After picking you up at your hotel we will head off on a half-hour drive to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sarnath. Buddha gave his first sermon here and since then many impressive temples and monasteries have sprung up, many of which were built by Buddhist countries around the world, including Japan, Thailand, and Sri Lanka.
As we enter the gateway we will be greeted with the beautiful Chaukhandi Stupa, surrounded by lush manicured gardens. Of the few buildings here that remain relatively intact, the Dhamek Stupa is the most impressive, standing at nearly 50 feet tall. The tower marks the spot where Buddha sat to preach. We will also discover the decaying ruins of Mulagandhakuti Vihar, where Buddha chose to spend his first rainy season in meditation.
Next we’re off to see some of the finest examples of Indian Buddhist art in the world at Sarnath Museum. It is here you can view the mighty Ashokan lion, which has been the symbol of modern India since their national independence in 1947.
As your pilgrimage to Sarnath comes to end, we will make our way back to our other holy site for the day, Varanasi, to take a stroll along the narrow lanes of the old town.
As the sun begins to dip we will find a special spot at the Dashashwamedh Ghat on the banks of the holy Ganges river. Here we will witness the mesmerising evening Aarti ceremony, which starts at dusk each day. This fire offering, which dates back to the time of Buddha himself, is a blessing ceremony and a central part of religious life in the city.
After the ceremony, we will drop you back at your accommodation. If you want to continue your immersion into spiritual life in the holiest of Indian cities, talk to your local guide for tips on where to visit next.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, roundtrip transportation in private vehicle, entrance fees to all site attractions, mineral water.
Exclusions: Food and drinks, souvenirs and personal shopping, tips/gratuities for your guide.
Your Trip: For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at your hotel for pick up. Please check your hotel details are correct on the voucher. If your details are not correct, it is very important to please email us to confirm your correct pick up hotel using the contact details on the voucher. If you prefer you may also phone the change through to us during business hours.
Child Policy: Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children below the age of 6 are not permitted on this tour.