Buddhist Circuit Tour with Wildlife Safari - 13 Days

Destinations Covered in Buddhist Circuit Tour with Wildlife Safari :

Delhi, Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, Varanasi, Sarnath, Sravasti, Lumbini, Kapilvastu, Kushinagar, Kesaria, Vaishali, Nalanda, Rajgir, and Bodhgaya.

  • Delhi: Delhi, the capital city of India, is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world with a long history and diverse heritage. Delhi is home to three of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and numerous other significant historical heritage sites within its small geographical area. The history of Delhi goes back to the second millennium BC, while she has been continuously inhabited since at least 6th century BC. The three World Heritage Sites in Delhi are the Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, and Kutab Minar, and they are major tourist attractions in the city along with other monuments like Akshardham temple, India Gate, Lotus temple, Purana Quila, and many others. Delhi is also famous for her street foods and a plethora of shopping opportunities across the city.
  • Jim Corbett National Park: Jim Corbett National Park is one of the finest tiger reserves of India which has always fascinated the wildlife enthusiast from India and abroad. It has a healthy habitat of not only one of the largest populations of Royal Bengal tiger  (a tiger population of more than 2000 tigers within the national park)  but also a good population of other charismatic species like elephants and leopard as well as rare species like Otters and the Gharial. The Corbett Tiger Reserve is one of the most sought after destinations for the wildlife enthusiasts and more than 5 lakh tourists visit the tiger reserve every year, the highest among all protected areas in India.  It is home to approximately 110 tree species, 50 mammal species, and 25 reptile species. In addition with over 550 species of birds (including over 50 species of raptors), Corbett is one of the richest bird regions of the Country and has been declared as an ‘Important Bird Area’ (IBA) by Birdlife International.
  • Varanasi: Varanasi is the spiritual capital of India and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The city draws Hindu and Buddhist Pilgrims from across the world because of its very high spiritual significance in the religious traditions. The major tourist attraction of the city is the boat ride on the river Ganges and numerous temples and Ghats on the holy river the Ganges.
  • Sarnath: Sarnath, is located around 10 km from the ancient city of Varanasi and is one of the most important centers of pilgrimage for the Buddhists. It was here where Buddha preached his first sermon and the Dhammacakkra was set rolling through the preaching of Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta.
  • Sravasti: Sravasti was the capital of the ancient Kosala Kingdom and one of the six largest cities in India at the time of Buddha. It was here in Sravasti where Buddha performed the twin miracles. He also spent 25 annual rainy retreats at Jetavana Vihara and Pubbarama, two monasteries just outside the city.
  • Lumbini: Siddhartha, the son of Sakya king Suddhodhana and queen Maya Devi was born in the Lumbini garden in 623 BC. Lumbini, a “UNESCO World Heritage Site”, is located in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal. Queen Maya Devi gave birth to little Siddhartha while traveling from Kapilavastu to Devadaha (her parents’ home) to give birth to her first child as per the tradition of that time.
  • Kapilvastu: Kapilvastu, the ancient capital of Sakyan Kingdom and the place where Siddhartha spent his 29 years, is around 27 km from Lumbini at the present-day Tilaurakot (in Nepal). This is also the place where Siddhartha renounced the material world in search of enlightenment. The ruins of Kapilvastu include the remains of the fortification wall & eastern and western gates. The Eastern gate, through which Siddhartha took renunciation, is called the Mahabhiniskramana Dwara.
  • Kushinagar: Kushinagar is one of the four most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites, around 52 km from the town of Gorakhpur. It was earlier called Kusinara and was the capital of Malla kingdom. It is the place where Buddha attained parinirvana at the age of eighty. The followers of Buddhism wish to visit this place at least once in their lifetime.
  • Kesaria Stupa: The Kesaria Stupa is the highest stupa in the world and stands in the East Champaran district around 56 kilometers from Vaishali. The height of the Kesaria Stupa is 32 meters (30 cm taller than the Borobodaur Stupa in Java) and spans 427 meters.
  • Vaishali: The ancient city of Vaishali is of great significance to Buddhists on their pilgrimage because it is not merely the place where one of the four major miracles was performed by Buddha, but here Buddha also gave his last sermon before his parinibbana.
  • Nalanda: Nalanda, a “UNESCO World Heritage Site” was the home of a famous university and is situated around 70 km from Bodhgaya and 100 km south of Patna. Two chief disciples of Buddha, Sariputra, and Moggallana, belonged to Nalanda. This was possibly the first international residential university in the world, where more than 2,000 teachers and 10,000 monk students from all over the Buddhist world lived and studied more than 100 subjects.
  • Rajgir: Rajgir is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites. This is the place where Buddha subdued Nalagiri, the charging elephant, which is counted as one of the major miracles of Buddha.
  • Bodhgaya: Bodhgaya is the holiest site on every Buddhist Pilgrimage and it is the very place where Shakyamuni attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. It is a “World Heritage Site” situated in the Indian state of Bihar. During the time of Buddha, this place was called Uruvela and is located on the banks of river Niranjana. The first temple in Bodhgaya was built by King Asoka in 250 BC. The main monastery of Bodhgaya was earlier called Bodhimanda Vihara and is now called the Mahabodhi temple.

