Buddhist India Nepal Tour
Arrive at Delhi. Welcome at the airport and transfer to hotel.
We start our tour by first visiting Old Delhi. Board on to a rickshaw and enjoy a rickshaw ride through the intricate alleys of Chandni Chowk. After a joyful ride, we stop at Jama Masjid which is the oldest and one of Asia’s largest mosques. It was built by Shah Jahan in the year 1656. After Jama Masjid, we then visit majestic Red Fort and then drive past to reach New Delhi through India Gate, Parliament Building and Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Morning after breakfast leave for Agra which was once the capital of Mughal Empire and centre of great power and glory.On Arrival Check-in at hotel.
Afternoon visit Agra Fort which was built by Great Akbar. The construction of the fort began in 1565 and it was completed in 1571. The fort is built with red sandstone and portrays a mixture of the Islamic and Hindu styles of architecture.
Rest of the day at Lesuire. Overnight stay at hotel.
Early morning visit world famous “Taj Mahal”, the monument of love immortalized in marble. The arch-and-dome profile of white marble has become iconic. The most magnificent feature is the Taj Mahal’s painstaking details: inlaid semiprecious stones and carvings.Come back to hotel for Breakfast and Check out from hotel by noon time.
Afternoon visit Sikandra, the tomb of Akbar is a combination of various architectural styles and very diverse from other Mughal Buildings.
Also visit Itmad-ud-Daullah, built with white marble in the typical Islamic style architecture.
Evening transfer to Railway station to take overnight train for Varanasi.
Arrive at Varanasi Railway station and transfer to hotel.
Varanasi, it is the oldest living city of the world and is famous as the city of temples. Varanasi or Kashi as it is popularly known is the most important place of pilgrimage for Hindus and the sight of devout praying standing water deep in Ganges. Buddha had reached here after he attained Nirvana to look for five Hindus Ascetics who he had met earlier before enlightenment and who had insisted that the only path to salvation was through self-mortification. Buddha gave them the precious gift of spiritual knowledge thus they became his followers and the first members of the Sangha.
In the evening tour of Ganges by boat and experience Aarti ceremony on Ghat there. Overnight stay at hotel.
Early morning Boat tour on River Ganges to visit Bathing Ghats. We explore Ghats to witness the live rituals of the world’s most important religion. Sailing on the holy waters of Ganga, enjoy the sight of sunrise and at the background you will experience thousands of pilgrims worshipping sunrise and having a bath in the holy water.
Return to hotel for breakfast and leave for Bodhgaya enroute visit Sarnath, one of the four most important Buddhist pilgrimage destinations in India. Visit Dhamekh Stupa which is the most wonderful and massive structure at Sarnath. Built partly in brick and partly in stone, the Dhamekh Stupa is 28 meter in diameter at the base and 43.6 meter in height.
The Stupa has a specific significance at Sarnath as it signifies the place where Buddha delivered his first sermon after he attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. Here he preached his first discourse to his five former companions. This event is described in Buddhist texts as dharmachakra – pravartana, meaning the turning of the Wheel of Law. The Buddha taught them all that he had learned and thus they also became enlightened. This marked the foundation of the first Buddhist Sangha or the community of monks. The name Dhamekh proves that it certainly has some linkage with Buddha’s Dharma. It is believed that the Stupa was built by Ashoka on the spot where Buddha set in motion the wheel of law.
Finally, proceed to Bodhgaya. Bodhgaya is a very special place for Buddhists as it is Bodhgaya which transformed Prince Siddhartha into Gautam Buddha as he attained enlightenment here with eternal knowledge under the Banyan tree which is today known as Bodhi Tree all over the world. Bodh Gaya is considered the most important pilgrimage for all sects of Buddhists as from here, Buddha began to spread his message of peace throughout the world. Check in at hotel for overnight stay.
Full day is dedicated to visit of Bodhgaya. Visit Mahabodhi Temple which is believed to be built by Great Ashoka who visited this site 250 years after the enlightenment of Buddha. The Temple was rebuilt in 7th century A.D. and it has a long history that has seen periods of invasions and destruction. Muslim invaders destroyed the temple in the 12th century but the Burmese kings restored the temple in the 14th century. However, the temple complex was severely flooded and remained buried under silt till 1811. The temple finally received its last and massive restoration and conservation work after it was excavated in 1861.
The main attraction of the temple is Bodhi Tree under which Buddha spent one week after enlightenment. The Tree is considered to be among the oldest and the most venerated tree in the world. The present tree is considered only as the descendant of the original tree. Daughter of Ashoka, Bhikkhuni Sangamitta, took a shoot of the original Bodhi tree to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century B.C. where the Lankan king Devanampiya Tissa planted it at the Mahavihara monastery in Anuradhapura where it still flourishes today.
