Buddhist tour of India and Nepal

Sarnath, Bodhgaya, Kushinagar and Lumbini
  • Mahabodhi temple of Bodhgaya where Buddha attained enlightenment.

    Mahabodhi temple Bodhgaya - the place of Buddha's enlightenment

  • Sarnath Dhamek stupa and mulagandha kuti

    Sarnath where Buddha gave his first sermon.

  • The site of Buddha's Mahaparinirvana

    Kushinagar, the site of Buddha's Mahaparinirvana.

  • Mayadevi temple at Lumbini the birth place of Buddha
    Mayadevi temple, Lumbini - the birthplace of Buddha

Buddhist tour of India and Nepal covers the major archaeological sites related with Buddha. The monasteries, votive stupas and Emperor Ashoka’s column with inscriptions kept the sites related with Buddha intact with strong evidences. Four major sites of the tour covers are: Sarnath (where he gave his first sermon), Bodhgaya (place of enlightenment), Kushinagar (the site of Buddha’s Mahaparinirvana) and Lumbini (Buddha’s birthplace). Beside the above sites, the tour also covers huge monastery complexes and relic stupas with residence of Buddha were found in Shravasti, Vaishali Rajgir and Kapilavastu.
Buddhist circuit from Varanasi to Kathmandu starts from the historical Indian city of Varanasi. Flights to Varanasi can be easily connected from your hometown. We will drive to Nepal through Sunauli border exploring the cultural and heritage sites along the way. In Nepal visit Lumbini and drive to Pokhara or Kathmandu. The tour is 12 days but it could be customized within 6 days with Varanasi - Kathmandu flight.

USD 1,380 includes
: 12 Days
: November - March
: Standard | Deluxe
Start : Varanasi, India
End : Kathmandu, Nepal
Transport : Private car | Flight on request

  • 3 star standard hotel with breakfast and taxes included.
  • All ground transportation by private vehicle.
  • A guide / tour leader throughout the trip.
  • All entrance fees and permits.

Tour inquiry

  • Tour of the four Buddhist power places referred by Buddha to visit to honor him namely : Lumbini, Bodhgaya,, Sarnath and Kushinagar.
  • Tour of 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Four Buddhist power places, Vaishali, Nalanda university ruins, Varanasi riverfront (Ghats), Kathmandu. Overland tour from Ganges to the Himalayas.
  • Complete life history of Buddha visiting all important sites and places he preached. Also includes Griddhrakūta (vulture peak), Shravasti, Kapilavastu and more.
  • Great cultural immersion opportunities while travelling through typical Indian villages, markets to the scenic mountains of Nepal.
  • Visit of important Buddhist archaeological sites to the living Buddhist heritage of Kathmandu.
  • A journey to completely understand Buddhism from Theravada to Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism.

Best time for Buddhist tour

The Buddhist circuit tour visits two states on the border of Nepal and the Himalayan foothills. The region remains hot and humid during the summer. Hence November to March is the best time to go on a Buddhist circuit tour of Nepal and India. Most of the winter days are balmy, sunny with moderate temperature and cool nights. Temperature during the tour ranges between 0° to 20° C. Weather drops as we get closer to the mountains with the lowest at Kathmandu. Some weeks in the mid winter may be frosty in the morning and evening as we get closer to the Himalayan foothills. However most of the winter days are warm and sunny with crisp sky for the Himalayan views.
Buddhist circuit tour of India and Nepal could be customized for 6 days or longer. This is the best way to travel overland from Varanasi to Kathmandu.

Buddhist tour of India and Nepal

Day 01: Arrive Varanasi airport. Pick up and transfer to hotel.

Day 02:Varanasi Tour and visit Sarnath

Morning boat ride to watch Ghats (cremation grounds) during the sunrise and back from breakfast. In the afternoon, drive to Sarnath – the place where Buddha gave his first sermon.

Day 03: Drive 255 km / 6 hrs to Bodhgaya.

The 180 ft tall Mahabodhi temple built first by Ashoka and later renovated around the 5 - 6 th century is the most important emblem of Buddhism to commemorate Buddha's enlightenment. The temple complex has Bodhi tree and the stone slab that marks the exact place where Buddha sat in Vajrasana (diamond throne). The temple complex also marks the six weeks he spent after the enlightenment and different incidents happened during the period before he walked to Sarnath.