Overview

The perfect balance of culture, spirituality, and wildlife. After your arrival in Delhi, India’s capital city Delhi, explore its many points of interest. From Delhi head north toward the Himalayan foothills to explore wild India. You will stay at Jim Corbett National Park, famous for its high tiger population (more than 220 as per the last census). Go on a safari drive and discover elephants, deer, the majestic leopard, and bears. Continue your journey to the marvelous city of Varanasi, home to numerous religious sites. You will then follow in the footsteps of Buddha by visiting major Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar. This tour will also take you the three major sites of miracles performed by Buddha (Sravasti, Vaishali, and Rajgir). In addition, you will travel to the highest stupa (Kesaria) and one of the oldest universities(Nalanda) in the world.

Highlights of the tour:

  • The 4 major places of Buddhist pilgrimage mentioned by the Buddha (Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar)
  • The 3 places of supreme miracles (Sravasti, Vaishali, Rajgir)
  • Delhi,the capital city of India
  • Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, one of the finest national parks in the world, having the highest number of tigers on the planet.
  • 6 UNESCO World Heritage sites (Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Humayun Tomb , Bodhgaya, Nalanda and Lumbini)
  • The highest stupa in the world (Kesaria Stupa)
  • One of the oldest universities in the world (Nalanda Mahavihara)

Itinerary

Day 1
Delhi

Arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 2
Delhi

Full day sightseeing tour of Delhi.
Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Lotus Temple, Humayun Tomb, Raj Ghat.

Day 3
Delhi to Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve

Transfer to Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve by bus. Night stay at hotel in Corbett.
Evening bird watching tour at Corbett Tiger Reserve with a naturist.

Day 4
Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve

Morning and afternoon wildlife safari in open Jeep.
Wildlife safari in Bijrani and Jhirna zone of Corbett National Park.

Day 5
Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve to Delhi

Transfer to Delhi from Corbett Tiger Reserve by bus. Relax at your hotel in Delhi.

Day 6
Delhi to Varanasi

Morning departure to Delhi airport. Transfer to hotel in Varanasi. Sightseeing tour to Sarnath after lunch.
Visit Dhamek Stupa, Dharmrajika Stupa, Asoka Pillar, Pancayatna, Mulgandhkuti, Chaukhandi, Sarnath museum and different monasteries and temples.

Day 7
Varanasi to Sravasti

Morning boat ride on the river Ganges and sightseeing in Varanasi. After lunch travel to Sravasti. Overnight stay at the hotel in Sravasti.
Visit the Ghats of Ganges and different temples in Varanasi.

Day 8
Sravasti to Lumbini (Nepal)

Morning sightseeing at Sahet and Mahet in Sravasti. After lunch travel to Lumbini. Overnight at Lumbini (Nepal).
Visit Jetavan Vihar, Gandhkuti, Anand Bodhi Tree, Kosambi Kuti, Stupa H, Angulimal Stupa, Sudatta Stupa, Orajhar.

Day 9
Lumbini to Kushinagar

Morning sightseeing in Lumbini. Travel to Kushinagar after lunch. Overnight stay in Kushinagar.
Visit Maya Devi Temple, Sanctum Santorum, Asoka Pillar, Puskarini, Kapilvastu, Kudan, Niglihawa, Ramagama Stupa, temples and monasteries of different countries.

Day 10
Kusinagar to Kesaria and Vaishali

Morning sightseeing in Kushinagar. Leave for Vaishali after lunch. Sightseeing in Kesaria en route. Overnight stay in Vaishali.
Visit Mahaparinibban Temple, Mahaparinibban Stupa, Cremation Stupa, Mathakunwar Shrine, Kesaria Stupa.

Day 11
Vaishali to Nalanda, Rajgir and Bodhgaya

Morning sightseeing in Vaishali. Travel to Bodhgaya. Sightseeing at Nalanda and Rajgir en route. Overnight stay in Bodhgaya.
Visit Relic Stupa, Raj Vishal ka Garh, World Peace Pagoda, Asoka Pillar, Asoka Stupa, Monkey Tank, Nalanda Mahavihar, Veluvana, Vulture Peak, Bimbisar Prison, Jivakamravana Vihar, Sone Bhandar.

Day 12
Bodhgaya

Full day sightseeing in Bodhgaya, in the evening return to your hotel and relax.
Visit Mahabodhi Temple, Mahabodhi Tree, the Vajrasana, Sujata Kuti, Pragbodhi, or Dungeswari, monasteries, and temples of different countries.

Day 13
Return to Delhi

Departure for Delhi from Bodhgaya airport after breakfast.

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Buddhist Circuit Tour with Wildlife Safari