relax.
Delhi -: Delhi is the capital of India and its third largest city. Delhi, the seat of one of the world’s largest democracies is a combination of “Old Delhi”- the capital of Muslim India and “New Delhi” the imperial city created as the nation’s capital by the British. An architectural collage of forts and palaces, flyovers and skyscrapers. There’s a unique blend of tradition and modernity. Here one can see mingling of many cultures, languages, traditions and people in complete harmony.
Red Fort: Red Fort or Lal Quila as it is more popularly known is a masterpiece of architecture and one of the most haunting spots for tourists from both India and abroad. This colossal fort on the banks of the river Yamuna, built by Shahjahan as the citadel of the 17th Century Delhi
Overnight will be at Delhi.
By Overnight Train
Raj Ghat: The mortal remains of Mahatma Gandhi were cremated on this spot on the west bank of the river Yamuna on the evening of January 31, 1948. A simple open platform inscribed with the Mahatma's last words, 'Hey Ram' (Oh God) is set in a garden with fountains and a variety of exotic trees.
Jama Masjid: It is the largest mosque in India. Located in Old Delhi, the mosque has the capacity to accommodate 25000 devotees. Jama Masjid was completed in 1656 AD and it was again the great Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan behind this architectural masterpiece. Close to some 5000 craftsmen were involved in the construction of the mosque.
Qutub Minar: The word 'Qutub' itself, means 'pole of justice.' The Qutub Minar made of red sandstone rising to the height of 72.5mts is an architectural marvel of the 13th century. It is situated in Delhi. It is constructed by Qutb-ud-din Aibak in the 12th century to celebrate the victory of Mohammed Ghori over the Rajputs and was completed in the 13th century by his successors.
India Gate: It is a majestic high arch, 42 meters high, built as a memorial to the Indian soldiers killed in the World War I. It is called the All India War Memorial. The foundation stone was laid by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and was designed by Edwin Lutyens.
Lotus Temple: The grand "Lotus Temple" is termed by many as the Taj of modern India. Its distinctive lotus shaped marvel in marble is surrounded by a landscaped garden and is a symbol of peace. It is a very recent architectural marvel of the Bahai faith. It was completed in 1986. It is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand.
Evening connect a train for Varanasi.
Overnight will be on Board.
Reach and transfer to the hotel.
Have a leisurely breakfast and proceed for the tour of Varanasi.
Varanasi: Picturesquely situated on the crescent shaped left bank of the holy River Ganges, Varanasi, one of the ancient seats of learning in India, is said to be a compound of the names of two streams, the Varuna and the Assi, which still flow in the north and south of the city respectively.Varanasi is the oldest city of the world. Varanasi is more than 3000 years old and is famous as the city of temples. In Varanasi, there are temples at every few paces. Jyotirlinga Visvanatha Temple or Golden Temple, rebuilt in 1776, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Jnana Vapi well (meaning 'Well of Wisdom) is believed to have been dug by Lord Shiva himself.
Sarnath: Sarnath, 10 km from Varanasi, where the Buddha preached his first sermon in the Deer Park, contains the most impressive remains, as well as a modem temple. The Dharmarajika, Chaukhandi and Dharnek stupas are outstanding. There are also the remains of a monastery, and the beautifully polished Lion Capital of Ashoka.Sarnath contains a rich library and at the Mula gandha Kutir Vihara there are excellent frescoes by Kosetsu Nosu. The Sarnath Museum, not far from the site, contains some of the finest specimens of Buddhist sculpture.
Overnight will be a Varanasi.
240 kms /5 Hrs
Early morning drive to Daswamedh Ghat early in the morning and take a boat ride on the sacred river Ganges to see the cremation Ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world's oldest and most important religions. (To start at 0500 hrs. for the best lifetime experience) Thousands of faithful come daily to the banks to bathe and pray while in the background, temples and palaces rise in tiers from the water’s edge. Return for a walk through the cobblestone streets along the banks of "Ganga".including the Bharat Mata Temple, which features a big relief map of Mother India engraved in marble. Also visit the 18th century Durga Temple, commonly known as the Monkey Temple due to the huge population of the monkeys. Drive past the Tulsi Manas Temple, crafted from white marble which features the entire Ramayana inscribed on its walls.Also visit the BHU considered as the biggest residential university in Asia. The University Campus houses an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
Overnight will be at Varanasi
After breakfast at the hotel proceed for BODHGAYA. Carry packed lunch for the road as there would not be stop for meal.
Bodh Gaya continued to function as a centre of Buddhist scholarship and pilgrimage up to at least the beginning of the 15th century.Bodhgaya is one of the sacred places for the Buddhists as well as for the Hindus. Here under the Bodhi Tree, Gautama attained supreme knowledge to become Budhha, the `Enlighted One'.The tree from the original sapling still stands in the temple premises. It is the most important Buddhist pilgrimage centre as Buddhisrn was born here.
Overnight will be at Bodhgaya.
120 Kms/ 4 Hrs
Breakfast will be at hotel.
Proceed for sightseeing of Maha Bodhi Temple and Tree. Visit the Chinese Temple.,Niranjana Temple and River.
After the tour of Bodhgaya proceed for Patna Via Rajgir /Nalanda lunch will be on the way to some good local retusrant.
NALANDA: Nalanda was a great center of Buddhist learning in ancient times. A large number of Buddhist students thronged the Nalanda University to study Buddhism. The University of Nalanda was founded in the 5th century by the Gupta rulers. There were thousands of students and teachers. The importance of Nalanda University as a monastic university continued until the end of the 12th century. The ruins of the Nalanda University extend over a large area. Excavations at Nalanda have uncovered nine levels of occupation. For revenue purposes, a large number of villages were assigned to the Nalanda University.