Day 04: Explore Bodhgaya | visit Pragbodhhi cave

Explore the monastic zones and surrounding places. There is an option of driving to Dhungeshwari cave, also known as Mahakala cave (Pragbodhhi cave in Buddhist scriptures). This is where Buddha carried on ascetic practice before accepting the rice pudding from the village women Suata. Visit Sujata Stupa on the way.

Day 05: Drive to Patna | Visit Gidharkuta hill and Nalanda university ruins

Drive to Rajgir 70 km / 2.5 hrs and visit the Gidharkuta hill known as vulture peak. This was Buddha’s favorite retreat. Buddha frequently visited the site and taught some of the Sutras at the place. Also visit king Bimbisara’s jail, the Jivika’s hospital and Venuvana (bamboo groove) donated by king Bimbisara to Buddha to build a monastery.

Drive 12 km to Nalanda university ruins and drive further 100 km to Patna for overnight stay.

Day 06: Kushinagar via Vaishali

Drive 34 km to Vaishali. This is where there is one of the Buddha relic Stupa out of the first 8. The site of huge monastic complex with Stupa dedicated Ananda (Buddha’s disciple) and Ashoka pillar indicates Buddha’s frequent visit at the site. From Vaishali, drive 215 km / 51/2 hrs to Kushinagar. Visit the temple of Mahaparinirvana and the site where Buddha was cremated (Rambhar Stupa)

Day 07: Drive to Shravasti

Drive from Kushinagar to Shravasti 200 km / 5 hrs and tour around the archaeological sites within Jetavana. The ruins of Gandhakuti (where Buddha spent 22 monsoons, the most of the time after enlightenment) and the Bodhi tree are the highlights.

Day 08:Drive to Lumbini, Nepal

Drive 180 km / 5 hrs to Sunauli border. Visit the Buddha relic Stupa of Indian side of Kapilavastu on the way. After immigration formalities, drive another 26 km / 40 mints to Lumbini the birthplace of Buddha.

Day 09: Visit Tilaurakot palace and Kudan monastery ruin

Explore the archeological sites of Kapilavastu palace where Buddha spent 29 years as prince Siddhartha, the Nigrodharma monastery ruin where Buddha stayed while visiting his father after enlightenment. In the late afternoon, visit the 2 X 6 km area of the monastic zone, world peace pagoda and the Mayadevi temple with marker stone marking the exact birthplace of Buddha.

Day 10: Drive 300 km / 8 hrs back to Kathmandu.

Day 11: Buddhist tour of Kathmandu.

Buddhism was sheltered and flourished in the hidden valley of Kathmandu after the 12th century. The Himalayan foothills have always been the cave resorts for Siddhas and sages. The most important Buddhist sites around Kathmandu are : meditation caves Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) at Pharping, Namo Buddha stupa (Bodhisattwa sacrificed himself to feed hungry tigress and her six cubs), Boudhanath and Swayambhunath stupas and Patan, the oldest existing Buddhist city in the world.

Day 12: Drive to the airport for final departure.

Tour inquiry

Useful Information

  • You can arrive at Varanasi airport with Indian e-visa. Note : You can only land at 25 airport with e-visa.  https://indianvisaonline.gov.in
  • You can get on arrival visa for Nepal both at the border or at the airport.
  • You can customize Buddhist circuit tour to visit Sarnath, Bodhgaya, Kushinagar and then fly to Kathmandu from Varanasi. Then fly to Lumbini from Kathmandu.

Buddhist pilgrimage tour of Nepal

Customize Buddhsit tour of Nepal - 5 to 10 days.
Visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, meditation caves of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) and other must visit Buddhist sites of Nepal. Feel the positive vibe of the land where Buddhism is a way of life and visit the living Buddhist heritage of Nepal.
Buddhist tour for opera 'Awakening'
It was our pleasure to organize a Buddhist tour for famous stage director Mr Vasily Barkhatov and light artist Mr Alexander Sivaev on the pretext of Opera ‘Awakening’ composed by renowned British composer ‘Param Vir’. The Opera was scheduled to be performed at Bonn Opera House for Beethoven 250th Anniversary season 2020.

Buddhist pilgrimage w/ us:

  • Support local company.
  • Expertise over 20 years.
  • Cost effective Treks.
  • Cultural immersion experience.
  • High quality services.
  • Eco friendly & sustainable practices.

Trip Review

This was one of a lifetime tour! I took the Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour and I will never forget about it. Rabi is super professional and flexible to adapt to each person needs and wishes. He has a deep knowledge of the places and I really enjoyed our philophical discussions of Buddhism, Hinduism, life, destiny and Karma! He was always very helpful and super kind with me.
Trip Reviews >

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