Following Buddha’s Lotus Steps- Pilgrimage in India

The Buddha’s Lotus Steps is a journey through two countries and two states. It is an experience of the Master’s journey from Royal Prince Siddhartha to the Enlightened Buddha and best experienced between October and March when the weather is just right.  The pilgrimage is through his place of birth, enlightenment, lectures and Mahaparinirvana which can be done by Rail or by Road or a mix of both.

If you are travelling alone, it is best to travel on the Mahaparinirvan Express by Indian Railways. If you are in a group, join a standard tour by travel and tour providers or plan on your own based on places of interest. Make sure you have a multiple entry visa for India and a visa for Nepal for this trip. If you are looking for comfortable stay, book in Royal Residency or Lotus Nikko hotels else there are other budget accommodations. I am happy to help in planning – write to

Option I: Join the tour on Mahaparinirvan Express by Indian Railways.

Option II: A tentative tour plan if travelling by road. Feel free to tailor it to suit your interests. Click on the links to know more about the places

  • Day 1: Arrive in Varanasi. This is a short flight or an overnight journey from New Delhi. Evening Arati in the ghats of Varanasi and a walk around the busy markets.
  • Day 2: Sarnath where Buddha turned the Wheel of LawEarly morning boatride on the river Ganga followed by quick breakfast and a trip to Sarnath. Spend the evening shopping or walking along the river.
  • Day 3: Varanasi to Bodhgaya where Buddha attained enlightenment. It is about a 4-5 hour bus ride through rural India. Experience the evening butter lamp ceremony in the Mahabodhi Temple
  • Day 4: Bodhgaya. Early morning visit to the Mahabodhi Temple to meditate under the Bodhi Tree along with monks and then walk around the temple, visit the sacred spots. Post lunch walk around the town visiting many of the 54 monasteries of different countries. Evening shopping for a singing bowl or a memoir of Buddha
  • Day 5: Bodhgaya to Rajgir & Nalanda (knowledge capital of Buddha’s times). After breakfast, visit the Daijkyo Buddha and drive past Sujatagarh towards Rajgir which is an hour away. Spend the day checking out the ancient Nalanda University, Peace Pagoda, Hot Springs, other ancient sites. Drive 3 hours to Vaishali for the night halt
  • Day 6: Vaishali (seat of last lecture) to Kushinagar(passing into light). Spend the morning in Vaishali sight seeing until lunch and then travel 3-4 hours to Kushinagar. Arrive in Kushinagar just before sunset and spend some time in meditation with the golden buddha in parinirvana pose
  • Day 7: Kushinagar to Kapilvastu. Spend the morning in Kushinagar Sights and then drive 4-5 hours to Kapilvastu where Lord Buddha spent his early years. If it gets too late to go to the site, spend a relaxing evening in Royal Retreat.
  • Day 8: Lumbini where the Buddha was born. Make a day trip to Lumbini in Nepal across the Indian border spending time in the gardens where he was born and visiting the many monasteries around. Spend the night in Kapilvastu or in Sravasti based on time. 
  • Day 9: Sravasti where the Buddha performed Miracles. Spend a few hours sightseeing and drive to Lucknow in the evening and spend the night there.
  • Day 10: Lucknow Sightseeing and head to Delhi or Agra based on future itinerary

You may want to tailor a Buddhist Circuit with a little bit of grandeur and Indian History by including  Agra, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Panna Forest, Orccha, etc and I am happy to help in the planning since I love traveling. Feel free to send a mail to me (Sangeeta)

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18 thoughts on “Following Buddha’s Lotus Steps- Pilgrimage in India

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  11. Ajay Kaul

    Wow! Didn’t realize that a tour of this kind existed. Thanks for sharing. Are the towns Lumbini and Kapilvastu still called by these names or do they have newer names>?

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