Ancient Roots, Living Branches: Discovering Buddhist India

Ancient Roots, Living Branches: Discovering Buddhist India
Duration: 16 days (Saturday 26th October – Saturday 10th November 2019) Cost Per Person:£2,760
Delhi – Varanasi – Bodhgaya – Delhi – Dharamshala – Delhi
Lisa Ernst

The tour is guided by our expert local guides in India, with Lisa Ernst – founder of One Dharma Nashville and visiting teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Canter in Woodacre California – guiding meditation along the way in various locations, from hotel gardens to Tibetan monasteries.

We will be interacting with and learning from Buddhist communities and practitioners as we travel. It’s also a fun adventure off the beaten track, and this tour is open to everyone interested in Buddhism and meditation.

The Itinerary
Day 1: Saturday 26th October 2019: International Departure

Departure from your home country to Delhi

Day 2: Sunday 27th October 2019: Arrive In Delhi. Overnight In Delhi

Arrive in Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. After immigration you will be met by our representative, who will be carrying a placard with your name on, at the indoor arrivals area.
If any members of the group arriving on different flights at different times, then there will be an additional transfer with an extra cost for each arrival.
From here our representative will take you to the vehicle and drive you from the airport to check into the Shangri-La Eros Hotel in central Delhi – a drive of about 45 minutes, depending on the time of day. Depending on what time you arrive you can spend the day relaxing at the hotel, or get some rest.

Overnight in Shangri-La Eros Hotel, Delhi

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included

Sikh man wearing an oversize turban at the Golden Temple, Amritsar
Day 3: Monday 28th October 2019: Visit To New & Old Delhi

Morning enjoy half day combined sightseeing of New and Old Delhi including the visit to impressive Humayun’s Tomb, Qutab Minar and the India Gate. Also drive past the Parliament Buildings & President’s House. Later take an exhilarating cycle rickshaw ride to the Jama Masjid through the bustling Chandni Chowk and it’s back roads, which were the centre of the city Shah Jehanabad in the Mughal times. Finally continue onto the Raj Ghat- Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation site. Afternoon at leisure.

Overnight in Shangri-La Eros Hotel, Delhi

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included

Day 4: Tuesday 29th October 2019 – Fly Delhi To Varansi

Morning we will leave the hotel to transfer to New Delhi airport to catch Air India Flight AI-406 to Varanasi departing Delhi at 10:15 and arriving at Varanasi at 12:35.
On arrival in Varanasi transfer to the Tree of Life Resort, in a peaceful area outside of the hectic city. As the sun sets we will drive to the ghats (stone steps leading down to the Ganges river) and enjoy the spectacular riverside aarti prayer rituals.

Overnight in Tree of Life Resort, Varanasi

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included

Main Ghat Varanasi
Day 5: Wednesday 30th October 2019 – Varanasi Sightseeing

Today is a very early start as we wake up before the sun and drive to the ghats and enjoy a magical sunrise boat ride on the holy river Ganges, witnessing the faithful perform their Morning Prayer rituals by the riverside. Later in the day we will drive a short distance to the holy site of Sarnath, the deer park where the Buddha taught his first sermon, the first turning of the wheel of dharma.

Overnight in Tree of Life Resort, Varanasi

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included

Day 6: Thursday 31st October 2019 – Drive To Bodhgaya

After our morning meditation we travel to Bodhgaya by Jailianwala Bagh Express train which leaves Varanasi at 10:05 and arrives Bodhgaya at 14:15. We check in at Maya Heritage Hotel.
Bodhgaya is the site on the banks of the Nairanjana river where the Buddha attained nirvana under a Bodhi tree. This small town is a major pilgrimage site for Buddhists from around the world, and also for Hindus who revere the Buddha.
The Mahabodhi Temple is built by the supposed spot of the Buddha’s nirvana, and dotted around are temples and monasteries built by various Buddhist countries.
We will visit the temple in the evening.

Overnight in Maya Heritage Hotel

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included

Day 7: Friday 1st November 2019 – Day Sightseeing

We will meet in the morning for group meditation in the hotel’s Prayer & Meditation Hall, before heading out to explore Bodhgaya with our guide, to visit the Mahabodhi Temple, the Bodhi Tree and the Great Buddha Statue amongst other sites. Afternoon at leisure for rest, relaxation and personal explorations.

Overnight in Maya Heritage Hotel

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included

Day 8: saturday 2nd november 2019– bodhgaya

Morning meditation. Day at leisure or an optional visit of Mahakala Caves.

Overnight in Maya Heritage Hotel

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included

day 9: sunday 3rd november 2019 – fly to delhi

Morning meditation with Lisa in the hotel’s Prayer & Meditation Hall.
Early afternoon transfer to Gaya airport to catch “Air India” Flight number AI-433 via Varanasi (this flight has 35 minutes layover in Varanasi), in an economy class, departing Gaya at 14:15 and arriving at New Delhi at 16:55. Transfer to an airport hotel.

Overnight in Radisson Plaza, Delhi

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included

Humayun’s Tomb Delhi
day 10: monday 4th november 2019 – fly to dharamshala

Morning transfer to Delhi airport to catch “Air India” Flight number AI-9713, in an economy class, departing Delhi at 10:55 and arriving at Dharamshala at 12:40. On arrival at Dharamsala we will transfer to hotel Chonor House, and in the afternoon walk the pilgrimage walk around the Dalai Lama’s residence.