Besides the ancient remains, there are temples or monasteries built by other Buddhist countries like Thailand, China, Sri Lanka, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Taiwan, Bhutan etc.
Morning leave for Rajgir which was once the ancient capital of the Magadha Kings. Buddha often visited this place, seeking the solitude and tranquillity of the Jivkamaravana monastery and preaching and meditating at the Griddhakuta hill (hill of vultures). At this hill, he converted one of the celebrated followers, the Mauryan king Bimbisara, to Buddhism. When Buddha arrived at ‘Parinirvana’ his devotees held the first Buddhist council at the Saptaparni cave.
It was here, that his teachings were penned down for the very first time. Visit Venture’s peak where Lord Buddha set in motion His second wheel of law and preached sermons to his disciples for three months in the rainy season. The peak also houses a massive modern Stupa, the Shanti Stupa, built by the Buddhist Sangha of Japan.
Then proceed to Nalanda which was founded in 5th century B.C. It is one of the world’s oldest living cities. Buddha visited this place number of times. It is most famous for The Calando University which was established in 5th century B.C. The ruins of the university are spread over 14 hectares of land.
All the buildings are made with red bricks built in Kushana style of architecture. The most imposing structure is the Sariputra stupa at the extreme south of the University. There are 9 monasteries. Each monastery was provided one shrine which contained the colossal image of Buddha. Also visit Museum here which possesses the treasure antiquities found during the excavations in Nalanda and Rajgir.
Finally, proceed to Patna, the Capital of State of Bihar. Check in at hotel for overnight stay.
Morning leave for Kushinagar enroute to visit Vaishali were, the lord Buddha preached his last sermon before his death in Vaishali. It is significantly associated with Buddhism. It is believed that Lord Buddha visited Vaishali many times after he attained enlightenment.
It was the Capital of one of the first Republican states in entire world. Buddha asked Ananada, his disciple to assemble all bhikshus (monks) there and told them about his Mahaparinirvana (final departure) advising them to spread Dharma to bring happiness in the world. It is also important for the fact that for the first time, women were ordained into Sangha and it was here that Amarpali, the famous courtesan made generous donations and earned the respect of Sangha which earned her name in History. Visit Kutagarshala Vihara, built by Lichchavis for Sakyamuni.
Continue drive to visit Kesariya, known as Kesaputta and was dominated by Kalamas that was later annexed by its monarchical neighbour Kosala. Alara Kalama who was the teacher of Buddha before he was enlightened, belonged to Kesaputta. Buddha also had association with Kesaputta.
According to Jataka tales, Buddha once ruled this place as a Chakravartin Raja in one of his previous births. Similarly during one of his visits to Kesaputta that Buddha gave one of his most important discourses, the celebrated Kessaputtiya Sutta, popularly known as Kalama Sutta. Kesariya stupa built to honor the place where Buddha spent the last days of his journey, before attaining Nirvana.
Finally, proceed to Kushinagar which is also a must visit for all Buddhist Pilgrims because it was here that Lord Buddha delivered his last sermon. It was the center of the Mallas dynasty who ruled over the place, however, only few ruins remain today associated with that period. Ashoka the Great had also built many structures in this place where Buddha attained Nirvana.
Arrive and check in at hotel.
Morning visit Nirvana Temple, perched high on a plinth, the temple houses reclining Nirvana statue of Lord Buddha and is made of monolithic red sandstone. The statue is placed over huge brick-pedestal with stone-posts at the four ends. Inscriptions are beautifully engraved on the statue which dates back to the 5th century.
Ramabhar Stupa is the cremation site of Lord Buddha and is also called as Mukutbandhan-Chaitya.
Later leave for Sravasti is where Buddha delivered many of his important sermons. Sravasti is the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in the country. Lord Buddha bewildered his sermons with a million fold expression of himself, seated on a thousand-petaled lotus, as fire and water sprung from his body. Overnight stay at hotel.
In the morning visit Saheth in Sravasti. It has a number of Buddhist Stupas and monasteries. The main attractions here are two chambers; Gandhakuti and Kosambakuti, which were used by Buddha. Gandhakuti or fragrant chamber is the most sacred place as it was used as personal chamber by Lord Buddha and devotees offer large amount of flowers to the Lord.
Then drive to Kapilvastu.
Kapilvastu is one of the most important pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Lord Buddha had spent his childhood and youth in this town. Once the capital of the Shakya kingdom; the place will unfold the story of birth of Buddhist religion. Mystic charm and magic of the village can be felt with spirituality and devotion. The village is sprinkled with many Stupas that were built by Ashoka and Gupta kings.
