Offers

North and Central India Heritage Itinerary with Buddhist circuit extension(10 Nights)

New Delhi, Agra, Orchha, Khajuraho, Varanasi, Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Patna

for Pilgrim Traveller, Inbound Traveller

Holiday Overview

Shanti Stupa (Nivalink Trip Dated - 1 February 2011)
Shanti Stupa (Nivalink Trip Dated - 1 February 2011)
Mahabodhi Temple Bodhgaya (Nivalink Trip Dated - 1 February 2011)
Inside the Temple (Nivalink Trip Dated - 1 February 2011)
Ghats of Varanasi
One of the Western Group Temples (Nivalink Trip Dated - 31 January 2005)
Taj Mahal
Safdarjung Tomb (Photo Courtesy: Michael Vito)
Jama Masjid Delhi (Photo Courtesy: Muhammad Mahdi Karim)

This is a very popular inbound itinerary that covers major heritage destinations of North and Central India such as New Delhi, Agra, Khajuraho and Varanasi alongwith Buddhist circuit destinations such as Bodhgaya and Rajgir.

Route

New Delhi(2) - Agra(2) - Orchha(1) - Khajuraho(1) - Varanasi(2) - Bodhgaya(1) - Rajgir(1)

Summarised Itinerary
  • Day-1 Arrival at Delhi. Half day sightseeing to Heritage Monuments around Old City.
  • Day-2 Delhi Sightseeing in and around South Delhi.
  • Day-3 Proceed to Agra via Mathura.
  • Day-4 Full Day Agra Sightseeing
  • Day-5 Proceed to Orchha via Gwalior. Heritage walk in the evening.
  • Day-6 Proceed to Khajuraho. Afternoon visit to Western group of temples. Evening Light and Sound Show.
  • Day-7 Visit Eastern and Southern group of Temples. Fly to Varanasi. Boating in river in the evening around the evening Arti on Ghats.
  • Day-8 Morning visit to Sarnath. Afternoon visits to Jantar Mantar, Museum, Bharat Mata Temple etc.
  • Day-9 Proceed to Bodhgaya. Visit Mahabodhi temple.
  • Day-10 Proceed to Rajgir. Visit Shanti Stupa.
  • Day-11 Departure
Sightseeing Summary

Agra - Jama Masjid Agra (1.40 kms), Agra Fort (4.00 kms), Taj Mahal (5.00 kms), Mehtab Bagh (6.00 kms), Fatehpur Sikri (37.00 kms)

Bodhgaya - Mahabodhi Temple Bodhgaya (0.50 kms), Shanti Stupa Nalanda (75.00 kms)

Khajuraho - Khajuraho Group of Temples (0.50 kms), Light and Sound Show at Khajuraho (0.50 kms)

New Delhi - Jama Masjid Delhi (5.00 kms), Red Fort (Lal Quila) (5.00 kms), Humayuns Tomb (8.50 kms), Dilli Haat (9.50 kms), National Railway Museum (11.00 kms), Bahai Temple - Lotus Temple (13.00 kms), Qutab Minar (18.00 kms), Sulabh International Museum of Toilets (24.00 kms)

Rajgir - Shanti Stupa Nalanda (7.00 kms), Mahabodhi Temple Bodhgaya (69.00 kms)

Varanasi - Kashi Vishwanath Temple (5.40 kms), Banaras Hindu University (8.00 kms), Ghats of Varanasi (9.00 kms), Sarnath Stupa (12.00 kms)

Preferred Arrival /Departure Destination
Arrival - New Delhi Departure - Patna
Best Season to Travel
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Popular Extensions to the Itinerary

Guests stay a night over at Patna to visit Vaishali (60 kms).

Distances
  • New Delhi to Agra -210 kms (4 hrs)
  • Agra to Orchha -234 kms (6 hrs)
  • Orchha to Khajuraho -174 kms (4 hrs)
  • Khajuraho to Varanasi -414 kms (9 hrs)
  • Varanasi to Bodhgaya -256 kms (7.5 hrs)
  • Bodhgaya to Rajgir -70 kms (2 hrs)
  • Rajgir to Patna -93 kms (2.5 hrs)
Route

New Delhi(2) - Agra(2) - Orchha(1) - Khajuraho(1) - Varanasi(2) - Bodhgaya(1) - Rajgir(1) - Patna

Detailed Itinerary

Day-1 Arrival at Delhi. Half day sightseeing to Heritage Monuments around Old City. Arrive early at New Delhi. New Delhi is capital of India, access point to North India and one of the major heritage destinations. Half-day sightseeing to renowned heritage monuments in Old City Area such as Red Fort and Jama Masjid.

