14-day itinerary that retraces the main places related to the earthly life of Siddartha Gautama in India and Nepal, where Siddartha was born 566 years before Christ, in the small village of Lumbini. Starting from Delhi and touching on Varanasi, a symbol city of Hinduism, but where Sarnath is a short distance away, the place where Buddha gave his first teaching, we will visit the places of Enlightenment in Bodhgaya, of Nirvana in Kushinagar, before enter Nepal, in Lumbini precisely. The journey ends in Kathmandu, a city where it will be possible to experience the feelings and spirit of Buddhism by visiting important sites such as Swayambunath or Bodnath, the religious center of the community of Tibetan exiles in Nepal, and immerse yourself in the sacred atmosphere of the Hindu sanctuary of Pashupatinath. The journey requires a good spirit of adaptation for the long journeys on roads that are not always in excellent condition and for the intensity of the visits. Upon request, it is possible to book an Italian-speaking Indian escort for the entire trip. The best time to make this trip is from October to March.

1st day ITALY – DELHI 

Departure with scheduled flight from Italy to Delhi.


Day 2 DELHI  

Arrival in Delhi, handling of entry and customs formalities. Meeting with the local guide and transfer to the hotel (rooms available from 12.00). The first settlement in the Delhi area dates back to the 9th century, with the mythical city of Indraprashtra, capital of the Pandavas, the Hindu heroes whose deeds are found in the epic poem of the Mahabharata. A period of feudalism followed with the rule of the Rajaputs, Muslim warrior aristocrats. Over the centuries, seven cities were built which suffered several raids from the surrounding territories. Starting in 1526 Humayun and his able successors extended the empire beyond the borders of Delhi, giving rise to an attempt to reunify the country. The eighth city was built when Emperor Shah Jahan moved his capital from Agra to Delhi. The construction of the main monuments of the city dates back to this period. With the arrival of the British Calcutta was chosen as the capital and only in 1911 the capital was brought back to Delhi. On February 9, 1931, the British Viceroy inaugurated New Delhi to a design by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. The new city included the government buildings, the building housing the National Museum, two churches and most of the residences that are part of the representative area. In 1947 Delhi became the capital of independent India. In the afternoon visit to the new city: the central districts where the government buildings are located; the India Gate, an arch erected in memory of the First World War, the Parliament Building, the Qutab Minar, one of the tallest stone towers in India, a symbol of Delhi, it was begun in 1199 by Qutab ud-din and completed by his successors. If time permits visit a Sikh temple. Overnight at the hotel.



Breakfast. In time, transfer to the airport and departure for Varanasi, the “Holy City” par excellence of India. Transfer to the hotel and accommodation in the reserved rooms. Varansi owes its name to two tributaries of the Ganges: the Varuna, which flows north, and the tiny Asi, which flows south, between which the historical center of the city extends. Varanasi is the Hindu city par excellence, along its over 100 ghats pilgrims who come here from all over the country perform sacred ablutions and cremations. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel and accommodation in the reserved rooms. Late afternoon drive along the Ghats to witness an Aarti Ceremony. Return to the hotel for overnight.


4th day VARANASI: excursion to Sarnath

At the first light of dawn, boat trip on the Ganges river, to attend the ablutions of the faithful and the awakening of the sacred city. From the boat you can admire the spectacular Ghats (stairways) that descend to the river and on which the sacred processions take place. We also visit the Vishwanath Temple in the heart of the old city. Return to the hotel for breakfast. In the afternoon short trip to Sarnath (km. 10): here Buddha gave his first sermon. Of great impact is the view of the gigantic stupa, in a large garden dotted with temples and monasteries, which also includes the Archaeological Museum (closed on Fridays), the first museum established in India, which preserves admirable finds from the Mauryan era (2nd century BC ). At the end of the visits, return to the hotel for an overnight stay.  



Breakfast. Departure in the morning for Bodhgaya (Km. 260; about 6 hours), in the Indian state of Bihar, where Siddhartha Gautama reached on foot following the course of the Nairanjana river: here sitting under the bodhi tree (a ficus orientale or pipal) he reaches complete enlightenment. Upon arrival, accommodation in the reserved rooms: according to the arrival time, in the evening it will be possible to make a first visit to the main temple, Mahabodhi. Overnight at the hotel.


6th day BODHGAYA (B/-/D)

Wake up at dawn to go to the  Mahabodhi Stupa , built by Ashoka, next to the sacred tree (a ficus orientale or pipal) under which Buddha received Enlightenment. The stupa is located in the center of a park dotted with other temples, which bear witness to the places where Buddha lived immediately after his enlightenment: we are in the heart of Buddhism. Return to the hotel for breakfast. We then continue with the visit of the many places related to the life of Buddha. Free time for individual activities, before returning to the hotel for an overnight stay. 



Breakfast. The first stop of this day will be  Rajgir , which can be reached in about 2 hours, the ancient capital of Magadh, located in a particularly suggestive valley. The name Rajgir means “Real” and Buddha not only lived here, but taught several teachings, including the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, on the subject of emptiness. The first council of Buddhist monks took place in Rajgir, six months after Buddha attained nirvana. Among the places of greatest interest are the Ajat Satru Fort and the Vishwa Shanti Stupa. After the visits, continue for 20 kilometers and reach  Nalanda, site of an ancient monastic university, built, according to tradition, by the Emperor Ashoka around the stupa which kept the relics of one of Buddha’s main disciples, Sariputra. In addition to the stupa, archaeological excavations have brought to light three temples and ten monasteries. It is believed that the university housed at least 10,000 students and that two hundred teaching courses were held there per day. Departure for Patna (km. 110; about 4 hours): upon arrival, accommodation in the reserved rooms. Overnight at the hotel.



