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Religion

The one thing that is bound to strike the traveller about the Indian subcontinent is its deep and intense religious  vibe. The undertones of religiosity runs thickly in the places of interest, the monuments, festivals, conversations and interactions. This goes to show the unshakeable faith by which the people of these countries live. In a sense, lines blur and this also forms a spiritual backdrop for many. The influences of  many religions in India alone have made it a rich cultural repository for generations. The same feeling runs across through the adjoining nations.

As one travels from one region to another, apart from the diverse topography, one also gets to see and experience the influence of religion that has shaped the destinations. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and other religions contribute to make a great cultural backdrop for travellers. It can set one of studying the unending medley of studying the social fabric of the country.

Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the upper reaches of Indian Himalayas gives you a chance to immerse in the simple living of Buddhism, in mainland India the fervour of religious festivals showcase the energy and reverence towards the pantheon of Gods and in the tucked away reaches, you may even find unique tribal sects that commemorate nature. Our itineraries take you through different cultural mixes, to showcase the influence of religion in the subcontinent.

Itineraries

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Footsteps of Buddha

07 Nights & 08 Days

Overview

This itinerary takes you through the footsteps of Buddha, touching the key destinations that he lived in and gave his sermons in his life. The trip is a spiritual experience where you get ample time to trace the history of Buddhism with our knowledgeable guides and see how life has panned out now after hundreds of years.

Top Places

Bodh Gaya | Rajgir & Nalanda | Vaishali & Kushinagar | Lumbini | Sravasti & Kapilavastu | Varanasi | Bodh Gaya

Highlights

Gridhakuta Hill | Nalanda University | Mahabodhi Tree | Mahaparinirvana Temple | Mayadevi Temple | Sahet Mahet | Angulimal caves | Sarnath



Bodh Gaya / Day 1

Arrive in Bodh Gaya and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon proceed for sightseeing. Visit the Mahabodhi Temple, a sacred place for the Buddhists and the Mahabodhi tree, where Buddha attained enlightenment. Also visit monasteries of different countries in the town and the Archaeological Museum. Overnight stay at Bodh Gaya.
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Rajgir & Nalanda / Day 2

Today you drive to Patna via Rajgir and Nalanda. Both sites hold great significance in the Buddhism circuit. It was in Rajgir that Buddha spent almost 12 years and held his first council here at the Saptaparni Caves. In the afternoon visit Gridhakuta Hill and Bimbisara jail. Drive to Nalanda which is 14 kms drive. […]
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Vaishali & Kushinagar / Day 3

Proceed to Kushinagar enroute visiting Vaishali, where Buddha announced the approaching of his Mahaparinirvana. At Kushinagar, visit Mahaparinirvana Temple (where Buddha took his last breathe) and Rambhar Stupa (cremation site of Lord Buddha). Overnight at Kushinagar.
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Lumbini / Day 4

After breakfast drive to Lumbini – the birth place of Lord Buddha. On arrival, transfer to hotel. Afternoon visit the birth place of Buddha – Mayadevi Temple. This place is a blessed one for its serenity and the natural beauty, purely coinciding to the perception of a place where the legend was born. Overnight stay […]
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Sravasti & Kapilavastu / Day 5

After breakfast leave for Sravasti enroute visiting Kapilavastu – the childhood home of Gautam Buddha. Continue your drive to Sravasti where the Buddha preached most of his sermons. Here he is said to have performed many miracles. During the monsoon, he used to stay at the Jetavana monastery on the outskirts of this town. Visit […]
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Varanasi / Day 6

After breakfast drive to Varanasi – one of the oldest living cities of the world. On arrival in Varanasi, enjoy a trip to Sarnath (12 kms from Varanasi). Sarnath is the place where Lord Buddha had preached his first sermon to his five disciples after attaining enlightenment. Visit to Dhamekh Stupa – one of the […]
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Bodh Gaya / Day 7 - 8

After breakfast drive to Varanasi – one of the oldest living cities of the world. Early morning boat ride at River Ganges to view sunrise. After breakfast, drive to Bodh Gaya. On arrival, transfer to hotel followed by visit to Dungeswari Caves where Buddha had meditated for some time. Overnight stay in Bodh Gaya. Flight […]
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Religions of India

12 Nights & 13 Days

Overview

The wonderful thing about India is its diversity. That combined with the rich cultural influences from various dynasties that ruled different areas, gives India an unparalleled cultural advantage. This also comes with a host of religious sects that makes the country one of the most secular places on earth. You are likely to see influences and active cultures that have burgeoned from Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Christianity, Jewish and other smaller sections. It is this multi-religious and cultural scape that makes India and interesting travel destination.

