Footsteps Of the Buddha North India Tour
THE SACRED YATRA EXPERIENCE with Jason Gregory
The Sacred Yatra Experience is the ultimate pilgrimage of the spiritual traditions of Asia. The Footsteps of the Buddha North India Tour is one of the most unique travel experiences in the world. You can travel with author, philosopher, and teacher Jason Gregory on a mystical tour of North India to explore and trace the footsteps of the Buddha and also many other great spiritual masters. Get unique insights into Jason’s knowledge of the East and the memory of the masters and sacred places you will visit. Jason wishes to take people to the most sacred places of North India to show that the ancient Eastern spiritual cultures are thriving but can only be experienced by those willing to join him on this pilgrimage of the heart.
1. About our tour to North India
Our 10-day itinerary includes visits to the most breathtakingly beautiful and mystical places in North India. We will travel through North India to visit the most important sacred places in Indian history. Most people never get the chance to experience face-to-face the archaic origins and sacred sites of India’s spiritual culture. But on this journey, you will get a once in a lifetime opportunity to actually feel the ancient living spiritual culture that is still thriving in the sacred places you will visit. You will also get the chance to meet real-life mystics and mingle with the beautiful people of India.
What is more, during the tour you will take part in private discourses given by Jason Gregory. He will show you the significance of how the great Eastern spiritual traditions can help you live more harmoniously in the modern world. You will begin to understand the deep wisdom the mystics of the East expounded for you to find true happiness and fulfilment in this life. And this is the reason for joining Jason Gregory on his tour of North India to follow in the Footsteps of the Buddha.
This is a once-in-a-life-time experience!
Day 1 – Arrival to Patna (February 20, 2024)
Arrival at Jayaprakash Narayan Airport in Patna. A representative of the tour team will welcome guests at the Jayaprakash Narayan Airport and transport them to the hotel. After the check-in process at the hotel, guests will have time to rest and recuperate before leaving for Nalanda University and Rajgir the following morning. Overnight stay at the hotel in Patna.
Day 2 – Nalanda and Arrival in Rajgir (February 21, 2024)
Travelling to Nalanda and Rajgir. Nalanda is the oldest residential university in the world. It was a world renowned mahavihara (Buddhist monastic university) in ancient Magahda (modern-day Bihar), in eastern India. Nalanda was significant in the evolution of Buddhism and attracted great sages from all over the world. Over some 750 years, its faculty included some of the most revered scholars of Mahayana Buddhism. Nalanda mahavihara taught six major Buddhist schools and philosophies, such as Yogachara and Sarvastivada, as well as subjects such as the Vedas, grammar, medicine, logic, and mathematics.
Rajgir is known as The City of Kings. It was an extremely important place in the Buddha’s life. He would visit Griddhrakūta (Vulture Peak), just on the outskirts of Rajgir, for lengthy sadhana. The Buddha would rarely teach at Griddhrakūta, as it was mainly for retreat. Rajgir is also notable in Jainism. It was the birthplace of the 20th Jain Tirthankar Munisuvrata and is closely associated with Mahavira. Both Mahavira and Buddha taught their dharma in Rajgir during the 6th and 5th century BCE, and the Buddha was offered a forest monastery here by the king Bimbisara.
Early in the morning on Day 2, we will visit Nalanda University, the oldest university in the world. In the afternoon, we will make our way to Rajgir to mingle with the locals at the Brahma Kund (ancient hot spring) and Japanese Temple so that you can get a taste of the strong community within India.
Day 3 – Rajgir (February 22, 2024)
On Day 3, we will visit Griddhrakūta (Vulture Peak) and Shanti Stupa. We will take the cable car up to Shanti Stupa to circumambulate the great stupa in walking meditation. After that, we will walk down to Griddhrakūta to meditate in the very same caves that the historical Buddha meditated in, while also sitting in the same place where he gave teachings thousands of years ago.
Day 4 – Bodh Gaya (February 23, 2024)
On Day 4, we will travel to Bodh Gaya, the home of Buddha’s enlightenment. We will visit the Bodhi Tree and Mahabodhi Temple, to meditate and feel an atmosphere that is second to none. We will explore the grounds of the Bodhi Tree and Mahabodhi Temple, circumambulating the location of the Buddha’s enlightenment. Later in the day, we will explore the small town of Bodh Gaya to be in the presence of monks from all around the world and the wonderful local people of Bodh Gaya.
Day 5 – Bodh Gaya (February 24, 2024)
We will rise early on Day 5 to meditate under the Bodhi Tree and listen to the early morning chants. After breakfast, we will visit Sujata Stupa and Temple. Both the Sujata Stupa and Temple are very sacred locations in the life of the Buddha. Just before the Buddha crossed the Niranjana River to sit under the Bodhi Tree, he accepted a bowl of kheera, a milk-rice pudding, offered by a local woman named Sujata, thus ending his six years of asceticism. This meeting was instrumental in Buddha letting go of his own extreme path as a Sramana so that he could sit under the Bodhi Tree, giving him the strength to cultivate the Middle Way and attain Nirvana. We will spend the morning circumambulating the Sujata Stupa, the town where Sujata is from, and also meditating at the Sujata Temple, the location where the Buddha accepted the kheera offered by Sujata.