Finally, proceed to Lumbini, which is famous in the world for being the sacred site of Lord Buddha’s birth.
Upon arrival, check in at hotel for overnight stay.
Morning visit Maya Devi Temple marks the spot where Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama in around 563BC. The temple is enclosed by the brick foundations of monasteries and ancient temples. The ground floor of the temple still has remains of the ruins of the ancient Maya Devi Temple dating back to 3rd century BC. In the adjoining sacred garden you’ll find the pillar of Ashoka, ancient ruins of stupas, and maroon- and saffron-robed monks congregating under a sprawling Bodhi (pipal) tree decorated with prayer flags.
There is a sacred pond beside the temple which is believed to be the birth spot where Maya Devi bathed before giving birth to the Buddha.
Later transfer to Bhairwa airport to board a flight to Kathmandu.
Arrival at Kathmandu airport and transfer to hotel for overnight stay.
After breakfast, proceed for a full day sightseeing tour visiting Durbar Square, the historic seat of royalty built between the 12th and 18th centuries. Also visit Swayambhu Nath which is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal and the best place to observe religious harmony in Nepal. Later visit Pashupati Nath, the holiest Hindu pilgrimage famous for temple of Lord Shiva. The richly ornamented pagoda houses, the scared linga, or phallic symbol of Lord Shiva fascinates everyone Final stop of the day is at Boudha Nath which is the largest stupa in the South Asia. The name is derived from two words Boudha and Nath. Boudha means wisdom and Nath means for Lord. Therefore Boudhanath means the Lord of wisdom. Return to hotel for overnight stay.
In the morning, transfer to airport to catch flight for onwards destination.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ'S)
No, this is a private travel exclusively for you, your friends and family who may accompany you on the tour.
Yes, it is possible. But, the cost may be high in case of a single traveler. You may send us information in the form and we shall send you our best offer depending on number of persons in your group or for a single person.
Yes, since this is a private tour, you may decide the dates as per your choice. Only in case of certain tours, we have to check if there are any operational difficulties for organizing a tour of your choice. Certain tours are not possible for particular period which we shall let you know. Besides, the cost may vary depending on seasonality.
It is better if you could buy international tickets directly through your local agent or on internet. Although we can provide you international flight tickets, but you may a get a better deal locally.
No, you have to obtain visa on your own. The visa regulations will depend on your nationality. You may contact us for further details.
Yes, it is very much possible. You can extend your stay on arrival or departure or at any other place. You may also modify the tour. You may let us know your interest and we can send you modified tour itinerary with cost.
Our cost normally includes hotel accommodation with breakfast, private air-conditioned car with driver which includes fuel, parking and all taxes, entrance fee to monuments, train tickets if any, guided city tours in English or in other foreign languages, viz French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Russian or other foreign languages subject to availability which we can notify at the time of reservation request. Our cost also includes some other services viz Elephant ride at Amer fort in Jaipur, camel safari in Jaisalmer and boat tour in Varanasi. We shall send you all details at the time of sending you quotation.
We may also include other services viz lunches, dinners or other services if you wish. We may also exclude guide service and entrance fee to monuments if you so wish.
Train tickets are included in our cost. But, we give supplement cost for domestic flight tickets as these days, there are dynamic fares and these are not fixed. We send you indicative fare at the time of sending you quotation which is subject to change until issue of tickets with advance purchase for which we need payment from you to issue flight tickets. You may also purchase domestic flight tickets directly on your own if you prefer.
We provide minimum standard (3 star or similar), superior (4 star or similar), deluxe (5 star or similar) hotels and the cost will depend depending on category of hotels. We can send you quotation for the category that you are interested in. We usually provide heritage or palace hotels which fit in your category of hotels. We may also mix the hotel category if you prefer and can also provide you rates based on hotels of your liking in all places if you like.
We usually request 25% advance upon confirmation of our services unless otherwise informed at the time of sending you quotation. We shall send you all payment terms at the time of sending you our offer.I am interested.
Click here to send us information of your trip and we shall send you soonest possible.
Established in 1980, State Express has been providing most reliable services to travelers all over the world for last 35 years. We are renowned for our customer first approach and unobtrusive efficiency which ensures the highest levels of customer satisfaction. We have been awarded several times by State Government for being best Tour Operator. All aspects of our tours have been carefully researched and then designed to give ultimate experience to travelers. Let our travel knowledge help you to create a wonderful experience, whether on one of our tour itineraries or a tailor made tour itinerary made exclusively for you to give you an unforgettable holiday.
