Multi-Day Tour | Independent, Private

Following Buddha's Footsteps Across the Himalayas, from India to China (18 days)

Remote Lands, Inc

Rishikesh, India To Lhasa, China

Valid for Departures Now Through: 28 Mar 2019

Following Buddha's Footsteps Across the Himalayas, from India to China (18 days)

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Rishikesh, India
Ananda in the Himalayas Breakfast

Arrive in Delhi, fly one hour from Delhi to Rishikesh and enjoy the evening at your leisure. You can watch an Aarti (devotional ritual) that takes place every sunset, or enjoy a masala chai or ayurvedic tea at one of the many dhabas (traditional food stalls) or visit one of the cafes dotted around the Holy city.

Day 2
Rishikesh, India
Ananda in the Himalayas Breakfast

First, watch the sunrise at Kunjapuri Devi Temple, then spend you will spend the day exploring sites such as the Raghunath Temple (one of the largest temples in North India) and the ancient Rishikund holy pond - filled with sacred water - before traversing the suspension bridges of Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula. End the day at the colourful Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.

Day 3
kushinagar, India
None Breakfast

Fly one hour back to Delhi then two hours on to Kushinagar where you will visit the famous Parinirvana Temple and Parinirvana Stupa, said to be the death place of Gautama Buddha (the founder of Buddhism) that houses a six-meter m long reclining golden Buddha statue. The Sanskrit word “Parinirvana” translates as Nirvana, the Buddhist heaven/enlightenment.

Day 4
kushinagar, India
None Breakfast

Explore the Mahaparinirvana Temple in this pilgrimage town with its well preserved fifth-century reclining Buddha that was unearthed in 1876 and is cloaked in a saffron robe every evening by the monks. You will then peruse archeological excavations and various exhibits at the Kushinagar Museum, followed by a walk through the ancient stupa park.

Day 5
Varanasi, India
Nadesar Palace Breakfast

Journey six hours by car from Kushinagar to Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India. In the afternoon, you will take a two-hour cruise along the sacred Ganges River - home to the endangered Ganges river dolphin - and where religious ceremonies and funeral rites are held. In the evening relax and watch the Ganges Aarti being performed.

Day 6
Varanasi, India
Nadesar Palace Breakfast

Today you’ll meet with an Indian Vedic astrologer, then explore the ancient city of Sarnath where Gautama Buddha first taught his Dharma (teachings). In the afternoon take the opportunity to visit four of the most famous and most sacred temples in all of Varanasi - Annapurna, Vishwanath, Sankat Mochan, and Durga (also known as the “Monkey Temple”).

Day 7
Gaya, India
None Breakfast

Rise early to take an early morning sunrise cruise along the Ganges to see the river in another light; from the boat you can watch the locals gather on the steps to bathe in the sacred waters. Drive six hours from Varanasi to the historical city of Gaya, stopping en route so that you can view the exhibits at the Bodhgaya Archaeological Museum.

Day 8
Gaya, India
None Breakfast

Start your day at the Mahabodhi Temple complex where it is said that Buddha obtained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree; marvel at the 25-meter tall Great Buddha statue that’s located within a garden that has been there for over 100 years and the sacred Muchalinda lake. Explore the ancient temples of Vishnupad Mandir and Dungeshwari and end your day with a blissful sunset meditation with a guru.

Day 9
Thimphu, Bhutan
Amankora Breakfast

This morning, fly one-and-a-half hours from Gaya to Paro and then drive one hour to Bhutan’s capital - Thimphu. Here you will spend the day exploring Buddhist monastery and fortress Thimphu Dzong. You’ll learn about medicinal plants from remote corners of the Bhutanese Himalaya in the National Institute of Traditional Medicine. Peruse ancient and modern art at the Thangka galleries and end your day viewing the gigantic Gautama Buddha at Buddha Point. Optionally have a history and culture expert accompany you today to provide insight to this remote kingdom in the mountains.

Day 10
Thimphu, Bhutan
Amankora Breakfast

In the morning, you will walk the Wangdi Tse Loop hike trail up to a temple nestled in the hill side (Choekhortse Goemba) for spectacular views of the surrounding scenery; then visit an astrology school for a reading, followed by the Zilukha Nunnery. Later in the afternoon you will participate in meditation at a monastery with a monk or high lama. If you wish, enjoy dinner with the Bhutanese ambassador and discuss Gross National Happiness, a concept created by the former King. Bhutan measures prosperity by gauging its citizens' happiness levels, not the GDP.

Day 11
Paro, Bhutan
Amankora Breakfast

Take another morning hike to the hidden monk village of Dodedrak and savor lunch with the monks that reside there. A private transfer will take you one hour away to Paro. There, you can stroll through the town, visit the monastery fortress of Paro Dzong, and then hike to the Drukgyal Dzong ruins for a stunning sunset view with light refreshments.

Day 12
Paro, Bhutan
Amankora Breakfast

Hike to the famous and incredibly beautiful Tiger’s Nest Monastery, a legendary complex perched on the side of a cliff, before enjoying a picnic lunch and a special blessing by the senior lama. Take the afternoon at leisure, perhaps enjoy a traditional hot-stone bath and massage to soothe your post-hike muscles.

