The land of Nepal and India gave the world the divine teachings of Lord Buddha, the spiritual master and founder of the world’s 4th largest religious group. His divine teachings have continued to enlighten pilgrims for the last 2500+ years as it shares the hope of peace and harmony. Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal as the prince Siddhartha Gautama. He meditated on ways to escape the rebirth in this world in the shadows of the amazing Himalayas before finally reaching enlightenment in Bodhgaya, India. From there, he preached his first sermon in what is now Sarnath India. His life ended in 543 BC at Kushinagar where his mortal remains lies in eight commemorative chortens.
The Complete Buddhist Circuit Tour of Nepal and India is more than just a visit to four strategic sites. It explores many of the holy and sacred places of Buddhism in the shadows of the mighty Himalayas. These mountains have long been known as a place of deep spirituality and in the history of Buddhism, they figure predominantly in its development.
Asia Buddhist Tours & Treks is probably the only travel company in Nepal that can offer such an amazing tour. Owned and operated by devout, practicing Buddhists, their love for Lord Buddha and his teachings are brought to life to fill and edify those seekers of spiritual enlightenment.
Highlights of The Complete Buddhist Circuit Tour of Nepal & India
Lumbini – It is here that Lord Buddha was born. Situated 59 km from the Shakya capital of Kapilavastu where his father was the king, Lumbini is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sacred gardens surround the Maya Devi Temple which is over the very place Lord Buddha was born. In front of the Maya Devi Temple is Pashkarni Pond where his mother Queen Maya Devi bathed just prior to giving birth. There are more than 25 international Buddhist monasteries here, reflecting the uniqueness of Buddhism as it has spread across so many lands. There is also a genuine Ashoka pillar as well as an interpretive museum.
Namo Buddha – Located 38 km east of Kathmandu, Namo Buddha is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site that celebrates the legendary prince Mahasattva who was a previous incarnation of Lord Buddha. Here in a cave Prince Mahasattva offered his arm to feed a starving tigress who had just given birth to four cubs, reflecting the selfless attitude of the man who in a later birth would become Lord Buddha. The views of the Himalayas are extraordinary from this vantage point.
Halesi/Maratika Cave –Known as Pashupatinath of eastern Nepal, this site is known as one of the six supreme pilgrimage sites in the world. The cave as well as the Buddhist monastery are important places to visit. The place is associated with the great Guru Padmasambhava as well as long life. This site is visited by both Hindus and Buddhists who regard this place with great sacredness.
Swayambhunath – The ancient stupa of Swayambhunath overlooks the Kathmandu Valley from a high hill. It is said that it was self-sprung over 2500 years ago, attracting Buddhist pilgrimages to where a bone of Lord Buddha himself is contained within one of the stupas there. The stupa is traditionally approached by 365 steep steps where the rhesus monkeys play. A new road with far less steps reaches it from the backside. There are many great celebrations here, including Buddha Jayanti in April or May and Ihosar in February or March (depends upon the lunar calendar). In late August and early September, a month long Gunla celebration marks the end of the summer monsoons that bring life-giving rains to the region.Swayambhunath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Boudhanath – Tibet to the north has contributed a significant flavor to Buddhism and in Kathmandu, Boudhanath is the holiest Buddhist temple outside of Tibet. Dating back to the 4th century, this massive stupa measures 100 meters in diameter and 40 metres in height. Also known as JharungKhashor, it symbolizes the high knowledge treasured by Lord Buddha and circumnavigating it while prostrating will fulfill the wishes of devotees who have a pure heart. There are Tibetan Buddhist monasteries here at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Boudhanath is home of two important monasteries:Kopan and Pullahari as well as being the retreat center for His Eminence Jamgon Knogtrul Rimpoche of Tibet who now resides in Nepal.
Pharping Monastery – Located 19 km south of Kathmandu near the sacred Bagmati River is a Newari town which has been a Buddhist pilgrimage site for centuries. Pharping lies on the road to the sacred Hindu temple of Dakshinkali and is said that in two of the caves here the great Tibetan Guru Rimpoche meditated. There are numerous monasteries as well as the sacred caves to explore.
Bodhgaya – Just across the border from Nepal is the city of Bodhgaya in Bihar State of India. It was here that Prince Siddhartha meditated for 49 days where he found Enlightenment (nirvana) under the Bodhi tree. It was under this Bodhi tree that he went from being Prince Siddhartha to Lord Buddha, emerging as the enlightened one. King Ashoka donated the Vajrasan throne which is located in the Mahabodhi Temple. The area contains many amazing Buddhist temples and monasteries from Buddhist communities around the world.
Sarnath – Upon enlightenment, Lord Buddha traveled to the village of Sarnath to preach his first sermon. Coming only 13 km from the ancient Hindu holy city of Varanasi, he established his first disciples (sangha) where he shared what he had discovered. At Sarnath, we find the magnificent Dhamekha Stupa that was erected by King Ashoka. This is the lion capital pillar that has become the proud symbol of India. When Buddha was asked about places that his devotees should visit, he told them about Sarnath as well as Lumbini and Bodhgaya.
Kushinagar – The final resting place for Lord Buddha was at the Khushinagar where he fell ill and died in 543 BC. Here his mortal remains were preserved in eight commemorative chortens before being divided between 84,000 locations by King Ashoka. Khushinagar is very close to the Nepalese border as we make our return trip back to Kathmandu.
Day 1: Arrival at Kathmandu .Transfer to hotel.