Top Places

Delhi | Amritsar | Dharamsala | Kangra Pragpur | Chandigarh | Haridwar | Rishikesh | Delhi | Agra – Delhi

Highlights

Red Fort | Jama Masjid | Golden Temple | Wagah Border | Tibetan Norbulinga Institute | Pragpur | Rock Garden | Ganga Aarti | Bangla Sahib Gurudwara | Taj Mahal

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Delhi / Day 1 - 2

Arrive in Delhi and transfer to the hotel. Spend the day sightseeing in Delhi at monuments and buildings of national importance like the Red Fort, Jama Masjid and India Gate. Later visit Humayun’s Tomb, and the Qutub Minar, the highest sands stone minaret in the world (73 meters). Today, you will already get a peek […]
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Amritsar / Day 3 - 4

Arrive in Amritsar by train. Check into the hotel and then use the day at leisure for shopping or stepping out. The sightseeing of Amritsar comprises a visit to the Golden temple, one of the holiest of Sikh shrines. The complex has important edifices such as the Akal Takht and the Harmandir Sahib and the […]
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Dharamsala / Day 5 - 6

After breakfast, drive to Dharamshala. It has monasteries representing all the three important sects of Buddhism. This is the right place indeed to get introduced to one of the most popular religions of the world. Upon arrival in Dharamshala, check in at the hotel. Overnight at Dharamsala. After breakfast, visit all the monasteries in McLeod […]
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Kangra Pragpur / Day 7

After breakfast drive through the lush green Kangra valley to Himachal’s first Heritage Village, Paragpur. Enroute visit Jwalamukhi, where a flawless blue flame has been burning for ages through fissures in the old rocks. In the evening stroll through the cobbled pathways of Paragpur village to its ornamental pond and a bazaar famous for block […]
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Chandigarh / Day 8

After breakfast drive to Chandigarh. En-route visit Chintpurni, a holy spot for Hindus. Chandigarh – the 1st planned modern city of India designed by the French architect Le Corbusier – serves as the capital of both Punjab and Haryana. The city is highly developed and modern, divided into various sectors and has well-laid roads lined […]
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Haridwar / Day 9

After breakfast drive to Haridwar – the gateway to the Gods. Haridwar is situated on the banks of the Holy River Ganges dotted with Ancient Temples and Ashrams. Evening we converge at Har Ki Pauri to witness the Spectacular Evening prayer on the banks of the Ganges. All the temples in the vicinity come alive […]
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Rishikesh / Day 10

In the morning drive to the neighbouring holy town of Rishikesh, abode of the ashrams and the spiritually inclined. You will visit the ashrams, ghats, temples and will have a closer look at the Sanatan Dharma or Hinduism and its practices. After the sightseeing drive back to Haridwar. Overnight at Haridwar.
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Delhi / Day 11

In the morning transfer to the railway station to take a train to Delhi. In the afternoon enjoy the temple tour. You will visit the Laxmi Narayan Temple, one of the biggest Hindu Temple in Delhi. A big industrialist Mr. Birla built it about 50 years ago. It showcases almost all Gods worshipped by Hindus. […]
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Agra – Delhi / Day 12 - 13

Early morning, take the train to Agra to visit Taj Mahal (1631-1653), a poem in white marble, built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Also visit Agra Fort (Fort and Palace) situated on the west bank of the river Jamuna. Later, drive back to Delhi. Overnight in Delhi. Onward Flight.
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Footsteps of Christianity

13 Nights & 14 Days

Overview

Christianity has the third largest following in India and a fascinating trail from the point of view of history. India, for many centuries, was on the radar for traders, for its spices, tea and  coffee. This brought an influx of different religions and Christianity was one of those. Till this date, ancient cathedrals and churches loom over coastal villages, making the country richer in its social and historical fabric.

