On the Buddhist Route
once said there is a Buddha in everyone; just one needs to identify him
within to become awakened and enlightened. Walk for Enlightenment Tour
gives a pilgrim an opportunity to go back to the important sites of Buddhas
life and live the life like our master. By embracing the simple lifestyle,
we walk through the temples, stupas, monasteries and villages that hold
great importance in shaping the Buddha to understand the lord in a better
Walk for Enlightenment Tour is an attempt of taking you back to
the life of the Buddha, to be like our spiritual master and attain awakening
01 : Arrive Bodhgaya
Upon arrival at Gaya Airport, meet our representative for a drive to a local
and prepare for your monkhood. From here, we start the
journey of knowing and embracing Buddhas life in the real way. Lord
Buddha renounced his material wealth and pleasures in the quest for ultimate
truth. And the first step he took towards this was shaving the hair. With
this, he freed himself from one more link of the material world. Our
pilgrims can also take the same step like our revered Sakyamuni and renounce
worldly links in the beginning of this pilgrimage. A special head shaving
ceremony with mantra recitation ritual by monks is a part of this pious
beginning. Next, the pilgrims receive the robes from monks as a blessing for
a spiritual trip. Robe donation
by the devotees here is also
However, it is optional for our pilgrims to take this austere path
towards devotion. But the main essence of this day is to prepare for the
Buddhist Pilgrimage in mind and in spirit by adhering simplicity and the
Buddhist way of life. Lunch within temple premises. Overnight in temple.
02 : Bodhgaya
Begin the morning the way Buddha used to do daily wander as a monk
and collect the alms for breakfast. After breakfast, bow and walk to the
Great Mahabodhi Temple Complex
, the center of reverence and
spiritual home for every Buddhist. Under the sacred Bodhi Tree, Prince
Siddhartha sat in his meditation on the full moon night and attained
enlightenment after wandering as a monk for six years. Here, he became the
Buddha or awakened.
A guided walk through the Mahabodhi Complex will introduce you to the rich
history of Uruvela (Bodhgaya)
and its direct association with Lord
Buddha. Here, he spent seven weeks in meditative state after enlightenment.
The seven weeks are characterized by seven sacred spots, namely - Bodhi
Tree, Animeshlochana Chaitya, Ratnachankramana, Ratnaghar Chaitya, Ajapala
Nigrodh Tree, Muchalinda Lake / Lotus Pond and Rajyatana Tree
All of these sacred spots are also present in the modern day Mahabodhi
Complex. One by one, we cover the sites with a guided tour and a brief 15
min meditation session
to follow the master and experience the ultimate
awakening he experienced just after enlightenment. Donate butter lamps
here in Mahabodhi Temple, also a world heritage site.
After enlightenment, Gautama Buddha went to the River Nairanjana
and took a dip in its pristine waters. Next stopover is Niranjana River.
Though the river doesnt exist, the spiritual presence of our lord
makes this site a subject of reverence.
Sujata Village (Senani Village)
, the next Buddhist site marks the
location where the young maiden, Sujata offered the rice milk bowl and ended
Sakyamunis hard asceticism. This incident also inspired him to walk on
a Middle Path
in every front of life. Such is the glory
of Sujata Village. Here, the exact site where he received the offering is
marked by Sujata Temple
We remember this glorious incident from the masters life by
distributing the sweet rice milk among the locals. Lunch at hotel. Return to
hotel for rest.
Optional visit to Dungeshwari Caves
. Here, Prince Siddhartha
performed austere meditation for years and reduced himself to a skeleton.
The location is very sacred among Buddhists as the site purified by lord
himself through continuous meditation.
Dinner and Overnight in Hotel.
03 : Bodhgaya - Rajgir- Nalanda- Bodhgaya (90 km / 2 hrs)
In the morning, step out of Uruvela (Bodhgaya)
and drive towards
. This city held a lot of importance in Buddhas life.
When Siddhartha renounced his royal heritage, he came to Rajgriha in the
pursuit of salvation. Bimbisara, the king upon knowing the presence of
Sakyamuni came down to meet him and offered him half of his kingdom. But all
he received for this gesture was an assurance that whenever the prince
achieved his enlightenment, he would immediately return to Rajgir.
And when that time came, King Bimbisara offered Buddha a monastery called
as Venuvana Vihara
. Nearby is the Karanda Tank
used to bath more often.
