Footsteps of Buddha

Detailed Itinerary:
Day 1 -  VARANASI  :  On arrival at Varanasi International airport you will be met and assisted by our company executive and transfer to your hotel. Welcome Drink on arrival. Check into hotel and in the evening proceed for holy Ganges Aarti.
Varanasi, or Benaras, (also known as Kashi) is one of the oldest living cities in the world. Varanasi`s Prominence in Hindu mythology is virtually unrevealed. Mark Twain, the English author and literature, who was enthralled by the legend and sanctity of Benaras, once wrote : "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together" .
Post Aarti, Come back to hotel. Dinner. Stay overnight at hotel. 

Day 2 - Enjoy sunrise  early morning at Ganges with boating and witness the sun's rays on architecture as old as history.Post that , you can also opt to explore the streets of Varanasi in a special  guided tour known as the 'Walks of Benaras'. Have breakfast in your hotel and  then leave for sightseeing of city temples, as Varanasi is also known as the city of ancient temples.Afternoon come back to Hotel. Lunch.
Post Lunch visit  Sarnath – Where Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya, today it presents the most expansive ruins among places on the Buddhist trail. At Sarnath ,visit Dhamek Stupa – which is now an official symbol of Modern India. Chaukandi Stupa - this stupa was rebuilt by Mughal Emperor Akbar. After that come back to Hotel. Dinner. Stay overnight at hotel. 

Day 3-  After breakfast at hotel, drive down to Bodhgaya which is about 250 kms from Varanasi. Bodhgaya is one of the most important and sacred Buddhist pilgrimage center in the world. It was here under a banyan tree, the Bodhi Tree, Gautama attained supreme knowledge to become Buddha,the Enlightened One. 
After reaching to Bodhgaya. Lunch. Relax than proceed to Bodhgaya sightseeing , starting with Mahabodhi Temple: The temple stands in the east to the Bodhi Tree. Also visit Shaivite Monastery, near the Mahabodhi Temple and the Archaeological Museum.Overnight in Hotel.

Day 4 - After breakfast at hotel, today you will drive to Patna via Rajgir and Nalanda. Both sites hold great significance in the Buddhism circuit. Nalanda was one of the World’s great Universities and most important Buddhist centers founded in the 5th Century AD. During its peak in the 7th century AD, Nalanda was home to over 10,000 monks and scholars. 
Rajgir is an important site of pilgrimage where the Buddha delivered several famous teachings. It is also the site of the First Buddhist Council which convened the year following Buddha’s death. The city is also an important place for Jains, as the Mahavira spent time here and the hills are topped with Digambara shrines. At Rajgir, visit the Bamboo Grove which was the site of the Buddha’s first monastery. Spend time on Gridhakuta mountain (the Vulture Peak) which Buddha was especially fond of. Thereafter visit Jivaka's Mango Grove (Jivaka was the Buddha's physician), the jail where King Bimbisara was imprisoned by his son and Satadhara (seven hot springs) where it is said the Buddha came to relieve his bodily pains.
Overnight in Patna.

Day 5- After Breakfast, proceed to Kushinagar enroute visit Vaishali, Kushinagar is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site, where Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana after his death. visit the Mahaparinirvana Temple, dedicated to the final days of the Buddha . This site is home to a magnificent 18-foot reclining Buddha, built of stone in the 5th century AD. Explore the temple and its reclining Buddha statue, as well as various stupas that have been erected by Buddhists from throughout the world. At the end proceed for a circumambulation of Buddha’s cremation site. Also visit Rambhar Stupa (cremation site of Lord Buddha).

Enroute visit Vaishali, the capital of the erstwhile Lichhavi Republic. This is also the place where the Buddha ordained his stepmother as the first nun and where
monkeys miraculously offered the Buddha honey. One can observe an intact Ashokan Pillar dating back to the 3rd century BC at this place.

After getting over with the sightseeing of Vaishali, continue driving to Kushinagar. Upon arrival, check-in to your hotel.
Overnight at Kushinagar.

 Day 6 : KUSHINAGAR – LUMBINI (148 kms / 04 hrs approx.) - After breakfast , drive to Lumbini - the birth place of Lord Buddha.Lumbini is a Buddhist pilgrimage site located in Rupandehi district of Nepal.Lumbini is one of the four main pilgrimage sites of Buddhism, along with Kushinagar, Bodhgaya and Sarnath. Lumbini is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On arrival, transfer to hotel. In the Afternoon, proceed for sightseeing of Lumbini visiting the Sacred Garden; the Temple of Maya Devi (Lord Buddha’s mother) and the tank where the young Prince Siddhartha is said to have been bathed 2,500 years ago. Overnight stay at Lumbini.

Day 7: LUMBINI – SRAVASTI (VIA KAPILAVASTU) (188 kms / 05hrs approx.)- After breakfast leave for Sravasti enroute visiting Kapilavastu - the childhood home of Gautam Buddha.
Sravasti was the capital of the ancient Kosala kingdom and has the honour for sheltering Buddha for 24 rainy seasons in the Jetvana Gardens. After freshening up enjoy a guided visit to Saheth, Maheth and Angulimal’s Cave .

Visit the stupa of the dreaded terrorist Angulimala, who was converted over by Lord Buddha. Sit at the site of the Buddha’s hut and trace his steps on the walking meditation path. We’ll also spend time in the beautiful Jeta Grove, where the Buddha gave some of his most important teachings. Among these was the Anapanasati sutra on the full awareness of breathing.
Overnight stay at Sravasti.

Day 8 - After breakfast at hotel, leave for Varanasi which is about 308 kms / 08 hrs approx. from Sravasti  - On reaching Varanasi , overnight in Varanasi and next day departure from Varanasi with Happy Memories. Trip Ends.