Destinations Covered under India Nepal Buddhist Circuit Tour:
Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Nalanda, Kushinagar, Lumbini, Varanasi, Sarnath.
- 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.
- 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 boat ride on the river Ganges and numerous temples and Ghats on the holy river 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. Budhha reached the Deer park on a full moon night of Asarha month, and that very night he gave his first sermon, the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta and later the Anattalakkhana Sutta. In Sarnath Buddha preached the rich man Yash and his 54 followers and they became Arahants . Buddha asked all Arahants to go in different directions with no two Arahants going on same road, thus establishing the order of monks or Sangha.
- 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 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.Buddha passed away on the full moon day of wesak month, near the river Hiranyawati. Buddha was lying on his right side between two sal trees with his head facing north when he was taking his last breath. The ruler of Kushinagar arranged for the cremation, and the last rites were carried out in accordance with the honor of a Chakravarti king. Buddha was cremated at the shrine of Mallas now called Ramabhar stupa, originally called Makutbandhana Cetiya.
- 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 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.
Our India Nepal Buddhist circuit tour takes you to four major pilgrimage sites mentioned by the Buddha (Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar), as well as the two major sites where Buddha performed miracles (Sravasti and Rajgir). In addition to these six most important Buddhist pilgrimage destinations, you will also visit one of the oldest universities in the world, the Nalanda Mahavihara.
Highlights of the tour:
- All 4 major places of Buddhist pilgrimage (Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar)
- Visit Rajgir , where Buddha performed supreme Miracle
- 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Bodhgaya, Nalanda and Lumbini)
- One of the oldest universities in the world (Nalanda Mahavihara)