The Buddhist Circuit: Nepal & India – 14 Days

Buddhism is a religion that signifies peace and harmony and explains a purpose to life through deep understanding of human mind, body and soul.

The Buddhist Circuit is a pilgrimage trip to Nepal and India. It is a journey to sacred Buddhist sites, where major milestones of Buddha’s life took place. His birth in Lumbini to his enlightenment at Bodhgaya, this trip is of great importance not only to Buddhists but also for Hindu and Jain devotees. This journey helps discover the historic importance and culture that was once practiced by Buddha and is still followed throughout the world.

Skeleton Itinerary

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu

Upon arrival in Kathmandu you will be met by our airport representative and transferred to the hotel. Rest of the day will be at leisure.

Overnight at Hotel [-/-/-]

Day 2: In Kathmandu

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Kopan Monastery.

A Tibetan Buddhist Monastery and a popular center for courses on Buddhism and other Tibetan related subjects, this monastery was once the home of the astrologer to the King of Nepal.

Boudhanath Stupa: The stupa’s massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal. The ancient stupa is one of the largest in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Swayambhunath Stupa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient stupa is the most sacred Buddhist shrine of Nepal.

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/-]

Day 3: Visit Namo Buddha via Bhaktapur

After breakfast drive to Namo Buddha, one of the holiest Buddhist Sites. It is located on a slightly elevated land, glistened with distant snow capped mountains and adorned with fluttering prayer flags.

After the sightseeing, drive to Bhaktapur and visit the ancient city.

Bhaktapur or Bhadgaon translates as the ‘City of Devotees’. Still untouched by rapid urbanization, Bhaktapur retains its charm by its brick paved roads, red brick houses and a way of life that goes back to medieval times.

Drive back to Kathmandu and transfer to your hotel.

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/-]

Day 4: Drive to Lumbini

Distance: 300kms/ 186 miles
Drive Time: 7-8 hours approx.

After breakfast at the hotel drive to Lumbini.

Lumbini in the terai plains of Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha and one of the greatest pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Culture) and holds immense archeological and religious importance.

Upon reaching Lumbini, you will be transferred to the hotel. You can relax for some time and later visit World Peace Pagoda & Lumbini Crane sanctuary.

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/-]

Day 5: In Lumbini

After breakfast visit the archaeological sites scattered around Lumbini, all bearing significance to the life and enlightenment of the Buddha. The Myanmar temple (Lokamani Cula Pagoda), The China temple, built by the Buddhist Association of China, is a complex of pagodas, prayer rooms and meditation cells. Across the road is the Dae Sung Suk Ga Sa Korean temple and The Japan Peace Stupa, built by Nippon Jon Kyohoji of Japan.

There are other beautiful monuments and temples that have been built by Vietnam, Thailand, Mongolia, France, Germany and Sri Lanka.

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/-]

Day 6: Lumbini – Kushinagar

Today we drive from Lumbini to Kushinagar, India. Kushinagar is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site; this is where Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana after his death.

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 7: Kushinagar – Vaishali – Patna

Overland to visit Vaishali, during one of his visits here, the Buddha was offered a bowl of honey by a monkey. This incident is mentioned as one of the eight great events in his life.

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 8: Patna - Nalanda – Rajgir

Overland to Rajgir, where Lord Buddha gave important teachings on transcendental wisdom, on the way visit the ruins of the famous Nalanda monastic university.

Further, drive to Rajgir. Rajgir has been closely related to Buddhism because it has played host to Lord Buddha and has many archeological sites related to Buddhism.

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 9: Rajgir – Bodhgaya

Today you will be transferred to Bodhgaya. Bodhgaya is one of the most important places in the history of Buddhism, where Lord Buddha awakened to the ways to end all sufferings. This is where the Buddha attained unsurpassed, supreme Enlightenment.

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 10: Bodhgaya

Explore Bodhgaya.

For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath. In 2002, Mahabodhi temple, located in Bodhgaya, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 11: Bodhgaya

Stay in Bodhgaya

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 12: Bodhgaya – Varanasi

Drive to Varanasi, the heart of India.

Varanasi also known as Benares, Banaras or Kashi, is a city on the banks of the Ganges (Ganga) in Uttar Pradesh. The city is sacred to Hindus and also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 13: Varanasi – Sarnath – Varanasi

After attaining enlightenment at Bodhgaya the Buddha went to Sarnath; and it was here that he preached his first discourse in the deer park to set in motion the ‘Wheel of the Dharma’. It is one of the most holy sites as in this place the stream of the Buddha’s teaching first flowed.

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 14: Departure

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your onward journey.

—Trip Ends—

Destination Nepal & India
Trip Duration 14 Days
Arrival In Kathmandu
Departure From Varanasi
Meals BB basis in Nepal & Full Board basis in India (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Best Season September – April
Activity Tour
Grade Easy
Nepal Portion •    Arrival and departure transfers
•    Assistance at the airport and transfer to the hotel
•    3 nights’ hotel accommodation in Kathmandu in twin sharing room on bed and breakfast basis
•    2 nights’ hotel accommodation in Lumbini in twin sharing room on bed and breakfast basis
•    Surface transfer from Kathmandu – Lumbini
•    All sightseeing in Kathmandu and Lumbini by private vehicle with local English speaking guide
•    Entrance fee of monuments as per the above itinerary
India Portion •    1 night accommodation at hotel in Khusinagar in twin sharing room on full board basis
•    1 night accommodation at hotel in Patna on in twin sharing room on full board basis
•    1 night accommodation at hotel in Rajgir in twin sharing room on full board basis
•    3 nights’ accommodation at hotel in Bodhgaya in twin sharing room on full board basis
•    2 nights’ accommodation at hotel in Varanasi in twin sharing room on full board basis
•    All sightseeing by private vehicle with local English speaking guide
•    Entrance fee of monuments as per the above itinerary
Excludes •    Nepal visa fee
•    India visa fee
•    International airfare and airport tax
•    Items of personal nature such as bar bills, alcoholic beverages, laundry, telephone calls, extra mileage, personal gratuities as tips to guide, porters, drivers etc
•    Personal insurance policy – suggested a comprehensive travel insurance covering tour and flight cancellations, loss of valuables, thefts, illness, accidents and hospitalization; and most of all Emergency Helicopter Evacuation
•    Expenses incurred by re-routing, inclement weather, floods, famine, political disruptions, strikes, riots and other disturbances
•    Meals and services not mentioned in the itinerary