Day-2 Delhi Sightseeing in and around South Delhi. Proceed to South Delhi. Visit Bahai Temple near Nehru Place (Lotus Temple), Qutab Minar, Humayun Tomb and visit Dilli Haat (Craft from all over India). In the late afternoon / evening guests can either explore Delhi further (Railway Museum, Sulabh Toilet.

Day-3 Proceed to Agra via Mathura.  Proceed to Agra (210 kms, 4.5 hours). Agra is a renowned Heritage Destination and home to the Taj Mahal, one of the original Seven Wonders of the World. Enroute possibly visit Mathura Krishna Temple.

Day-4 Full Day Agra Sightseeing Visit Taj Mahal, one of the original seven wonders of the world and the Monument Agra is renowned for. Early morning is the ideal time to visit Taj Mahal. Later in the day visit Agra Fort, Jama Masjid, Buland Darwaza. In the afternoon excursion to Fatehpur Sikri (a heritage town at 60 kms - 1.5 hours). Time permitting visit Mehtab Bagh in Agra in the evening for another view of the Taj Mahal across the River.

Day-5 Proceed to Orchha via Gwalior. Heritage walk in the evening. Proceed to Orchha (234 kms - 6 hrs ) via Gwalior Fort enroute (Alternatively a Shatabdi Express straight to Jhansi is also popular). Orchha is a riverside town by the River offering unique heritage character and is visited on the Agra - Khajuraho route.

Day-6 Proceed to Khajuraho. Afternoon visit to Western group of temples. Evening Light and Sound Show. Leave for Khajuraho (174 kms - 4 hours). Khajuraho is a heritage destination renowned for its temples having sculptures carved in erotic poses and is visited by guests from world over. Visit Western Group of Temples in the late afternoon.

Day-7 Visit Eastern and Southern group of Temples. Fly to Varanasi. Boating in river in the evening around the evening Arti on Ghats.  Visit Eastern and Southern group of Temples at Khajuraho. Take afternoon flight for Varanasi. Varanasi is a holy river Ganges riverside destination and one where guests arrive for a spiritual experience. Arrive at Varanasi by late afternoon / evening.

Day-8 Morning visit to Sarnath. Afternoon visits to Jantar Mantar, Museum, Bharat Mata Temple etc.  Morning Visit to Sarnath (12 kms), a centre for Buddhist heritage and a destination on Buddhist circuit. Stupas at Sarnath are magnificient and worth a visit for any traveller. Spend afternoon visiting Bharat Kala Bhavan (Musem with a collection of clay and bronze sculpture, paintings, silks and embroidered textiles).

Day-9 Proceed to Bodhgaya. Visit Mahabodhi temple. Travel to Bodhgaya (260 kms - 7 hrs). Bodhgaya is where Buddha attained enlightment under a tree, Visit to the Mahabodhi temple. There are number of temples set up by different South East Asian Countries. Guests may visit them time permitting.

Day-10 Proceed to Rajgir. Visit Shanti Stupa. Proceed to Ragir (70 kms - 1.5 hours). Rajgir is also known as Panchpahari with shrines on five hills. Visit Vishwa Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda) and monasteries built by Japanese devotees of the Buddha on top of the Rajgir Hills.

Day-11 Departure Depart for Patna (105 kms) for onward journey.

Detailed Sightseeing

Agra :

  • Jama Masjid Agra - Jama Masjid in Agra is opposite the Agra fort, is one of the larger mosques in India and a most visited monument after Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.

  • Agra Fort - Agra Fort is a UNESCO World heritage site and one of the most visited monuments after Taj Mahal. There are several areas to explore and a guided visit can take upto an hour and a half to explore. Diwan-e-aam, Diwaan-e-khaas, Khas Mahal (white marble palace, one of the best examples of painting on marble), Sheesh Mahal, Mina Masjid, Moti Masjid are some of the areas that are worth a visit.

  • Taj Mahal - The Taj Mahal is often the reason to visit India. Its a monument built by Shahjehan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal and became symbol of love world over. Taj Mahal today is a major attraction and one of the original seven wonders of the world.