Breakfast. Even today we will retrace the important stages of Buddha’s life. Departure from Patna for  Vaishali  (km. 60, about 2 hours), one of the places where Buddha lived most frequently and where he gave his last sermon, announcing that he would soon leave the earthly world. To commemorate this event, Emperor Ashoka had the famous Lion Pillar erected here  , a finely carved pillar carved from a single block of red sandstone and about 18 meters high. About a hundred years after the Buddha’s physical death, the second Buddhist council was held in Vaishali and since then Vaishali is still an important pilgrimage destination. Continuation to Kushanagar, stopping to visit the  Kesariya Stupa , 37 meters high, which represents a rare example of Buddhist architecture, which can be compared to the more famous Borobodur, located in Java (Indonesia). At the end we continue to Kushinagar: in total today we will have traveled 275 km. Upon arrival, accommodation in reserved rooms: Overnight.



Breakfast. In the morning end of the visits of  Kushinagar , one of the most important stages of our trip. Kushinagar is the quiet village where the Buddha reached the end of his last journey at the age of 80: here he finally reaches Mahaparinirvana, freeing himself from the eternal cycle of reincarnation and leaving his great teachings to posterity. The  Muktabandhana Stupa , built by the Malla dynasty, commemorates his cremation site and preserves his relics. In the early afternoon departure for Lumbini (km. 175; 6 hours), whose name means “the enchanting”: after the “long” procedures for obtaining a visa, you enter Nepalese territory, in the Terai plain up to 20 km from the border with the ‘India. Since 1997 Lumbini has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a ” unique place and exceptional testimony of a cultural tradition and an extraordinary architecture illustrating significant stages in the history of humanity “. Here in the 6th century BC Queen Maya gave birth to Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who lived in Lumbini until he was 29 years old. Upon arrival, accommodation in reserved rooms: Overnight.



Breakfast. In the morning visit of Lumbini and its surroundings where there are Buddhist monasteries of all traditions. In 1996, in the so-called Sacred Garden, the stone that according to tradition marks the exact spot where Siddhartha Gautama was born was brought to light. In the afternoon transfer to Bhairahawa airport (about 25 km) and flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. Overnight.



Breakfast. The morning is dedicated to visiting Kathmandu, the capital and only metropolitan center of Nepal. Located at 1337 m. above sea level, it is a city full of contrasts with its urban agglomerations which contain an extraordinary cultural and artistic heritage. In the center of the old city, founded in the 12th century by the Malla dynasty, is the historic Durbar Square, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Here overlook the ancient royal palace, Hindu temples and monasteries, splendid buildings with courtyards. All around the maze of streets of the old city branches off. Continue to  Swayambunath, the large Buddhist complex that dominates the city, one of the holiest places in Kathmandu, also revered by Hindus. The hill on which the temple stands was, according to legend, an island that emerged above a large lake that submerged the entire Kathmandu valley and its origins date back to 460 AD Although the structure is very simple, it represents the complex Buddhist cosmology : the central dome means the womb from which the whole world emerges. The rest of the day will be at leisure and we suggest you experience first hand the religious activities that take place in this place. Overnight at the hotel.



Breakfast. Morning dedicated to the visit of  Patan , the second city of Nepal which is located south of Kathmandu and which has actually been incorporated by the capital. Historically it is known by the Sanskrit name of Laliput, “city of beauty”, founded in 250 BC, governed by local aristocrats and finally conquered by the Malla rulers. Patan’s Durbar Square is dotted with temples, palaces and buildings, making up a stunning display of Newari architecture. In one wing of the Royal Palace is the Museum, with an interesting collection of statues of Hindu and Buddhist deities and objects in bronze and copper that show the skill of local craftsmen. Free lunch. In the afternoon visit  Bhaktapur, the third largest urban center in the valley, located about 30 minutes from Kathmandu on the ancient trade route to Tibet. The city is splendid and has kept intact the traditional character of the Malla era. At the end return to Kathmandu: Overnight in hotel.



Breakfast. The rooms will be available until 12:00. The morning is dedicated to visiting two important sanctuaries. It begins with  Pashupatinath , the most important Hindu temple in Nepal, which stands along the banks of the sacred Bagmati river, on the eastern outskirts of Kathmandu. The temple is dedicated to both the destroyer and creator Shiva, and it is here that cremations are held. Only Hindus can enter the main temple, while the opposite bank of the river is reserved for visitors, from where you can see part of the sacred complex and the stairway where cremations are held. Maximum respect is recommended during the visit. Following is  Bodhnath view, also called Boudha, religious center of the large Tibetan exile community in Nepal. A sort of village, which develops around a huge circular stupa surmounted by the gaze of the Buddha. The place is particularly suggestive and animated by Tibetan pilgrims who move around the stupa clockwise by turning the prayer wheels. In the late afternoon transfer to the airport for boarding formalities. Departure for Italy with scheduled flight.


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