Day 2: Visit Namo Buddha and Thrangu monastery
Day 3: Flight to Lumbini. Explore Lumbini
Day 4: Visit Kapilvastu, Sagarhawa, Gotihawa, Kudan and Niglihawa
Day 5: Drive to Vaishali/Patna
Day 6: Drive to Bodh Gaya via Nalanda and Rajgir.
Day 7: Full day Bodh Gaya, Visit Mahabodhi tree, Niranjana River ,Sujata Kuti, Big Buddha statue
Day 8: Drive to Varanasi and Sarnath
Day 9: Free day to explore Varanasi
Day 10: Drive to Kushinagar. Visit mahaparinirvana Temple, Cremation stupa
Day 11: Drive to Lumbini. Late afternoon flight to Kathmandu
Day 12: Kathmandu and full day Monastery tour of Pharping, Boudhanath, and Soyambhunath.
Day 13: Drive to Halesi/Maratika caves. Explore the caves.Meditation
Day 14: Leisure day in Kathmandu
Day 15: Departure day
Day 1: Arrival at Kathmandu
Transfer to the hotel and overnight. Arrive at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu .representatives from Asia Buddhist tours will receive and transfer you to the hotel. Overnight hotel.
Day 2: Morning Visit Namo Buddha and the Thrangu monastery.
Drive to Namo Buddha which is 40 km away from Kathmandu .The shakyamuni Buddha is believed to have fed his own blood and flesh to a starving tigress. Visit the monastery and stupa along with Buddhist philosophy class and meditation. Take part in puja and chanting and rituals. Overnight namo Buddha
Day 3: Morning heading to the airport to catch a flight to Lumbini and Transfer to the hotel.
After breakfast we take a flight to Bhairahawa and drive to Lumbini. Afternoon visit Lumbini garden ,visit ashoka pillar, mayadevi temple, holy pond and different monasteries inside the maya devi garden. Overnight hotel
Day 4: Visit Kapilvastu,Sagarhawa,Gotihawa ,Kudan and Niglihawa.
Visit the other Buddhist sites near Lumbini. Tilaurakot is the capital where shakyamuni Buddha was born. Sagarhawa, Gotihawa, Kudan and Niglihawa are other places of Buddhism significance. Overnight hotel
Day 5: Drive to Vaishali /Patna (India)
Drive to India Nepal border, Gorakhpur. Further drive to Vaishali, Patna. Vaishali is the monsoon retreat of Buddha, visited many times by Buddha. Important monasteries and shrines described by the Chinese pilgrim Fa Xian in 5th century. Second great council of Buddhist was held at Vaishali after the death of Buddha. Overnight patna
Day 6: Drive to Bodh Gaya via Nalanda and Rajgir.
Bodh Gaya is about 144 km from Vaishali patna.visit Rajgir which is an ancient city in north east Indian state of Bihar. Surrounded by hills, it's popular for its holy sites. Remains of cyclopean wall, which encircled the city centuries ago, still stand in the centre. Close by Venu vana park once was a home to a monastery built for Buddha. The shield shaped Japanese temple contains a huge Buddha statue. Nearby there are hot springs believed to have medicinal properties.
Day 7: Full day sightseeing of Bodh Gaya. Visit Mahabodhi temple and Bodhi tree, Niranjana river, Sujata kuti, Big Buddha statue.
Spend your day in Bodh Gaya, visit Bodhi tree, Animesh Lochan Chaitya,the ratnachankramana, the Ratnagaraha, the Ajapala Nigrodha tree, Rajyatna tree, Muchalinda pond. And also the various monasteries around the world ,around the complex.
Day 8: Drive to Varanasi, continue to Sarnath visiting Dhamekha stupa, Budhha first teaching Mulagandha kuti and Ashoka pillar.
It is about 250 km drive that takes about 6 hours to reach Varanasi, and again another 13 km north west to sarnath. Visit dhamekha stupa, Buddha first teaching, Mulganda kuti, and Ashoka pillar. Sarnath is near the confluence of the Ganges and varuna river. Overnight Varanasi
Day 9: Free day to explore Varanasi.
Day 10: Drive to Kushinagar. Visit mahaparinirvana temple,cremation stupa.
It is 220 km drive and takes 6 hours to reach kushi nagar. It is the place where Buddha went to parinirvana. Visit Mahaparinirvana temple where Buddha took his last breath. And Ramabhar stupa, the cremation site of Buddha and the Japan temple. Back to hotel and overnight hotel
Day 11: Drive to Kushinagar then to Lumbini.late afternoon flight to Kathmandu.
After breakfast in the hotel,start driving to Lumbini nepal.it is about 142 km and takes around 4-5 hours. Reach Lumbini and transfer to Bhairahawa airport. Take an evening flight to Kathmandu.transfer to hotel and overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 12: Day in Kathmandu, Sightseeing tour of Pharping, Boudhanath and Swayambhunath.
Full day sightseeing in Kathmandu. The biggest Buddhist stupas swayambhunath and boudhanath along with the pharping monastery which has a cave where guru Padmasambhava have believed to meditate. Overnight Kathmandu.
Day 13: Drive to Halesi /Maratika cave in the morning.
The drive to Maratika is around 5-6 hours on a Jeep /Hiace. It’s another holy place for Buddhist as well as Hindus. You will spend the day in those sacred caves and meditate. Overnight hotel
Day 14: Drive back to Kathmandu and have a leisurely day of your own.
Day 15: Departure day. We depart to the airport for your final departure.
Please Note:This Itinerary and program can be modified as per your request ,according to your arrival either in Kathmandu Nepal or New Delhi India.
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