RAJGIR: Rajgir was the ancient capital city of the Magadha kings until the 5th century BC. Jarasanadh who hailed from this place had defeated. It was at this place the Gautam Buddha spent several months meditating, and preaching at Griddhkuta.
Briefing (Patna): Pataliputra or Patna of today stands as the capital of Bihar. Once a prosperous city with strong Buddhist connections and a great learning center, Patna has developed into a modern city.
Hanuman Mandir this temple is situated near to patna station with the help of SP of Patna District. There is a mosque also nearby showing brotherwood between hindu and muslim.Lot of devotees offer prayer here on tuesday and saturday. a must visit for.There are other places of interest are , Patna Planetorium,,Golghar,Patna Museum.
Overnight will be in Patna.
90 Kms / 3Hrs
Breakfast will be at hotel. Explore the side where Buddha was cremated and visit Mahaparinirvana Temple.
Briefing (Vaishali): The capital of one the first republican states in the Ganga, Vaishali is bound by the hills of Nepal on the north and the river Gandak on the west. Hundred years after he attained Mahaparinirvana, it was the venue of the second Buddhist Council. According to one belief, the Jain Tirthankar, Lord Mahavir was born at Vaishali. The Chinese travelers Fa-Hien and Hieun Tsang also visited this place in early 5th and 7th centuries respectively and wrote about Vaishali.
Briefing (Kushinagar): The Buddha is believed to have breathed his last in this land with pastoral surrounding, the small hamlet of Kushinagar, 53 km west of Gorakhpur. The district of Kushinagar had been witness to the glorious ancient history and culture. It is believed to be an important centre for Vaishnav, Shiv, Shaktipeeth, Buddha, Mahavir etc. Situtaed on the bank of river Gandak and nearerto the terai of the Himalayas, this region was an ideal 'Meditation Place' for sages, saints hermits and Mahatamas who were attracted by its pious. tranquil and charming natural surroundings. Archeological excavation has yielded rich collection of antiquities. Artistic artifacts and statues of various gods and goddesses.
Overnight will be at Kushinagar.
180 Kms / 5 Hrs
Proceed after breakfast to Lumbini. En - route visit Kapilavastu.
Proceed further to Lumbini.
Reach Lumbini and sightseeing.
Breifing (Lumbini): The birthplace of the Gautama Buddha, Lumbini, is the Mecca of every Buddhist, being one of the four holy places of Buddhism. Buddha himself identified four places of future pilgrimage: the sites of his birth, enlightenment, first discourse, and death. Hence the birth of Gautam Buddha makes it one of the most sacred places in the world. The Sal tree where Siddhartha was born is difficult to locate now. But Ashoka, in the 21st year of his reign visited the forest and raised a pillar on the spot where Siddhartha was born.
The Mayadevi Temple: This Mayadevi temple dedicated to the mother of the Buddha has been digged out and restored. The temple has a stone artifact depicting the nativity of the Buddha. Maya Devi, his mother, gave birth to the child on her way to her parent's home in Devadaha while taking rest in Lumbini under a Sal tree in the month of May in the year 642 BC.
Overnight will be at LUMBINI.
190 Kms / 4 Hrs
Breakfast will be at the hotel.
Later start for Balrampur, en-route Sravasti, also visit Saheth & Maheth.
During the time of Sakyamuni, a rich and pious merchant named Sudatta lived in Sravasti. While on a visit to Rajgir, he heard the Buddha's sermon and decided to become the Lord's disciple.
Sudatta invited the Buddha to Sravasti and began to look for a suitable place to build a vihara. A beautiful park at the southern edge of Sravasti attracted his attention. The park belonged to Jeta, son of King Prasenjit of Sravasti.
Sravasti has two villages, Sahet and Mahet. From the Balrampur-Sravasti road one can enter Sahet, which is spread over an area of 400 acres and has a number of ruins.
Overnight will be in Balrampur.
160 Kms/ 4 Hrs
After a sumptuous breakfast proceed for Lucknow.
Reach and check in at the hotel.
Briefing (Lucknow): Lucknow’s foundations were laid in the 13th century a.d., a fairly recent date as compared to other cities in India. Explore this royal city of Nawabs. Lucknow is caught in a time warp. It exists in an in-between land of the past and the present looking back constantly to the memories of a colonial-Nawabi past. There is at the same time a sense of pride at the thought being after Delhi, the most important center of power in free India. Politics has indeed been Lucknow's forte but culture has been its historical identification.
Overnight will be in Lucknow.
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast at the hotel.
Later proceed for a sightseeing tour of Lucknow visiting Bada Imam Bada, Chota Imambada, etc.
In the evening
Overnight will be in Delhi.
After breakfast start the sightseeing tour of Delhi.
OLD DELHI - A sightseeing tour of Old Delhi would entail visiting the Raj Ghat - the memorial site where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated; Jama Masjid - the largest mosque in India and the Red Fort - once the most opulent fort and palace of the Moghul Empire.
Enjoy the cycle rickshaw ride from Jama Masjid to Chandni Chowk.
NEW DELHI - An extensive sightseeing tour of New Delhi would include a visit to the Humayun’s Tomb, the Qutub Minar, a drive along the ceremonial avenue - Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate, Parliament House and the President’s Residence and would end with a drive through the Diplomatic Enclave.
Check out in the evening and proceed for the Dances of India Show. Have dinner then transfer to Airport for flight home.