  • Mehtab Bagh - Mehtab Bagh overlooks The Taj Mahal from otherside of the river and offers excellent views. The Mehtab Bagh garden was the last of eleven Mughal-built gardens along the Yamuna opposite the Taj and the Agra Fort

  • Fatehpur Sikri - Built during the 16th century, the Fatehpur Sikri is one of the best preserved collection of Mughal architecture in India. Fatehpur Sikri often referred to as the lost city and has a number of monuments to visit.

Bodhgaya :

  • Mahabodhi Temple Bodhgaya - Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites for Buddhism and life of Gautama Buddha. Mahabodhi Temple, located in Bodh Gaya, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is renowned for being the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have achieved Enlightenment,

  • Shanti Stupa Nalanda - Nalanda was an ancient center of higher learning in Bihar. Rajgir (7 kms) was monsoon retreat of Buddha for over a decade. Attraction of the region is the ropeway at Nalanda that leads uphill to the Vishwa Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda),Makhdoom Kund and monasteries built by Japanese devotees of the Buddha on top of the Ratnagiri Hills.

Khajuraho :

  • Khajuraho Group of Temples - The Khajuraho Group of Monuments in Khajuraho is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculptures. The temples are grouped into three geographical divisions: western, eastern and southern. The Khajuraho Group of Monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered to be one of the "seven wonders" of India.

  • Light and Sound Show at Khajuraho - The Khajuraho temple complex offers a professional light and sound show every evening. The first show is in English language and the second one in Hindi. The show is about an hour long and covers the history, philosophy and the art of sculpting of these temples. It is held in the open lawns in the temple complex.

New Delhi :

  • Jama Masjid Delhi - Jama Masjid of Delhi commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in mid 17th century, is the largest and best-known mosque in India.

  • Red Fort (Lal Quila) - The Red Fort or Lal Qila was started in 1638 by Shah Jahan and completed in 1648. The Red Fort was the seat of Mughal power from 1639 to 1857.The red sandstone walls of the fort vary from 18m to 33m and the fort covers over 2 kilometers. This is UNESCO World heritage site

  • Humayuns Tomb - Humayuns Tomb is a lofty mausoleum set in a square garden. The tomb was constructed with white marble and red sandstone, and was designed as a prototype of the Taj Mahal in Agra. It is an excellent example of Mughal architecture. The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. Humayuns Tomb is one of the most visited monuments and has kind of become must visit. Isa Khans Tomb is a popular monument that is also visited alongwith.

  • Dilli Haat - A market where artisans from all over India have set up shop. Its an excellent one point stop for souvenirs and some genuine handicrafts.

  • National Railway Museum - Collection of over 100 real size exhibits of Indian Railways. Static and working models, signaling equipments, antique furnitures, historical photographs and related literature etc. are displayed in the museum.

  • Bahai Temple - Lotus Temple - The Bahai House of Worship in Delhi also popularly known as the Lotus Temple due to its flowerlike shape. It's spread over a large area with gardens around it and is a major tourist draw.

  • Qutab Minar - The Qutub Minar is a UNESCO world heritage site and was completed in the 13th C. The Qutub Minar rises over 230 feet in the air, has five stories and is covered with intricate carvings. The carvings feature the history of Qutub and inscriptions from the Koran. The Complex is also home to Imam Tamims Tomb and Alai Minar. There is a large garden around it as well for tourists to spend some time to marvel at the monument.

  • Sulabh International Museum of Toilets - A Museum by Sulabh, pioneer in Sanitation and Public toilets in India. It features toilet collecton from 2500 BC to modern times. There are hundreds of them on display and can be an interesting visit.

Rajgir :

  • Shanti Stupa Nalanda - Nalanda was an ancient center of higher learning in Bihar. Rajgir (7 kms) was monsoon retreat of Buddha for over a decade. Attraction of the region is the ropeway at Nalanda that leads uphill to the Vishwa Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda),Makhdoom Kund and monasteries built by Japanese devotees of the Buddha on top of the Ratnagiri Hills.

  • Mahabodhi Temple Bodhgaya - Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites for Buddhism and life of Gautama Buddha. Mahabodhi Temple, located in Bodh Gaya, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is renowned for being the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have achieved Enlightenment,

Varanasi :

  • Kashi Vishwanath Temple - Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga Shiva temples and most significant in Hinduism especially for a Lord Shiva devotee. The security around here is tight making entrance off limits to foreigners.

