Duration : 08 Days / 07 Nights
Destinations : Delhi – Gaya – Bodhgaya – Rajgir – Nalanda – Varanasi – Sarnath – Kushinagar – Lumbini – Sravasti – Agra - DelhiGet in Touch Click To Get Instant Quotes
Mahaparinirvan is the highest and the most complete state of Nirvana or ultimate peace. The whole concept of Buddhism revolves around ‘Mahaparinirvan’ which is the great awakening. In his last discourse, Mahaparinirvan Sutta, Lord Buddha himself illustrated the need to visit the four most important pilgrimage sites in Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar while walking on the path of Dhamma.
Since then, millions of pilgrims have found their ultimate bliss during the spiritual Buddhist pilgrimage. It is a mission of the sentient Buddhist followers and travellers to visit the land of Buddha once in a lifetime. This is done to gain merit and take inspiration from the spiritual master, Gautama Buddha.
Nowadays, a special Buddhist train called Mahaparinirvan Express is also running effectively to provide the beneficial travelling experience in the Buddhist Circuit. Created on the lines of the Palace on Wheels, this exclusive train brings together the prominent Buddhist heritage sites in an exclusive way. The week long itinerary of the world’s only Buddhist train presents the destinations associated with the birth, enlightenment, first sermon and final nirvana to the visitors. During this itinerary, the travellers visit numerous temples, pagodas, stupas and viharas that are seen with great reverence worldwide.
In the past six years, this train journey has gained prominence among the Buddhist followers and travellers as the best way of embarking the Buddhist pilgrimage. The passengers are assured of the perfect on-board and off-board service with the presence of dedicated staff members. The preparation of special meals as per the taste of the passengers also lends a distinct edge to the service aboard this Buddhist train. The excursion to the Taj Mahal at the end of the special Buddhist train tour also lends a distinct edge wherein the respected passengers get to relive the marvellous opportunity of gazing the wonder of Taj Mahal.
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Delhi – Gaya – Bodhgaya – Rajgir – Nalanda – Varanasi – Sarnath – Kushinagar – Lumbini – Sravasti – Agra - Delhi
Day 1. Saturday, Delhi – Departure 16:00 hrs.
Welcome to the Mahaparinirvan Express, the journey where you will find your own soul and identity amidst the bliss and peace of the Buddhist Circuit. Reach the Safdarjung Railway Station in Delhi by 15:00 hrs and gather for a traditional reception based on India's welcoming ethos. Receive a garlanded welcome and a vermillion Tilak and welcome drinks as a gracious mark of beginning the Buddhist train tour. After the formalities are over, get an assisted check-in to your respective coaches. Leave for Gaya at 16:00 hrs. Dinner on-board.
Day 2. Sunday, Arrive Gaya – Bodhgaya (the Seat of Buddhism)
Wake up to the Buddhist chants this morning as you reach Gaya, the gateway city to Bodhgaya. After breakfast, disembark the Mahaparinirvan Express and hop in the AC coach which will take you to Bodhgaya. Upon arrival, check in to the hotel for overnight stay in Bodhgaya. This is the sacred city where meditating Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment and became the Buddha. Here, the offshoot of the original Bodhi tree, under which the lord received enlightenment, is present inside the Mahabodhi Temple Complex. This is a recognized world heritage temple complex enshrining the seven landmarks of Buddha’s meditative trance. The temple, illustrating the 2,600 year old Buddhist heritage is the epicenter of Buddhism in India. Even there are many monasteries in the city set up by many other Buddhist countries here, which are also worth a visit here. The 80-foot Buddha statue is another great attraction of this city. Lunch, Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 3. Monday, Depart Bodhgaya – Rajgir & Nalanda and leave for Varanasi
In the early morning, get ready for another day enriched with excursions enroute Varanasi, the city of lights and learning. Have early morning breakfast and tea before checkout at the hotel. Board the bus and head towards Rajgir, where the kings like Bimbisara and Ajatshatru ruled during the times of Lord Buddha's growing popularity. Surrounded by river Banganga and hills, Rajgir is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site. Here, the lord spent twelve years and gave many enlightening discourses atop the Griddhakutta or Vulture's Peak. Also, here the first Buddhist council took place at the Saptaparni caves. At 12:30 hrs, you will first head towards a restaurant for lunch. Post lunch, drive towards Nalanda 'the giver of knowledge.' In its heydays, it was the most renowned university in the world where many scholars and students stayed and learnt diversified disciplines. Hiuen Tsang & Fa- Hien also visited Nalanda in their lifetime in their search of knowledge. Now, the university is in the ruins, but worthy of a visit. Also visit Nalanda Museum during the day. Later, depart back to Gaya for further journey and leave for Varanasi aboard the Buddhist train. Dinner and overnight on board.
Day 4. Tuesday, Arrive Varanasi – Sarnath – Depart Gorakhpur
Wake up this morning in the anticipated arrival of Varanasi on Day 4. This city is considered older than time, and features the mighty River Ganges, riverfront Ghats bustling with rituals and rich Indian culture. Upon arrival, proceed to the hotel for wash & change and breakfast only. After this, move towards the second sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site, Sarnath. Here, at the deer park Lord Buddha after enlightenment gave his first sermon to his first five followers. He also turned the wheel of law, now known as Dharamachakra Pravartan. In this sermon, he explained the way to the end suffering and attain knowledge through the Middle Path.