After collecting breakfast as monks in Rajgir, visit Griddhakuta
Vultures Peak and marvel at the site where Buddha meditated and even
preached sermons like Lotus Sutra.
Here, we remember the same piety and devotion as a follower towards Lord
Buddha and his teachings by arranging a special group meditation at Griddhakuta,
Next in discovery of Rajagriha is Jivakambawan
. Jivaka was the most
celebrated doctor in India and the royal physician of Rajagriha. Here, the
physician himself attended Buddha, dressed his wound and presented him this
After lunch at Rajgir, transfer to Nalanda
, the worlds first
and oldest residential university complex. It was the center of learning and
education that attracted students from different parts of the world for its
diversified subject knowledge. Even Lord Buddha lived and taught
occasionally in Nalanda. Later, it became the center of Buddhist learning
Also, bow down in front of Sariputta Stupa
, an imposing structure
enshrining the mortal remains of Sariputta, one of the chief disciples of
Return to Bodhgaya for overnight stay.
4 : Bodhgaya - Varanasi (255 km / 5 hrs)
In the morning, we walk through the Monasteries of Bodhgaya
witness different ways and forms of following the spiritual master, Gautama
Buddha. Visit the local temple and cook food for the monks in their kitchen.
Buddha believed in serving the society, so this is the ideal way to
experience the joy of service. After serving others, have lunch within the
temple premises and we leave for Varanasi, the oldest continuing city in
India having a respected place in Hindu religion.
Though the paths of Hinduism and Buddhism are different, but both share the
same ultimate goal of life, i.e. liberation of soul from the cycle of
births. The better place to experience the liberation of human form is
Varanasi. Upon reaching here, begin an evening boating tour
The center of attraction in Varanasi, River Ganges is always bustling with
life in and around its Ghats
. Evening comes alive with lamps
lit and Aarti sung in glory of River Ganges, the lifeline of Varanasi.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
5 : Varanasi - Sarnath
Morning, transfer to Sarnath (Issipattna or Rishipattna)
Buddha delivered his first sermon to the first five followers. The essence
of the spiritual master is still present in Sarnath. The air still carries
the fragrance of Buddha and deer still wander through the location reminding
us of the landmark occasion in Buddhist history.
We begin the walk tour through Sarnath
by visiting Archaeological
Survey of Indias Museum. A treasure trove of Buddhist sculptures,
antiques, inscriptions and pottery, Sarnath Museum
images inspired by the life of Buddha. Also, here you can even see the
magnificent Lion Capital, which once crowned the Ashoka Pillar at
. It is also the official emblem of India
here, we walk through the Sarnath Complex and remember the glories of Issipattna
as the hosting site for Buddhas first sermon. A deeper experience
awaits us as we move towards the Dharmarajika Stupa.
This was built
by Mauryan Emperor Ashoka to enshrine the relics of lords mortal
A walk through the ruined monastery complex takes you to Dhamekha Stupa
It marks the location where Lord Buddha delivered Dharmachakrapravartana,
Middle Path and Four Noble Truths of Life
for the first time to the five
Mulgandhakuti Vihara was the favoured meditation site of Buddha during his
vassavasa / monsoon retreats.
To remember the same of Dharmachakrapravartana
, we attend one hour discourse
by a Senior Monk on
the practical teachings of our spiritual master.
Lunch in Maitreya Buddha Temple and before leaving Sarnath; donate incense,
flowers and blankets.
Next, visit Sarnath Village
and observe the process of handicraft
making. Have tea with the locals in the village and experience the genuine
welcome and hospitality of Incredible India. Atithi Devo Bhavah (Guest is
06 : Varanasi - Kushinagar (175 km / 4.5 hrs)
Early morning, transfer to the Varanasi Ghats
for a special one
session under the guidance of an expert Yoga practitioner.
Yoga is seen as one more linking force between Hinduism and Buddhism &
also is a great way to reconnect with your soul. Next we begin the boat ride
to experience the early morning rituals around Ghats of Varanasi. Witness
people taking sacred dips in the River Ganges, worship Sun God and the holy
river, offering morning prayers, or consulting to the local astrologer
during this river cruise.