  • Banaras Hindu University - Banaras Hindu University is a large campus having approx. 124 independent departments built during Indian freedom struggle and is known as Oxford of the East. Guests also visit Bharat Kala Bhavan, a museum of Art and Archeology inside the university having collection of sculptures, paintings and textiles.

  • Ghats of Varanasi - A ghat is a series of steps leading down to the river, used by bathers and pilgrims, and riverside Varanasi consists of a long sequence of these. The best option for viewing the ghats is to charter a boat and see them from the river. Hindus consider it auspicious to die in Varanasi, so some ghats are known as burning ghats, where bodies are cremated (in full view) before their ashes are placed in the Ganges.

  • Sarnath Stupa - It is believed that in Sarnath Buddha gave his first sermon to his disciples after getting enlightenment. There is also a Museum in Sarnath. Stupas in Sarnath and Buddhist temples around here built by different Asian countries are worth a visit.

Destination Overview

Patna - Patna is the state capital of state of Bihar. Bihar has been home of religious leaders like Gautama Buddha, Lord Mahavir and Guru Gobind Singh and therefore of pilgrimage importance.

New Delhi - Delhi is the capital city of India and a major International arrival point and a major tourist destination. Red Fort, Qutab Minar, Lotus Temple, Jama Masjid, India Gate, Birla Temple, Mughal Gardens, Lodi Gardens, Rail Museum, Doll Museum, Zoological Park etc remain major tourist attractions of Delhi.

Agra - Agra is home to Taj Mahal, a mughal era monument that is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Agra forms a part of the Golden Triangle circuit Delhi-Jaipur-Agra which is the most visited tourist circuit in India.

Orchha - Orchha lies on the Betwa River, 15 km. from Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh.Orchha is one of the most charming heritage villages in India.

Khajuraho - The Khajuraho group of monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered to be one of the "seven wonders" of India

Varanasi - Varanasi is seat of Hindu religion and culture for several thousand years and today visited for its Ganges side spiritual experience.

Bodhgaya - Bodhgaya (100 kms from Patna) is where under the Mahabodhi Tree here Buddha attained enlightment

Rajgir - An important pilgrimage center for Buddhists, Hindus and Jains, Rajgir is visited by pilgrims from all over the globe

Access
Prefered Arrival : No ImageNew DelhiNo ImageNew Delhi
Prefered Departure : No ImagePatnaNo ImagePatna
Distances
  • New Delhi to Agra -210 kms (4 hrs)
  • Agra to Orchha -234 kms (6 hrs)
  • Orchha to Khajuraho -174 kms (4 hrs)
  • Khajuraho to Varanasi -414 kms (9 hrs)
  • Varanasi to Bodhgaya -256 kms (7.5 hrs)
  • Bodhgaya to Rajgir -70 kms (2 hrs)
  • Rajgir to Patna -93 kms (2.5 hrs)

Ready Cost estimate for this itinerary is not available.

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Travel Ideas incorporated in the itinerary

Delhi Break

Delhi is the most visited and renowned heritage destination in India. Being capital city of India more

Sarnath Experience

Sarnath (10 kms from Varanasi) is where Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath after achieving more

Bodhgaya Pilgrimage

Patna is capital of Bihar. Bodhgaya (100 kms from Patna) - Under the Mahabodhi Tree here Buddha more

Rajgir Pilgrimage

Patna is capital of Bihar. Rajgir (70 kms from Bodhgaya) was monsoon retreat of Buddha for over a more

Lines indicate the best available driving routes.
Arrows indicate connectivity other than Road (e.g. Waterways or Air).
Please click on the markers for more detailed Information.

Distances
  • New Delhi to Agra -210 kms (4 hrs)
  • Agra to Orchha -234 kms (6 hrs)
  • Orchha to Khajuraho -174 kms (4 hrs)
  • Khajuraho to Varanasi -414 kms (9 hrs)
  • Varanasi to Bodhgaya -256 kms (7.5 hrs)
  • Bodhgaya to Rajgir -70 kms (2 hrs)
  • Rajgir to Patna -93 kms (2.5 hrs)

Expert Speak

This is a popular inbound centric itinerary visited by Western Travellers looking to capture best of heritage and buddhist pilgrimage sites.

Expert Connect

Nivalink has taken over 300 trips across India and select destinations overseas over last 10 years to verify hotels, evaluate destinations and understand its suitability with different profiles of customers across different seasons.

At Nivalink you are able to connect directly with experts who have travelled to these destinations and are able to offer novel ideas, honest perspectives and help you narrow down choices.

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