14 days -13 nights
Duration

TOUR DATES

October – March

TOUR COST

A$ 2890 per person on twin share
A$ 890 single supplement* No fixed departure – price based on minimum 6 people

DURATION

14 Days, 13 Nights

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sera Jey Monastery
  • Namdroling Nyingmapa Tibetan Monastery
  • Anandha Vihar Buddhist temple complex
  • Significant Buddhist sites in Hyderabad
  • Nagarjuna Konda Island Museum
  • Amaravathi Museum
  • Ajanta Buddhist cave temples
  • Ellora Cave shrines
  • Sights of Mumbai and the Kanheri Caves

TOUR ROUTE

Bangalore – Bylakuppe – Hyderabad – Nagarajuna Sagar – Amaravathi – Vijayawara –Hyderabad – Aurangabad – Mumbai

MAP

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Day 1

Arrive in Bangalore

Welcome to incredible India! An Ekno representative will meet you and escort you to your hotel upon your arrival at the airport in Bangalore. After checking into the hotel, spend the rest of the day at your leisure exploring the local area and soaking up the vibrant atmosphere. Our friendly guide and hotel staff will be on hand should you need recommendations or general provisions.

Overnight: Hotel, Bangalore

Day 2

Sera Jey Monastery

After breakfast you will be driven to the town of Bylakuppe (five hours). This town is known as ‘Little Tibet’ and is home to over 5000 Tibetan Buddhist monks as well as the largest monastery outside of Tibet – Sera Jey. You will arrive by early afternoon and check into the accommodation at the monastery. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to relax and explore the monastery.

Overnight: Sera Jey Guest House, Byalkuppe

Day 3-4

Sera Jey Monastery

You will spend the next two days in and around Sera Jay Monastery. Tour the different colleges at the monastery, spend some time at the main court where thousands of monks hold daily debates, visit the mass kitchen and meet with prominent teachers from the monastery. You will also Visit the Namdroling Nyingmapa Tibetan Monastery and Golden Temple, located near the city of Kushalnagar. This monastery is home to hundreds of monks, and the nearby Tibetan settlement is the second largest in India.

Overnight: Sera Jey Guest House, Byalkuppe

Day 5

Hyderabad

After breakfast you will be driven back to Bangalore, arriving in time to take a late afternoon flight to Hyderabad. The evening is at your leisure to relax or to explore the local surrounds.

Overnight: Hotel, Hyderabad

Day 6

Nagarjuna Sagar

After breakfast you will spend the morning sightseeing around Hyderabad. Visit Anandha Vihara, the majestic modern temple dedicated to Lord Buddha and opened by Dalai Lama. This will be followed by a trip to see the Grand Monolith Statue of Lord Buddha at Buddha Purnima. In the afternoon you will be driven to Nagarjuna Sagar (approximately 4 hours). Upon arrival check into your hotel and spend the evening at your leisure.

Overnight: Hotel, Nagarjuna Sagar

Day 7

Nagarjuna Sagar

This morning you will be taken on a tour of the significant Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the area – including the Anupu ruins, Viharas and Chaityas. In the afternoon you will take a boat excursion to visit the serene Nagarjuna Konda Island Museum. One of the most outstanding Buddhist civilisations, dating back to the 3rd century AD, was excavated here. The ruins are carefully preserved on the picturesque island which is situated in the centre of a man-made lake.

Overnight: Hotel, Nagarjuna Sagar

Day 8

Vijayawada

After breakfast you will be driven to the Amaravathi museum to view more culturally significant Buddhist artefacts. In the late afternoon you will be driven to the city of Vijayawada (approximately 1 and half hours). The rest of the evening is at your leisure

Overnight: Hotel, Vijayawada.

Day 9

Hyderabad

After breakfast, take a full day guided tour of the local Buddhist pilgrimage sites. The tour will start with a visit to the Bhattiprolu and Ghantasala Buddhist stupas before visiting the Neelamkondapalli and Jagayapeta stupas which are filled with inscriptions from the Mauryan era. The tour will conclude with the beautiful Undavalli Caves, a 4 story temple complex carved out of the hillside for Buddhist monks in the 2nd century. In the late afternoon you will be driven back to Hyderabad.

Overnight: Hotel, Hyderabad.

Day 10

Aurangabad

Spend the morning relaxing or exploring Hyderabad at your leisure. In the afternoon you will fly to Aurangabad, an ancient city in the state of Maharashtra.

Overnight: Hotel, Aurangabad

Day 11

Aurangabad

After an early breakfast at the hotel you will be escorted by private vehicle to the Ajanta Caves. On arrival you will catch a bus into the caves to enjoy a full day tour of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Buddhist cave temples. Located northeast of Aurangabad, the caves date from around 200BC to 650AD and are cut into the side of a cliff that is on the south side of a U-shaped gorge on the river Waghur. The caves house 29 spectacular monastic buildings that encompass both the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist traditions. On your tour you will be able to explore several distinct monasteries as well as view murals which are amongst the best examples of Buddhist art in India.

Overnight: Hotel, Aurangabad

Day 12

Mumbai

After an early breakfast, checkout of the hotel and prepare to be driven to the caves of Ellora for a full day of sightseeing. The caves consist of 34 rock-cut shrines representing Buddhist, Hindu and Jain art and date back to the 6th and 10th centuries AD. Marvel at the paintings and exquisite sculptures that are recognised as masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, representing depictions of the Buddha’s life and the Jataka tales. In the afternoon you will take a flight to the cosmopolitan metropolis of Mumbai.

Overnight: Hotel, Mumbai.

Day 13

Mumbai

This morning you will venture to the north of Mumbai to visit the spectacular 2400 year old Kanheri Caves, which have been sculpted out of the rocky cliffs which lie within the park. The Kanheri Caves were an important Buddhist learning centre and pilgrimage site sculpted by Buddhist monks between the 9th and the 1st centuries BC.

Overnight: Hotel, Mumbai

Day 14

Departure day

Prepare for your onward journey or stay on and visit some of the sites around Mumbai such as Victoria Terminus, the Mumbai City Museum, the Gateway to India and some of the many ancient bazaars.

You will be transferred to the airport in time for your return flight. We look forward to seeing you on another Ekno Travels experience soon.

INCLUDES

Met on arrival by an Ekno representative

13 nights accommodation with breakfast

The following domestic airfares – Bangalore to Hyderabad, Hyderabad to Aurangabad, Aurangabad to Mumbai

Private taxi for all transfers and sightseeing trips as mentioned in the itinerary

All charges related to transport such as tolls, parking, fuel etc.

Entrance fees to all sights and monuments

Services of an English speaking guide throughout the duration of the tour

EXCLUDES

Return airfares to India

Cost of Indian tourist visa (on arrival)

Lunch and dinner (unless otherwise specified)

Extra activities and transport not stipulated in the itinerary

Personal expenditure such as drinks (including bottled water), laundry service and souvenirs

Tipping (suggested amount A$70 to be paid on arrival)

Camera and video entry charges at local sights and monuments

Compulsory insurance of any kind

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