Day 1: Arrive and check-in at the hotel in Bodhgaya by 12 noon. Since that glorious full-moon night of Gautama’s enlightenment 2500 years ago, Bodhgaya has been visited by countless seekers to imbibe the essence of this space. Bodhgaya is famous for the 1500-year-old Mahabodhi Temple. It stands next to the legendary Bodhi tree and the Vajrasana or Diamond Throne, which marks the exact spot where the Buddha attained enlightenment.
Day 2: We journey to Varanasi and visit Sarnath where Gautama the Buddha gave his first sermon. This momentous and historic event has been depicted in exquisite sculptures of the Buddha and other monuments at Sarnath.
Day 3: We visit places of tremendous spiritual significance including Kalabhairava Temple – the powerful guardian deity of Varanasi, Mahamrityunjaya Temple – where it is believed that one can win over death, and Manikarnika Ghat – the most sacred cremation spot in Varanasi, which is at the core of the spiritual process that thrives in the city. A boat ride in the sacred Ganga followed by participation in the evening arati from the boat, are some of the highlights of the day.
Day 4: The day starts early with Mangala Arati at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple – one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, said to have been consecrated by Shiva himself. We then visit the Vishalakshi Temple – one of the Shakti Sthalas and the Annapoorni Temple. After that the day is free to explore the city on your own and visit its various temples, ghats and market places. Varanasi features a variety of cultural delights including exquisite silk weaves and unique cuisines. We will give you a list of interesting places you can visit. While arrangements will be made for your breakfast and dinner, you can explore and enjoy the unique Varanasi cuisines for lunch on your own.
The program culminates with Guru Pooja – an offering of gratitude to the great beings of the past, who have made available the powerful possibility of self-transformation. We begin our return journey from Varanasi.