Day 13. Mumbai - Varanasi

Overnight – Taj Nadesar Palace

Join your guide for the drive to Mumbai Airport and the morning flight to Varanasi (Banaras). Food and soft drinks are served in business class, and you can also decide to eat something soon after arrival at Varanasi. India’s holiest city is the oldest continuously inhabited city on our planet with a history that dates back five millennia.

Sarnath Buddhist Site. Your first stop at Varanasi will be Sarnath, a major Buddhism Site. The massive Dhamekha Stupa is located exactly where the Buddha preached his first sermons to his five disciples. A smaller Stupa at this spot is said to be one of the eight places where the Buddha’s ashes were placed, and 2300 years ago Emperor Ashoka, who spread Buddhism in the world, expanded the structure to many times its original size.
Currently the Stupa is 143 feet high and has a 92-foot diameter, and is said to have been more than twice this size 1500 years ago. Sarnath was where the first Buddhist Sangha was formed and the area is home to a number of other ancient Buddhist monuments that you will drive by and can stop at if you want.

Lion Capital. A highlight of the visit to Sarnath is the tiny Archaeological Museum as its collection is highlighted by the spectacular “Lion Capital of Ashoka”, the 4 headed stone lion that is India’s national emblem.

Nadesar Palace. From Sarnath you will head to your Palace Hotel, the only luxury lodging in Varanasi. Set in 27 acres of gardens and organic farmland in the really crowded city, calling the small Nadesar Palace ‘boutique’ is a vast understatement. Built by the East India Company in the 18th century, it was taken over by the local Royal Family in the late 19th Century and served as a guest house for British and other Royalty during visits to India.

Join your guide for the drive to Mumbai Airport and the morning flight to Varanasi (Banaras). Food and soft drinks are served in business class, and you can also decide to eat something soon after arrival at Varanasi. India’s holiest city is the oldest continuously inhabited city on our planet with a history that dates back five millennia.

Sarnath Buddhist Site. Your first stop at Varanasi will be Sarnath, a major Buddhism Site. The massive Dhamekha Stupa is located exactly where the Buddha preached his first sermons to his five disciples. A smaller Stupa at this spot is said to be one of the eight places where the Buddha’s ashes were placed, and 2300 years ago Emperor Ashoka, who spread Buddhism in the world, expanded the structure to many times its original size.
Currently the Stupa is 143 feet high and has a 92-foot diameter, and is said to have been more than twice this size 1500 years ago. Sarnath was where the first Buddhist Sangha was formed and the area is home to a number of other ancient Buddhist monuments that you will drive by and can stop at if you want.

Lion Capital. A highlight of the visit to Sarnath is the tiny Archaeological Museum as its collection is highlighted by the spectacular “Lion Capital of Ashoka”, the 4 headed stone lion that is India’s national emblem.

Nadesar Palace. From Sarnath you will head to your Palace Hotel, the only luxury lodging in Varanasi. Set in 27 acres of gardens and organic farmland in the really crowded city, calling the small Nadesar Palace ‘boutique’ is a vast understatement. Built by the East India Company in the 18th century, it was taken over by the local Royal Family in the late 19th Century and served as a guest house for British and other Royalty during visits to India.