Our people make the difference
Our success has been possible because of our people who are our biggest asset. We have a team of highly dedicated, sincere, hardworking who work with integrity that has made State Express one of the leading and most reliable tour companies in India. They not only have expertise and experience to meet any requirement, they also speak foreign languages and trained to offer only the best and leave nothing to chance. We know that travel to Indian sub-continent is a dream of many of our guests and our team does everything possible to make their dream true and give them an experience of their lifetime.
We have complete infrastructure to provide you best rate and services to you. We are an IATA approved and authorized agents for all domestic airlines and Indian Railways. We have our own cars vans and coaches with experienced drivers. We have multi lingual staff to ensure that our guests do not face any language problem. We also have associate offices in all major tourist centers to provide assistance in shortest possible time.
Our fleet of vehicles & drivers
We undoubtedly have one of the best and most modern fleet of cars, vans, 4X4s and large coaches. Surface travel is a very important aspect in India as you spend lot of your time while travelling on the road and therefore given us an edge over other tour companies who have to rely on other transport companies to provide this service to their clients. We have our own garage and all our vehicles are well maintained to give you hassle free journey.
Besides having the best fleet, it is our drivers who truly make the difference as they play a crucial role in making a tour successful. Even if you stay in best of the hotels and travel in most comfortable and luxurious vehicles, if you do not have a good driver, it may spoil your experience. We have our team of drivers who are part of State Express and have been working with us for years and they are trained, dedicated and motivated to take care of our guests and make them comfortable. That is the reason that more than 90% of our guests thank us and appreciate them after returning to their home.
Our choice of hotels
We take utmost care in selection of hotels that we recommend to our clients and include in our list of suggested hotels. We inspect these hotels regularly to be sure of their quality of product and services. We give lot of emphasis on the location and the people who run those hotels. We want to give you clients an experience of heritage and palace hotels which are unique and not available in other part of the world.
Our tour itineraries
All our tour itineraries are designed by experts to give you an opportunity to see most wonderful sites in number of days at your disposal at the same time giving you time to explore the places in your own way. We have a number of itineraries to choose from which covers all India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Tibet. We also include mode of travel and approximate time taken between places to ensure that you do not have any surprises during the tour. Our specialists will also work with you to create an itinerary of your choice either by modifying our readymade tour itineraries or prepare an exclusive tailor made tour for you based on your interest and liking keeping in mind local conditions.
24×7 assistance during the tour
We provide you clients real 24×7 assistance during the tour. This is not a marketing gimmick but we have someone in our office always to assist you in case of any emergency anytime. We also provide cell phone numbers of our executive who you may contact even during odd hours when you need them for anything urgent. We have associate offices in all major cities of India to provide you assistance in minimum possible time.
We know that response time is key to our success and we value it a lot. Even at initial stages before reservation, you will get replies from us in not more than 24 working hours. We shall always be there whenever you need us during the tour.
Apart from professional service, we believe in emphasising on personalised service. That is to make our guests feel at home in a foreign country and also feel that they have friends here who they can trust for any need. Our customer executives remain in constant touch with our guests during the tour to give them comfort and trust that we are always with them.
Good value for money
We know that there are so many travel companies providing their services and unless we provide good value for money to our clients, they will not be satisfied. Our own fleet of cars, vans and coaches and best special discounted rates with hotels due to our volumes enables us to offer value for money.
What our clients say about us
we are in Rome and none problem in the return trip; I send you an email to add comments and let you know our feedback in details; my wife and I are frequent travelers and have custom to evaluate our trips in all the aspects; so
. Booking process excellent (rapid, clear and exhaustive answers; we have appreciated the help to obtain the e-visa and the contacts during the tour to know possible problems;
. Driver excellent (polite, punctual and very expert in the drive), he gave us many suggestions and accompanied us directly to the coach in the Tundla station; the other driver in Varanasi good but should improve his english;
. Car good;
. Guide only in Jaisalmer good;
. Tour organization good for times and the included hotspots;
. Hotels: we evaluate the hotels for cleaning and comfort of the room and bathroom and for breakfast; we use a ranking from 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent):
Iris Park 2; dirty bathroom with dirty towels, room dirty and uncomfortable (too small, difficult to move inside, put and open the suitcases; breakfast room trivial and food inadequate for european tourists;
Mandawa Palace 4 for all;
Lallgarl Palace 4 and no 5 for inadequate breakfast respect to the level of the hotel;
Mandar Palace 3-4 , room and bathroom no perfectly clean , breakfast inadequate for european tourist and internet didn’t work;
Krishna Prakas Havei unacceptable; room located in the roof without elevator and with dangerous stairs; room dirty with a door that didn’t close perfectly, bathroom dirty with dirty towels; breakfast room dirty with tablecloth dirty and broken, food trivial and inadequate also for amount;
Master Paradise 3, cold uncomfortable room without possibility to warm it; bathroom in the average and skinny breakfast;
Golden Tulip 5 and more, the best
Atulayaa Tay unacceptable, dirty and small room, dirty bathroom with microscopic sink an a glass wall between the bed, dirty towels, trivial breakfast;
Meradan Grand 4 for all
Last hotel in Dehli 4 for room and bathroom also here glass wall between bathroom and the bed but the light didn’t across;
we suggest, personal opinion, to cancel the hotel with a rank less than 3 and choose others of superior quality ( also if more expensive) because the hotel is important to rest in a daily tour step by step.
