Buddhist Spiritual Tour
Transfer to hotel after arrival at Varanasi airport or railway station. The oldest continuously inhabited city in the world is Varanasi, also known as the “city of temples.” Buddha came here after achieving Nirvana to search for his five disciples who maintained that the only way to redemption was by self-mortification.
We’ll be taken on a trip to Sarnath after lunch. The First Sermon of the Buddha was delivered in Deer Park in Sarnath (Rishipattana). Visit additional local attractions in Sarnath, such as the Buddha Temple, Dhamekha Stupa, Chaukhandi Stupa, Mulagandh Kuti Vihara, and the Archaeological Museum, which houses the findings of the Archaeological Survey of India’s archaeological digs at the Sarnath archaeological site.
Enjoy the evening Ganga Arti at the Ghats or the Buddhist ritual ceremony at the Sri Lankan Buddhist Temple. The AIK World Buddhist Cultural Association Japan as well as the Sri Lanka Buddhist Foundation collaborated to build this temple. The main shrine, which is a brick building with a domed top level, is accessed through a series of stairs. A portrait of Buddha is housed at the shrine, which is surrounded by ceremonial items. The wall behind the picture is decorated with several frames holding ink paintings.
Return to hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Varanasi.
Take a drive to Bodhgaya after breakfast and Check-in at the hotel. The pivotal moment in Prince Siddhartha’s life was witnessed in Bodhgaya. Here he gained ultimate knowledge or enlightenment from a travelling ascetic. Buddha started his quest to disseminate the gospel of peace and perhaps nirvana from Bodhgaya. For all Buddhist sects worldwide, Bodh Gaya is regarded as the most significant pilgrimage.
During the city tour of Bodhgaya, visit the Mahabodhi Temple, where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. India’s Mahabodhi Temple is a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Bodhi Tree, under which Buddha spent a week after attaining enlightenment, is the temple’s principal draw. The Tree is regarded as one of the oldest and most revered trees in the entire world. The original Bodhi tree was brought to Sri Lanka by Bhikkhuni Sanghamitta, a descendant of Ashoka, in the third century B.C. The Lankan ruler Devanampiya Tissa decided to plant it at the Mahavihara buddhist temple in Anuradhapura, where it is still thriving today.
After returning to the hotel, spend the night in Bodhgaya for overnight stay.
After breakfast, drive to Dungeshwari Cave Temples, also known as the Mahakala Caves. Before travelling to Bodhgaya, Lord Buddha spent years performing penance in this location.
After the visit to the caves, we will proceed to Sujata Village Temple. According to the legend, Gautam Buddha first had kheer after years of renouncing the materialistic existence, which included food, in order to find enlightenment. Later, after realising that indulgence cannot bring about enlightenment, Gautama Buddha continued travelling until he reached Bodh Gaya, wherein he attained enlightenment. Here, a little temple was built as a memorial to the important occasion.
Thereafter, we’ll travel to Nalanda, which was established in the fifth century B.C. One of the oldest cities still inhabited in the world. Buddha made several trips to this location. The Nalanda University, which was founded in the fifth century B.C., is its most well-known feature. Over 14 hectares of land, the university’s remains are dispersed. Visit the Chinese Pagoda known as XuanZang Memorial Hall after exploring the ruins.
Drive to Rajgir later. Check in at the hotel. Buddhists travel to Rajgir, the former capital of the Magadha Empire, for religious purposes. Buddha frequently travelled to this location in search of the seclusion and calm of the Jivkamaravana monastery, where he also preached and meditated on the Griddhakuta hill (hill of vultures). One of his famous disciples, the Mauryan king Bimbisara, was converted to Buddhism at this peak. The first Buddhist council was held in the Saptaparni cave by the followers of Buddha after he attained “Parinirvana.”
On Ratnagiri Hill, the enormous Vishwa Shanti Stupa was constructed by Japanese Buddhists. Buddha statues representing each stage of his life—birth, enlightenment, teaching, and death—can be found in the stupa. Lord Buddha also made a preaching halt at Griddhakuta (Vulture Peak). Visit Bimbisar Prison, Venuvanam, and the neighbouring museum.
Upon arrival, check in at the hotel for overnight stay and dinner.
Drive to the location of Lord Buddha’s Last Sermon in Vaishali. Visit later-known Vaishali sites including Ashokan Pillar as well as Ananda Stupa. The Ananda Stupa, which was built in honour of Ananda, Lord Buddha’s most well-known follower, honours him. The Anand Stupa, close to which he is said to have entered samadhi, now contains his mortal remains. Additionally, take some time to visit Kutagar Shala Vihara, Buddha Stupas, and Abhishek Pushkaran.
Next, we’ll travel to Kushinagar, which is a must-see location for Buddhist pilgrims as this is where Lord Buddha gave his final sermon. It served as the capital of the Mallas dynasty, who governed the area, but today there are just a few ruins that are still connected to that time. In the location where Buddha reached Nirvana, Ashoka the Great had also erected a number of buildings. Visit Nirvana Temple in the afternoon. The monolithic red sandstone temple is perched high on a plinth and is home to a reclining statue of Lord Buddha called the Nirvana statue. The statue is set atop a huge brick pedestal with four stone pillars. The figure, which is believed to have been created in the fifth century, has exquisite engravings.
Also visit Kesariya to see the Kesariya Stupa, which is the largest ancient Buddhist temple there. After the largest Buddhist stupa ever was discovered, Kesariya gained notoriety. It is said to be the highest Stupa ever to have been excavated in the entire world. From a tourism
standpoint, it holds key positions in East Champaran. The stupa represents Buddhism’s illustrious past. It has a polygonal foundation and is topped with polygonal-shaped bricks from the top, making it a sight to behold for those who enjoy visiting historical sites.
Overnight stay in Kushinagar.
Visit Kushinagar’s local attractions after breakfast, such as the Mahaparinirvana Temple, where Buddha breathed his last. The main stupa in this location is elevated on a spherical base and has a dome on top. The stupa is 19.81 metres tall. On the occasion of the 2500th anniversary of Buddha Jayanti in 1956, the temple and the stupa took on their current appearance. We will also go on an excursion to the Rambhar Stupa and the Japanese Temple as well where Lord Buddha was cremated . A Japanese organisation constructed this temple. Golden light radiated from the temple’s highest portion. The temple’s idols are made of metal or copper. The temple is gorgeous and beautifully maintained.
Later proceed to Lord Buddha’s childhood home in Kapilvastu En-route to Lumbini. Other notable attractions in Kapilvastu include the Tilaurakot Museum, the Kapilvastu Kingdom Complex, and the historical Lumbini Garden.
We shall visit the Holy Birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama in Lumbini. Later, drive to further Lumbini attractions such as the Myanmar Golden Temple, Thai Buddhist Monastery and Eternal Peace Flame. Maya Devi Temple, and Lumbini Museum are also sites of attraction for tourists around the world as this Ancient Buddhist temple is located in is the major temple of Lumbini, which is generally thought to be where Gautama Buddha was born. The Pushkarini pool and a sacred garden are located next to the temple. Previously, the archaeological artefacts at the location were dated to Ashoka’s brick constructions from the third century BCE.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Lumbini.
Early morning, have breakfast in the hotel, transfer to the airport to catch a flight or drive to Varanasi and depart.
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