Embark on a morning combined sightseeing tour of the famous historical sights in Old and New Delhi. Visit Mahatma Gandhi?s memorial Raj Ghat and the 72 m high Qutub Minar tower. Drive past the Red Fort, Jama Mosque, Rajpath, India Gate, Parliament House and the Presidential Estate. This evening you are transferred from the hotel to the Railway Station in time to board your train to Gorakhpur. Overnight on board the train
On arrival at the Gorakhpur Railway Station, you are met and drive to Lumbini (135 kms / 4 hours). On arrival at your hotel, check-in and enjoy lunch. The rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Lumbini.
Visit the birthplace of Buddha in Lumbini with its ruins of many ancient stupas and monasteries. A large stone pillar erected by the Indian emperor Ashoka in 250 BC bears an inscription about the birth of the Buddha. Visit the temple of Maya Devi which has a stone image of Maya Devi giving birth to Lord Buddha as she holds onto a branch. Also visit the sacred Pond and the Temple of Lord Buddha. Lunch, dinner and overnight at your hotel in Lumbini.
Today is earmarked for a full day visit Kushinagar where Buddha breathed his last. Pay your respects at the remains of his brick cremation Stupa. Also see the large, reclining Buddha figure in Mahaparinirvana temple, the modern Indo/Japan/Sri Lanka Buddhist centre and the monasteries. Lunch, dinner and overnight at your hotel in Kushinagar.
Depart early this morning from Kushinagar to Patna (225 kms/8 hours) en route visiting Vaishali. At Vaishali see the Ashoka Pillar; Anand Stupa, the first discipline of Lord Buddha; and the Monkey tank. On arrival at Patna, check-in at your hotel. Overnight in Patna.
Drive from Patna to Bodhgaya, en route visiting Nalanda and Rajgir. Nalanda is a celebrated monastic establishment visited by Buddha, Mahavira and later by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka. By the 7th century, Nalanda became the outstanding centre of Mahayana Buddhist learning, a famous university, with shrines and monasteries that attracted scholars from all over India, South East Asia and China. By the 12th - 13th centuries, as Buddhism declined in the region and Muslim influence increased, Nalanda fell into disuse and was eventually abandoned. Visit the archaeological Museum which has an invaluable collection of sculptures and bronzes.
About 10 kms from Nalanda is Rajgir, the ancient capital of the Magadha kingdom, which was frequently visited by Buddha. Rajgir is also sacred to the Jains as Mahavira, a contemporary of Buddha, spent many rainy seasons here. The Japanese-made Vishwa Shanti Stupa atop a hill is worth seeing. On arrival at Bodhgaya, check-in at your hotel. Overnight in Bodhgaya.
Embark on a full day visit to Bodhgaya and Gaya. Bodhgaya, the place where Buddha attained enlightenment is the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in the world. The focal point of this place is the Mahabodhi tree, ?the tree under which Buddha attained wisdom' while the Temple marking the sacred spot is known as Mahabodh Temple.
Gaya was closely associated with Buddhism being in close proximity to Bodhgaya. But since 10th century, Gaya has been an important Hindu religious centre, where Hindu pilgrims come from all over India to offer 'Pindas' or funeral cakes for the peace of the departed souls. Visit the Sikharn style Vishnupad Temple with its 40 cm long footprint of Lord Vishnu, imprinted in solid rock and surrounded by a silver plated basin. Overnight in Bodhgaya.
Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his message of the way to Nirvana. Later, Ashoka, erected magnificent Stupas and monasteries at Sarnath.
Post breakfast, drive from Bodhgaya to Varanasi (270 kms / 9 hours). Varanasi, located on the banks of the River Ganga, is one of the oldest living cities in the world and also the holiest of Hindu pilgrimages. Sarnath, located close by, is where Buddha preached his first sermon. Lord Mahavir also revealed his Jain Philosophy at nearby Kasi. On arrival, check-in at your hotel. Overnight in Varanasi.
Enjoy an early morning boat ride on the river Ganges. After breakfast at your hotel, proceed for a city tour of Varanasi visiting to the numerous temples and the bazaars. In the afternoon, visit the buried city of Sarnath, north east of Varanasi. After attaining enlightenment at Bodhgaya, Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his message of the way to Nirvana. Later, Ashoka, erected magnificent Stupas and monasteries at Sarnath. See the ruins of a once flourishing Buddhist monastery and a fine museum which houses an excellent collection of Buddhist art and sculptures. Overnight in Varanasi.
The morning is free at leisure. In the afternoon you are transferred from your hotel to the airport in time for your onward flight to Delhi. On arrival at Delhi airport, you are met and transferred to the international airport for your flight onward