In summary we evaluate very good the experience of our first trip in India and surely we will recommend State Express to our friends.
27 January 2023
Just wanted to say thank you for all the organisation for our India trip. Everything went very smoothly. Our vehicles, drivers and accommodation were all faultless.
Look forward to our next trip now whenever that may be.
I’d like to just comment on one thing… please encourage clients to do Chittorgarh as a day trip. The accommodation there must’ve been really good at some point but is quite run down now. They were lovely and very obliging but when we compare the accommodations it wasn’t the best.
I know I’d said I wanted a night in Chittorgarh but I wasn’t as conversant with availability there as someone who knows the areas more.
Thank you once again from my mum, massi and I.
Best wishes and regards to your team,
Ps. Next visit we must meet!! 🙂
14 January 2023
Dear Sirs, namaste.
The journey of my group is over and we have returned to our homes.
I hope all of you are fine.
I wish to thank State Express for the usual good assistance. A special thank to Mr Mamlesh Sahu for following my trip through his frequent telephone calls.
I hope to have the chance to come again.
12 December 2022
we are in Rome and none problem in the return trip; I send you an email to add comments and let you know our feedback in details; my wife and I are frequent travelers and have custom to evaluate our trips in all the aspects; so
- Booking process excellent (rapid, clear and exhaustive answers; we have appreciated the help to obtain the e-visa and the contacts during the tour to know possible problems;
- Driver excellent (polite, punctual and very expert in the drive), he gave us many suggestions and accompanied us directly to the coach in the Tundla station; the other driver in Varanasi good but should improve his english;
- Car good;
- Guide only in Jaisalmer good . Tour organization good for times and the included hotspots; . Hotels: we evaluate the hotels for cleaning and comfort of the room and bathroom and for breakfast;
Emily and I are home now, and we would like to thank you for organising what turned out to be a wonderful trip. We enjoyed visiting all the various places, and the hotels were comfortable. People were very friendly and helpful. The pace of the trip was perfect, travelling but not exhausting. The driver Chandra was very good and I would have no issue with recommending him as a driver. He was very polite, punctual, and courteous. We felt he was a very safe driver, and would like to extend our thanks to him as well. With the benefit of hindsight, I would have stayed an extra day or two in Verkala rather than the extra days in Mumbai, but that is as I say with the benefit of hindsight. Once again, thank you so very much for all your help in organising this trip for us, which we will remember fondly for many years to come.
To whom it may concern, we are writing you regarding the package booked with andanitravel for the India golden triangle from the 01/03/2020 to the 11/03/2020. On the 4th of March ’20 the staff from the Sher Gary Resort in Road Village Sherpur, Khilchipur, Rajasthan 322001, Ranthanbore, following the Advise from the Government of Rajasthan, invited us to leave the resort and the State of India as soon as possible due to our Italian Nationality. Immediately we contacted the DCM Italy of Rajasthan, Mr Carini, who told us there was a mistake and the Advise number 27 of the 4th of March 2020 was withdrawn with immediate effect. Although we informed on a timely manner the resort staff, we have been asked to leave anyhow. Only after the DCM Italy informed the resort about the mistake, we have been given the opportunity to leave the resort the following morning. All these difficulties, the constant hostility by the people in India despite the advise number 28, the decision made by the State Express emergency contact( Harish Bhatt) to interrupt our trip and the news regarding the spread of COVID-19 in India, induced us to arrange autonomously for a flight back home as soon as possible. At least but not last we kindly ask you to let us know of any official way to provide a positive feedback to the great support, empathy, help, kindness, professionalism, flexibility and special assistant given by the driver Mr Ashok Yadav in the sphere of his competences.
Thank you for the trip arrangement. We have enjoyed very much.
Looking forward to our next trip in India next year and will get in touch with you again.
Once again, thank you very much for your excellent service.
Chua Boon Hua
09 October 2018