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Arrived Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport in mid night meet at the airport by Recreation Travel’s representatives and the group’s professional escorts. Welcome with garland. Upon arrival keep your luggage in Air conditioned buses and straight drive to Agra – The Mughal City. This drive takes 4-½ hrs /200 kms to Agra.
Enjoy the Magnificent Taj Mahal – The Monument of Love in the warm glow of Sunset, which was built in 1630 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1631, and is believed to have taken 18 years to complete, with over 20,000 craftsmen working around the clock. The design and construction is said to be that of the legendary architect, Ustad Ahamad Lahori. What makes the Taj Mahal unique is its perfect proportions, distinct femininity, medium of construction and ornamentation. Its marble exterior reflects rose and golden tints at sunrise and sunset, while it is dazzling white during the day. It is impossible to visualize the Taj Mahal in any surrounding others than its paradoxical garden. Paradise, in Islam, is visualized as a lush garden where running streams flow. After lunch drive to New Delhi railway station to board the train. Overnight train Journey Air conditioned sleepers.
Arrived Gorakhpur at in the morning.. Drive to Lumbini (birth place of Lord Buddha). Lumbini Situated across the Border in Nepal. This drive takes 90 Kms 1-½ hrs.
After lunch visit Ashokan Column, the famous pillar, which commemorated the emperor’s visit in 249 B.C., still stands to mark the sacred spot of the Buddha’s nativity. Drive to Kushinagar takes 140 Kms / 2 hrs upon arrival check into hotel. Overnight stay Kushinagar.
After breakfast visit Mahaparinirvana Temple- large 6.10 m long Stupa Reclining Buddha stands at the ancient sight, which is said to have the bone relics of the Buddha.
Arrived Rajgir - earlier called Rajgriha, which means the 'Home of Royalty'. This place is significant because Buddha spent many years in Rajgir and also delivered some important discourses here upon arrival check into Hotel. Overnight stay Rajgir Hotel
Morning city tour of Rajgir – the Ancient Capital of Magadh Kings. Buddha often came here. Is an important place of pilgrimage for Hindus as the temple complex here is to the Sun God. Visit to Swarana Goofa, where a treasurer house of gold is supposed to be hidden, Gridhakuta (Vulture’s Peak) where Buddha meditated, and today in modern temples – the Vishwa Shanti Stupa. Excursion to Nalanda- The famous ancient university & a rich library established in 5th century AD. It is the first residential international university of the world with strength of 2,000 teachers and 10,000 monks' students from all over the Buddhist world. Visit Barbara Caves and Nalanda the famous and ancient seat of learning. The ruins of one of the world’s most ancient university. Drive back to Rajgir.
Afternoon drive to Bodhgaya - in the state of Bihar where Lord Sakyamuni (Gautam Buddha) entered in to meditation after being moved the sufferings of mankind. The giant Bodhi tree (Peepal) that we see today is believed to have grown from the original Bodhi tree under which, sitting of the raised platform, Prince Siddhartha meditated & finally attained Nirvana. Upon arrival check in hotel overnight stay at Bodhgaya.
Morning visit just Adjacent to the Maha Bodhi temple is the Shaivite Monastery that has a cluster of four temples. Also visit Jagannath Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has the statue of the deity, carved in the glistening black stone and visit to Bodhgaya archeological museum.
Later drive to Varanasi. Arrive Varanasi (Kashi) has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Often referred to as Benares, Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. These few lines by Mark Twain say it all: "Banaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together" upon arrival check into hotel. Overnight stay at Varanasi
Morning boat excursion on the Holy River Ganges to see the Bathing Ghats and crimination sites. Watching people bathing and worshiping at the Ghats is one of the most extraordinary experiences of a visit to India.
Excursion to Sarnath – 10 kms from the holy city of Varanasi, is the blessed locale where more than 2,500 years ago Buddha chose to deliver his first sermon, after attaining Nirvana. The five disciples who had followed him were surprised to see the mesmerizing glowing countenance of Buddha, who convinced them and delivered his first sermon before them, now termed Dharma chakra Pravartan. This set in mot in the great Buddhist tradition of the Sangha, for popularizing the teachings of the great ascetic, worldwide. Gautam Buddha with his five disciples formed the first Sangha along with Yasa of Varanasi and his 54 friends. The beginning of the celebrated Mantra, “Buddham Sharanam Gachhami” owes its origin to Sarnath. The three jewels “I go for refuge to the Buddha, I go for refuge to the Wheel of Law, I go for refuge to the Sangha” first laid down here, have remained unchanged ever since. Hence rightly, every Buddhist Pilgrim after Bodhgaya endeavors to be blessed with a visit to Sarnath in his lifetime.
Transfer to airport to board the flight to New Delhi. Arrive Delhi say good-bye to this fascinating Land with sweet and memorable memories. Late night transfer to International airport to board the flight.
Brain Cowling and Group from AustraliaExcellent trip...
Brain Cowling and Group from Australia
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