Top Places

Cochin | Kodungallur | Kottayam and Kumarakom | Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary | Periyar and Madurai’s Temples | Trichy | Tanjore and Vailankanni | Tanjore Christian Pilgrimages | Pondicherry | Mahabalipuram | Chennai

Highlights

Chinese Fishing Nets | Jewish Synagogue | Malayatoor Church | Mar Thoma Church | Periyar National Park | Houseboats, | Sri Meenakshi Temple | Ashram of Bede Griffits | Vailankanni | Danish Schwarz Church | Auroville | Fort St. George.



Cochin / Day 1 - 2

Arrive in Cochin and transfer to the hotel. Cochin is the commercial capital of the coastal state of Kerala, in the deep south of the nation. The city still exhibits footprints of its colonial influences from Portugal, Holland and England. Most amazing are the Chinese fishing nets along Vypeen Island. Traders brought these cantilevered fishing […]
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Kodungallur / Day 3

After breakfast visit Kodungallur to see Mar Thoma Church. This Orthodox Church features a blend of Protestant Reformation ideal with eastern forms. The form of Christian faith is not American faith, but India faith. Continue to the St. Thomas Church alleged to be founded by St. Thomas. One may visit the Muringoor Divine Retreat Center […]
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Kottayam and Kumarakom / Day 4

After breakfast, drive to Kottayam. This picturesque place is the centre for Christians of the Syrian Church. It is one of the oldest orders of the Catholic Christian Church in India. You will see a lot of churches in this area. In the vicinity are the shrines of St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara, the founder of […]
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Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary / Day 5

After breakfast drive to Periyar. Periyar National Park is spread on about 780 sq. km centered at around artificial lake fed by the Periyar River. Later visit Elephant Camp where we will organize elephant bathing and elephant feeding. After visiting Elephant Camp, visit a spice plantation to walk through the aromatic spice gardens where the […]
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Periyar and Madurai’s Temples / Day 6

Depart the land of spices into Tamil Nadu, the state in which remnants of the ancient Dravidian tongue is still spoken. Descend to one of India’s oldest cities. The spectacular Sri Meenakshi Temple is an example of baroque style of a Dravidian structure covered from top to bottom with breathless profusion of colors of gods, […]
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Trichy / Day 7

After breakfast drive to Trichy. Here one encounters the Ashram concept. The Ashram of Bede Griffits, a Catholic priest who preaches the gospel and philosophy through the Indian Way of life and style, is the destination today. Overnight at Trichy.
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Tanjore and Vailankanni / Day 8

After breakfast drive to Vailankanni. It is a small seaside town on the Corromandal Coast where Roman Catholics revered the story of a special healing miracle. A feast here lasts or 9 days and draws a million pilgrims. The shrine was elevated to a Basilica on Nov. 3, 1962 by Pope John XXIII. Later drive […]
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Tanjore Christian Pilgrimages / Day 9

After breakfast visit Tanjore, famous for Christian pilgrims. The late Pope John Paul IV had chosen, out of 24 worldwide shrines, as the most important shrine of Mariam. The local Danish Schwarz Church is one of the oldest in India. Visit the Bronze Museum, the Sarasvati Hall Library (a great collection of manuscripts), and see […]
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Pondicherry / Day 10 - 11

After breakfast drive to Pondicherry, which was a former French colony. It still has Portuguese culture intact in the city. Pondicherry is also a sacred place where St. Agasthaya and Shri Aurobindo settled down and sought peace. Overnight at Pondicherry. Start the day with sightseeing in Pondicherry. Sri Aurobindo Ashram- The foundation of Sri Aurobindo […]
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Mahabalipuram / Day 12