After lunch, we will visit the Mahakala Cave/Dungeshwari Temple. Mahakala Cave/Dungeshwari Temple is famous for being the place where Gautama the Buddha resided for six years in a lengthy sadhana before making his way to the Bodhi Tree. We will have the great privilege of meditating in the same cave where the Buddha meditated and lived.
Day 6 – Bodh Gaya (February 25, 2024)
On Day 6, we will for the last time meditate in the morning under the Bodhi Tree and Mahabodhi Temple. After breakfast, we will explore the numerous different countries’ monasteries and the giant Buddha in Bodh Gaya. In the afternoon, we will visit the local museum which contains ancient artifacts from thousands of years ago.
Day 7 – Travel to Varanasi and Sarnath (February 26, 2024)
Varanasi is a city on the famous Ganges River that has a central place in the traditions of pilgrimage, death, and mourning, particularly in Hinduism. Varanasi is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities. In the Mahabharata, the city is referred to as Kashi from the Sanskrit verbal root kaś- “to shine,” making Varanasi known as the “City of Light, the “luminous city as an eminent seat of learning“. The name was also used by pilgrims dating back to Buddha’s days. Mark Twain once said, “Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.”
Sarnath is located on the outskirts of Varanasi. Sarnath is where, circa 528 BCE, at 35 years of age, the Buddha taught his first sermon after attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. It is also where the Buddhist sangha first came into existence as a result of the enlightenment of his first five disciples (Kaundinya, Assaji, Bhaddiya, Vappa, and Mahanama). According to the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, the Buddha mentioned Sarnath as one of the four places of pilgrimage his devout followers should visit and look upon with feelings of reverence.
On Day 7, we will make the 6 hour road trip from Bodh Gaya to Varanasi, the sacred city on the Ganges River. Once we arrive in Varanasi, we will just explore the city and rest and recuperate after a long day of travel.
Day 8 – Sarnath (February 27, 2024)
On Day 8, we will visit the significant places of Sarnath, including Dhamek Stupa (where the Buddha first taught the dharma), Chaukhandi Stupa, the Sarnath Museum, and more. In the afternoon, we will return to Varanasi to experience Ganga Aarti, the famous evening ritual performed by Brahmins on the Dashashwamedh Ghat.
Day 9 – Varanasi (February 28, 2024)
We will rise early on Day 9 to meditate as the sun rises over the Ganges River. This is a profound experience. After breakfast, we will visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. In the afternoon, we will relax and experience daily life in Varanasi. This time will give us time to integrate the journey we have all embarked on.
Day 10 – Varanasi (February 29, 2024)
It is time to say goodbye to India. After breakfast, we will be flying back to our homes.
The order of places that we are going to visit might be modified.
3. Terms & Conditions
* Price per person: $3300 USD (or equivalent in GBP/EUR/AUD) for one room.
* Early bird single ticket: $3100 USD (or equivalent in GBP/EUR/AUD) for one room. Available until October 20, 2023
* Couple Special: $6000 USD (or equivalent in GBP/EUR/AUD) for 2 people to share double room.
* Couple Early Bird: $5800 (or equivalent in GBP/EUR/AUD) for 2 people to share double room. Available until October 20, 2023
* After November 15, 2023 deposit or full payment are nonrefundable. This refund policy is in place because from November 15, 2023 all accommodation and traveling schedule will be booked. There will be no refund after November 15, 2023 as a result.
* Jason Gregory as your tour host
* 9 nights accommodation at good hotels in India
* Transfers in air-conditioned private transport
* Entrance tickets to all sites
* International flight to India and return flight back to your country
* Domestic flights within India
* Visas and insurance. The onus is on the traveler to ensure that passports, visas and other travel documentation are valid and in order.
* Meals during the tour
4. Payment Schedule
* Only $1500 USD deposit during booking for a single ticket (or equivalent in GBP/EUR/AUD).
* Only $3000 USD deposit during booking for a couple ticket (or equivalent in GBP/EUR/AUD).
* Full payment must be received by November 15, 2023.
* After November 15, 2023 deposit or full payment are nonrefundable. This refund policy is in place because from November 15, 2023 all accommodation and traveling schedule will be booked. There will be no refunds after November 15, 2023 as a result.
During booking you should prepare personal details, date of birth, address, phone number, Email address, passport number, Passport Expiration Date (example mm/dd/yyyy). These details you should send to our Email: [email protected]