The bathing Ghats of Varanasi are always full of life. And this early
morning boating offers an opportunity to experience the life around Ghats in
full form. Sailing through the abundant experiences, the boat tour brings us
to a point where we witness the ultimate truth of life, i.e. death at the
cremation banks of River Ganges - Manikarnika Ghat
It is a belief that the cremation performed here transports the soul to
final liberation. Witnessing this ritual is important in our journey as well
because it reminds us of our next destination where Buddha final liberated
himself from the cycles of birth and death, i.e. Kushinagar
After boat ride is over, return to the hotel and begin the collecting alms
for breakfast. After lunch, check-out Varanasi and transfer to Kushinagar
Upon reaching here, check in the hotel for overnight stay.
07 : Kushinagar
The morning at Kushinagar prepares us to witness the ultimate truth of
life, i.e. final liberation. Every human wants to achieve the Moksha
and Buddhism shows us how to realize the ultimate goal of life.
After collecting and having breakfast, begin a walk towards Mahaparinirvana
Temple. Here, we perform the Pooja under guidance of a senior monk and pay
respects to the Lord.
Next, we walk towards Ramabhar Stupa - Buddhas cremation site and
offer incense and candles here.
Later, we visit a Village in Kushinagar to observe the villagers way
of simple life. Lunch in Hotel. Post lunch, we visit a Charitable
y. As Buddha believed in giving, we donate medicines and
medical aids for the benefit of villagers. Overnight in Kushinagar.
08 : Kushinagar - Lumbini (180 km / 5 hrs)
After collecting and having breakfast, leave Kushinagar for Lumbini, the
birthplace of Buddha. Upon arrival, check in the hotel. After lunch, walk
towards the Mayadevi Temple, dedicated to Queen Maya, mother of Prince
Siddhartha. Ambulate around the temple complex and bow around Pushkarini
. It is believed that the queen took bath before giving birth to
Buddha. Perform a walking meditation
within the temple complex and
feel blessed after completing the Buddhist pilgrimage.
After that, visit the Ashoka Pillar commissioned by the Mauryan king after
he exempted Lumbini village from tax under his rule. It is also a world
heritage site. Donate Prayer Flags
in the Mayadevi Temple, Lumbini.
Evening is free for walk around the different monasteries of Buddhist
countries in Lumbini. Here we witness that the path to devotion may be
different, but the essence of Buddhism is same. Overnight in Lumbini.
09 : Lumbini - Kathmandu (Flight)
After breakfast, transfer to Bhairahwa Airport to board connecting flight
, capital of Nepal. Upon arriving in Kathmandu, one of
the modern cities in Nepal, we should keep in mind the teachings we
practically incorporated in our life during the last eight days. Also, we
should try to incorporate the teachings we learnt in our daily as a real
tribute to Lord Buddha.
After lunch, begin the sightseeing of Kathmandu with a visit to Boudhanath
. One of the largest in the world, Boudhanath
looms 36 m
high and presents one of the most unique specimens in stupa designs with
hundreds of prayer wheels and 108 images of Buddha all around. The four
sided stupa with Buddha eyes gives us a feeling that the lord is watching us
Same is the case with Swayambhunath Stupa, one of the oldest and glorious
Buddhist heritage shrines in the valley. The four sides of the temple again
have the watchful eyes of Buddha, giving us a symbolic interpretation to
keep our acts in check and adhere to lords teachings. Here, we take
this final teaching with us and return to the hotel for overnight stay.
10 : Kathmandu - Out
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board connecting flight for
Tour Inclusions - Walk for Enlightenment Tour
- Domestic Air Ticket
- Guided Walk to the Sacred Temples, Stupas, Monasteries
- Air Conditioned Vehicle for Inter City Movements
- Monument Entrance
- Veg. Meals
- Ceremony in Bodhgaya
- Robes, Bowl, Mats for Meditation
- Arrangement of Kheer, Candles, Flower, Incense, Butter Lamps,
Blankets, Medicines and Prayer Flags for Donation
- Temple Stay
- Collect Breakfast as Alms
- Lunch at Hotel / Temple
- Light Dinner - Fruit Juice
- Observe Village Culture
- Evening Tea at Local Villagers Home in Sarnath
- Yoga on the Banks of River Ganges
- Evening and Morning Boating on River Ganges in Varanasi
- Visit to Charitable Dispensary, Kushinagar