Overnight in Chonor House, Dharamshala.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included

day 11: Tuesday 5th november 2019 – explore dharamsala

After our morning meditation with Lisa, we will explore Dharamsala, a town in the Himalayan foothills which is home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan community in exile. We will visit temples and monasteries, and have a talk on Tibet or Buddhism at the Tibetan Library.

Overnight in Chonor House, Dharamshala.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included

Day 12: wednesday 6th november 2019 –dharamshala sightseeing

Morning meditation with Lisa, and the rest of the day at leisure to rest or explore Dharamsala at your own pace.

Overnight in Chonor House, Dharamshala.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included

Day 13: thursday 7th november 2019 –fly to delhi

Morning transfer to Dharamshala airport to catch “Air India” Flight number AI-9714, in an economy class, departing Dharamshala at 13:05 and arriving at Delhi at 14:50. Check in at Holiday Inn Express hotel at Terminal 3 for stay until International departure and dinner.

Day 14: Friday 8th november 2019 – international departure

International departure.

amritsar extension
Day 13: Thursday 7th November 2019: Drive To Amritsar

A beautiful drive from Dharamshala takes your to Amritsar – the holy city of Sikhs intimately linked with the colourful history of this martial race, its agricultural prudence, woollens, spices and dry fruits. It is also the showpiece of prosperity and of the wealth of Punjab. Free afternoon at hotel Hyatt Amritsar
After dinner visit to Golden Temple to be part of Sukh Aasan Ceremony . This is when the Holy Book — Guru Granth — is put to rest for the night with prayers and a Prayer incanted to invoke Jot – the living light of the Guru to manifest in the Granth.

Overnight in Hyatt Hotel, Amritsar

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included

Day 14: Thursday 8th November 2019: Amritsar Sightseeing

Morning sightseeing tour of Amritsar, including Jallianwala Bagh and Durgiana temple. Come to Golden Temple to l spend much of the day here taking in the peace and sanctuary in the place, you may wish to volunteer helping in the kitchen or help serve free meals for the pilgrims – in addition to being a good deed, it’s a good lesson in Indian cookery. The free kitchen at Golden Temple serves over 35000 people meals every day of the year. It is a soul fulfilling experience.

Overnight in Hyatt Hotel, Amritsar

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included

Day 15: Friday 9th November 2019: Fly to delhi

Morning at leisure. Early afternoon transfer to Amritsar airport to catch “Air Vistara” Flight number UK-707, in an economy class, departing Amritsar at 15:25 and arriving at Delhi at 16:35. On arrival in Delhi, collect your baggage and walk to the International terminal to check in at The Holiday Inn Express Hotel until departure. Dinner is included.

Holiday Inn Express Hotel until departure

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included

Day 16: Saturday 10th November 2019 – International departure

Walk to International terminal to board your flight to USA (Check-in is 3 hours prior).

Discovering Buddhist

Tour Cost

The cost per person sharing a twin or double room£2,760
Single room supplement £826
Cost Includes:
  • Return international direct flight from Heathrow to Delhi in Economy Class
  • 2 x Internal flights as per itinerary: from Delhi to Amritsar and from Dharamsala to Delhi in Economy Class
  • Train tickets and reservations as per itinerary in AC Executive Chair Class
  • 13 night’s accommodation in hotels as per itinerary, sharing twin or double room with en-suite facilities (Check-in is 1400 hrs and checkout 12 noon. Early check-in late checkouts are subject to availability)
  • Daily breakfast and dinner at all hotels (except dinner on day 14). Lunches are included every day at local restaurants
  • All arrival/departure transfers, long drives and sightseeing by a chauffeur driven private air-conditioned coach.
  • Services of a local English-speaking representative for all arrival and departure transfers to assist you at the airports and railway station.
  • Services of English speaking guides and local specialists during sightseeing as specified in the itinerary. Entrance fees to all monuments during sightseeing as specified in the itinerary
  • Services of Canon Tony Fensome as trip leader
  • complementary Mineral water while travelling & sightseeing
  • Full ATOL & ABTA bonding
Cost Does Not Include:
  • Dinner out on day 14
  • India visa fee. You can now apply for visa on arrival in India- please click here for more information. https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html
  • Any expenses of a personal nature like laundry, telephone calls, beverages etc.
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Camera fees at monuments and other places of interest.
  • Travel Insurance: It is essential to have adequate travel insurance in place before your departure. This should be appropriate for your age, health and destination you are visiting.
E :- enquiries@soulofindia.com          Call Us: 020 8901 7630
  • To book this tour , please compete the booking form, sign and e-mail it to us. A non-refundable deposit of £500.00 per person is needed at the time of booking. Balance payments will be due 8 weeks before departure. You can make the deposit payment by debit card or electronic transfers to our bank. Our Bank details are on the booking form. Bookings are confirmed on first come first served basis. When the tour is full we will take about 5 additional names on the waiting list to replace their booking with any cancellations etc.
  • If you wish to join the tour and fly from any country other than United Kingdom please contact us for land only arrangements.
E :- enquiries@soulofindia.com          Call Us: 020 8901 7630
  • It includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover
  • It provides cover for your whole trip
  • It covers you for all activities
  • It covers all your pre-existing medical conditions
  • Keep your Policy Number and Insurer’s 24-hour Emergency Number handy with you
  • To get a competitive quote for comprehensive travel insurance click here
Qutab Minar Delhi
Golden Temple Amritsar