Pray in front of Dhamekh Stupa and Chaukhandi Stupa here in Sarnath. Also a visit to the Sarnath Museum is scheduled wherein apart from other artifacts; you will also get to see the inspiration behind the national emblem of India, the lion capital atop the Ashokan pillar. Post lunch, return to Varanasi and indulge in some shopping here. In the evening, visit the famous riverfronts for the colossal congregation around the Ganges Ghats as evening Aarti. After this, return to the Mahaparinirvan Express for an onward journey to Gorakhpur. Dinner and overnight onboard.
Day 5. Wednesday Arrive Gorakhpur – Kushinagar
Wake up to the realities of mortal existence i.e. death at the place where Lord Buddha attained final Mahaparinirvana. Early morning, leave the train at Gorakhpur. Proceed to the third important Buddhist pilgrimage site, Kushinagar via coach and check in the hotel upon arrival here. After breakfast here, move out in Kushinagar, where Tathagata, “the reciter of truth”, attained Nirvana. Visit the Mahaparinirvan Temple, Ramabhar Stupa and Matha Kuar Temple shrine as a part of Kushinagar tour. In the evening, you can participate in collective meditation here. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 5 highlights - Visit Kushinagar, where Lord freed himself from the never ending cycles of birth and death
Day 6. Thursday Depart Kushinagar - Lumbini – Gorakhpur - Gonda
Rise up early morning for the breakfast and illustrious opportunity of visiting Lumbini, the respected place for Gautama Buddha's birth and a world heritage site. (By bus /obtain Visa to Nepal in advance from home country.) On arrival in Lumbini, move towards hotel for lunch. Visit the Maya Devi Temple, where the lord was born. Also visit the Pushkarni pond and inscribed Ashokan Pillar. In the evening, depart for Gorakhpur via road. And board the train here for an onward journey to Gonda. Dinner and overnight on-board.
Day 7. Friday Arrive Gonda – Sravasti – Agra
If you think that all the four major Buddhist sites are over in this tour and the revered Buddhist pilgrimage is complete, then you need to visit Sravasti. This is the next destination enroute the Buddhist train and walk through the monastic complex of Jetavana Gardens. Here Lord Buddha spent 24 monsoon retreats and delivered many discourses. Age-old Stupas, majestic monasteries and several temples adorn the deep rooted Buddhist essence here. After lunch at Sravasti, depart via road towards Gonda. Leave Gonda for Agra in the evening. Dinner and overnight on-board.
Day 8. Saturday Arrive Agra - Taj Mahal - Delhi Depart Mahaparinirvan Express
This morning, wake up with a fresh thought of visiting a monument above all emotions and miseries of life and death, Taj Mahal. This is a dedication of an Emperor to his deceased wife and a marvel in its own right. A world heritage site, this monument is a must visit attraction of India. After breakfast onboard, leave the train to visit Taj Mahal. After the visit, depart Agra for Delhi in the afternoon. Lunch on-board. In the evening, arrive Delhi and bid adieu to your companion for eight days, Mahaparinirvan Express.
Other highlights of the Buddhist Circuit Special Tour
|December||9th & 23rd|
|2018||January||6th & 27th|
|Charter trips also available on request.|
|Class of Travel||
Oct 2016 to Mar 2017 (per night)
|AC- First Class||
|AC - 2 Tier||US$||135||945|
|AC First Coupe||US$||165 +(USD 150 Per Pax for Partial/Full Tour)||1305|
|§ Weather, Time, Currency:-|
|No. Of days before Commencement of Trip*||Cancellation Charges|
|45 and above||10% of package cost|
|44 to 15||25% of package cost|
|14 to 7||50% of package cost|
|7 and less||100% of package cost|
Delhi – Gaya – Bodhgaya – Rajgir – Nalanda – Varanasi – Sarnath – Kushinagar – Lumbini – Sravasti – Agra – Delhi
The Mahaparinirvan Express Buddhist train begins its journey from Delhi and takes the travellers directly to the epicenter of Buddhism in Bodhgaya. This seat of Buddhism inspires travellers to achieve the same level of awakening like the spiritual master himself under the revered Bodhi Tree. From there, they are led to Rajgir, where Lord spent many years and gave his enlightening sermons atop the Vulture’s Peak. Nalanda University on the other hand gave knowledge to the world with its enlightening and diversified study disciplines. The next halt from there is Sarnath near Varanasi, which gained prominence as the site of Lord Buddha’s first sermon. Kushinagar and Lumbini, the forthcoming destinations present the contrasting element in Buddha’s life as the former one witnessed his ultimate Parinirvana and the latter saw his birth. The last Buddhist heritage site en route is Sravasti, famous in ancient texts as the site of Jetavana Vihara where Lord spent 24 monsoon retreats. The mega journey of Mahaparinirvan Express comes to a hearty end in the testimony of Agra’s Taj Mahal on the eighth day of the tour.