Day 13
Kathmandu, Nepal
Dwarika's Resort Breakfast

Fly one hour from Paro to Nepal’s capital - Kathmandu. Start your day visiting famous stupas sites such as the Swayambhunath Stupa and Boudhanath Stupa; walk around Durbar Square opposite the old Royal Palaces, and explore the sacred cremation site of the Bhasmeshvar Ghats. As the day draws to a close, watch the sunset from Pashupatinath Temple and witness the Ashtha Chiranjeevi Puja ceremony.

Day 14
Kathmandu, Nepal
Dwarika's Resort Breakfast

In the morning, meet with a traditional Tantric Guru, a spiritual teacher who can advise Tantra techniques, which in Vajrayana Buddhism are techniques used to attain Buddhahood. Then walk the streets of Bhaktapur town, visiting the ancient buildings and temples there. After, take an excursion to the city of Patan, an ancient and UNESCO-designated site. If available, you may have the special opportunity to meet with the Kumari (living Goddess) of Patan - a young girl considered the manifestation of the divine female energy Devi.

Day 15
Lumbini, Nepal
None Breakfast

Fly one hour from Kathmandu to Lumbini, where you view the ancient Ashokan Pillars, believed to be erected by the great King Ashoka and supposedly marking the birthplace of the Buddha. Next you’ll head to the unique World Peace Stupa and finish the day by browsing the Lumbini Museum dedicated to the life of Buddha.

Day 16
Lhasa, China
The St. Regis Lhasa Resort Breakfast

Fly to from Lumbini to Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region. You will visit the popular pilgrimage site of Barkhor Square where devotees follow the circumambulation route in a clockwise direction. Visit the Jokhang Temple, considered by Tibetans to be the most important and sacred temple in Tibet.

Day 17
Lhasa, China
The St. Regis Lhasa Resort Breakfast

Visit the Potala Palace, once the residence of the Dalai Lama prior to his exile, then the Norbulingka Institute dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture. Stroll around the Old town, you will then explore the Drepung Monastery, located at the foot of Mount Gephel, and marvel at the Maitreya statue.

Day 18
Lhasa, China
None Breakfast

Wrap up your spiritual pilgrimage with a private transfer to the airport for your onwards flight to your next destination.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

Experiences have not been selected at this time

Description

A spiritual journey of breathtaking beauty lies in wait. You’ll get the chance to hike to remote locales to view famous and stunning temples, secret hidden monk villages and experience some of the most incredible scenery on the Indian subcontinent. Learn about the intriguing religious ceremonies in these diverse countries, from the funeral rites along the shores of the Ganges to the living embodiment of divine energy in Nepal. Meditate with gurus as the sun sets, sip masala chai tea, and indulge in traditional hot-stone baths after exploring ancient temples and stupas.

Highlights

• Explore religiously significant Parinirvana Temple and Parinirvana Stupa

• Meet with a famous Indian Vedic astrologer

• Cruise along the Ganges River

• Hike to the legendary Tiger’s Nest Temple

• Meet with a Kumari Goddess

About Us

Remote Lands is the world’s foremost ultra-luxe bespoke travel designer focused exclusively on Asia. We provide the very finest that Asia has to offer, from pool villas and private jets to unique experiences within far-flung cultures off the beaten path. Our attention to detail, personalized service, creativity and deep knowledge of Asia set us apart.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Payment Notes
  • Payment by wire transfer or by cheque; American Express, Visa and MasterCard also accepted.
  • 25%

Refund Policy
  • Fully refundable, less a 15% of total trip price cancellation fee, if cancelled 91 days or more before departure, subject to the refund policies of each hotel, airline and other vendor
  • 50% of total trip price refundable if cancelled 30-90 days before departure, subject to the refund policies of each hotel, airline and other vendor
  • No refund less than 30 days before departure

  • Please note that some vendors have onerous cancellation policies with substantial penalties for changes where funds paid are non-refundable


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By: Squash1


Reviewed on: 30 Jan 2013

excellent at making sure everything is taken care of...personal cell phone contact appreciated and very customized orientation...also very nice
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Bush

Excellent package

By: Mike53-Birmingham


Reviewed on: 27 Nov 2013

Shangri La Rasa Ria Resort in Kota Kinabalu was fantastic as was the Kinabatangan River Resort. Raimie our guide was first-rate!
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Perfect

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Reviewed on: 20 Mar 2018

Remote Lands coordinated our trip and made the experience worry-free. All of our transfers and guides were on time, professional, kind and even went above and beyond when a couple of unexpected needs arose. Thank you!
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Taiwan 2018 trip

By: Cindi


Reviewed on: 29 Mar 2018

Wonderful experience! This was my daughter’s senior trip prior to going away to college and it was everything I’d hoped it would be. Great guide, driver, travel agent, etc. Overall a very positive experience!!
Travel Advisor:  Deanna Byrd