After breakfast visit the historical sites of the seaside resort of Mahabalipuram: City of Seven Pagodas. The ancient Pallava port of Mamallapuram and its 7th century rock hewn monuments, magnificent rock temples and carvings transport you to the yesteryears. Visit the Five Rathas (chariots) ceremonial chariots, rock cut monoliths, named after the 5 Pandavas heroes […]
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Chennai / Day 13

After breakfast drive to India’s 4th largest city, Chennai (8 million people). Twenty years after his arrival at Kerala, living traditions report that it was here in 72 AD that St. Thomas was murdered after returning from a short trip to China. You will visit sites that commemorate his presence and death, the Little Mount, […]
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Religion in Nepal

08 Nights & 09 Days

Overview

Hinduism is one of the major religions in the Himalayan nation of Nepal; in fact it is one of the main destinations for ancient temples, with entire cities dedicated to them. The soothing vibe of the mountains, combined with the spiritual essence of the temples and shrines is sure to transport you into an ethereal ambience of tranquility and serenity.

Top Places

Kathmandu | Manakamana – Pokhara | Pokhara | Kathmandu

Highlights

Kathmandu Durbar square | Dakshinkali | Sheshnarayan | Patan | Manakamana | Pashupathinath | Boudhanath | Bindhabasini temple | Swoyambhunath | Bhaktapur

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Kathmandu / Day 1 - 3

Flying into Kathmandu is an unforgettable experience with the Himalaya spread out before you In the late afternoon you will visit Kathmandu Durbar Square. Kathmandu Durbar square is the complex of palaces, courtyards and temples like Hanumandhoka Palace, Kumari Ghar (Abode of the Living Goddess), Taleju temple (used to be the seat of the ancient […]
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Manakamana – Pokhara / Day 4

After breakfast in hotel we drive to Bandipur village via Manakamana Temple, which is one of the famous Hindu temples in Nepal. You can experience of cable car here to reach the top of the hill, where it is perched. After visiting Manakamana drive to Pokhara (95 km.) via Siddhartha highway which offers beautiful views […]
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Pokhara / Day 5

After breakfast, visit Sarnagkot. You can walk or drive from lake side to Sarangkot. On clear day, panoramic views of Himalayas can be seen from here. Also visit the Bindhabasini temple, Gupteshwor Mahadev and the Barahi Temple on Phewa Lake. This day is an orientation to the special deities that are worshipped in Nepal. Their […]
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Kathmandu / Day 6 - 9

On this day, fly to Kathmandu. There are two main temples to be seen on this day – Pashupathinath and Boudhanath. Pashupatinath, UNESCO world cultural heritage site, one of the holiest shrines of all Hindus, is located eastern part of the Kathmandu valley on the bank of the Bagmati river with an area of approximately […]
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Buddhism in Bhutan

06 Nights & 07 Days

Overview

Bhutan’s high mountains hide in them, various mystical and calming vibes. Much of it comes from the chanting from the hilltop monasteries. Bhutan is home to Tibetan Buddhists and a sprawl of remarkable monasteries. Visit here to get oriented about the religion and get familiar with a number of tombs and memorials of saints who helped the religion spread in this part of the world. A trip to Bhutan alone, from the entire subcontinent, is an ample ode to the religion.

Top Places

Paro – Thimphu | Thimphu | Punakha | Paro

Highlights

Paro Dzong | National Memorial Chorten | National Library | Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery | Chimi Lhakhang | Tiger’s Nest



Paro – Thimphu / Day 1

The flight into Bhutan takes you over the great Himalayas, offering the scintillating scenery of the world’s highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will see the silvery Pa Chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley, the Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watch tower). Transfer to Thimphu ( 55 km, 2 hours) […]
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Thimphu / Day 2

Today’s full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley includes a visit to the following places. National Library, which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion. Textile and Folk Heritage Museum: This opened in 2001 […]
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Punakha / Day 3 - 4

After breakfast, drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, Mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), […]
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Paro / Day 5 - 7

After breakfast drive to Paro. Visit Ta Dzong, which was once a watchtower built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century. Afterwards, walk down a hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, which has a long and fascinating history. Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal , the first spiritual and temporal […]
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