Journey into the spiritual heart of Myanmar and India and immerse yourself in this handcrafted tour. From Buddha's site of enlightenment to the fabulous temples of Bagan, explore the legends and enigmas that have enticed pilgrims for millennia. This 10-day tour captures the essence of a lost-world beauty. Cruise the River Ganges, ascend to golden mountains, and submerge yourself in the cultural icons.
Varanasi – Immersed in Hinduism's Most Sacred City
As you wander the city of Varanasi, it is like watching a phantom enchant on the dance floor. The whole city is doused in mystique, and no two seconds are ever the same as the cycle of life and death plays out on labyrinthine lanes. An exotic sight appears before you, and then it's gone. Turn around, and there's another. Funeral processions weave through the streets as they carry bodies wrapped in white cloth and flowers. Headed to the Burning Ghat, the most revered funeral place in the Hindu religion, the holy babas walk about the city, eyes lost in the haze. Great lines of pilgrims enter the temple as they wander beneath the archways adorned by elephant and monkey gods. It's often said that India is an overwhelming experience for the senses. Varanasi, the holiest Hindu city in the world, is where this feeling is magnetized.
But before your wanderings begin, your guide will pick you up at the airport and guide you to your luxury hotel on the edge of the city. Take your time and allow the city unfold from your rooftop terrace; children fly their kites as the smells of incense float through the air with the passing shouts of chai wallahs (sellers). Your guide will take you through the maze-like alleys, most of them barely wide enough for two cows to pass, which causes a strange problem when the cows decide to stop and lie on the ground. There are countless spiritual sites in Varanasi, but for today, the tour will be about getting your bearings to take in the unending enchantment of the city. As well as walking through the maze, your guide will know a couple of excellent spots to watch the world roll past with a fresh fruit smoothie in hand.
Varanasi – The Mystique of the River Ganges
Bodh Gaya – Where Buddha Obtained Enlightenment
Bodh Gaya – Iconic Highlights of Buddhism's Sacred Land
Yangon to Bagan – The Ancient Temple Landscape of Myanmar
Bagan – Exploring an Astonishing World Heritage Site
Yangon – The Buddhist City of the Golden Pagoda
Golden Rock – Pilgrims and the Legend of Kyaikhtiyo
Bago to Yangon – The Buddhas and Palaces of the Mon Kingdom
Yangon – Departure
- Explore the legendary Buddhist and Hindu destinations across India and Myanmar, to connect ancient places laced in legend
- Discover the fabled site of Buddha's enlightenment – the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya
- Marvel at the thousands of temples and pagodas that fill the plains of Bagan, many still alive with the meditative chanting of monks
- Immerse yourself in the inspiring atmosphere of the Golden Rock, an important Buddhist pilgrimage site in Myanmar, a shimmering rock that appears to defy all notions of gravity
- Cruise along the River Ganges and spend two nights in Varanasi, a mystical Hindu city with traditional ceremonies playing out all day and all night
- Discover the beautiful palaces and towering Buddha statues of Bago, the 15th century capital of the Mon Kingdom
- Spend the evening at Myanmar's most important Buddhist site, the gold covered Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon
- Enjoy an intimate cultural interaction in India and Myanmar, on a journey that takes you to the spiritual heart of two very spiritual countries
Myanmar and India are countries that dance on a carpet of spirituality and float on a breeze of tranquility. Ceremonies continually play out along revered rivers; pilgrims reveal beautiful faces of emotion, and there's a sublime sense of history and heritage. Their proverbial beat is drummed by the narrative of legends, enigmatic tales whose fire has never been relinquished. Some stories are fables, others sound like myths, yet each has a symbolism that connects everyone to the ancient world. Mystique is everywhere; it echoes through the trees of India and blows across the golden mountaintops of Myanmar. This itinerary is not just about sightseeing, even though you'll encounter some of the finest sights in Asia; rather it’s an immersive tour as it intimately reveals the spirituality that inhabits the legend of India and Myanmar, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
This unique journey combines several days in Northern India and then several more Myanmar. Start in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, where ceremonies never cease along the River Ganges. Bathed in charisma, the ancient town is a place where holy men dance with candles and enchanting funeral processions weave down to the Burning Ghat. Travel to Bodh Gaya, the birthplace of Buddhism. Explore the essential places from Buddha's life, like the tree where he obtained enlightenment and where he spent his last day as an ordinary person. Buddhism's first monastery is here, along with the world's oldest university and the cave where Buddha meditated for six years. It's all wrapped in a moving atmosphere, with hundreds of local pilgrims serenely moving through the sites.
Travel to Myanmar and Bagan, where 2,300 temples and pagodas rise like phantoms along dusty plains. Golden Buddhas hide in some, ornate carvings dominate the archways, and almost everything is untouched since the 12th-century. Arguably Asia's most astonishing site, the mind-boggling proliferation of temples complemented by an exquisitely carved detail is throughout Bagan. Next, discover the gold and spirituality of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, another Buddhist site laced in legend before your journey to the Kyaikhtiyo Mountain, where a golden rock balances precariously on a strand of Buddha's hair. It seems to defy gravity, perpetually appearing to be rolling down the hill. It's the most important pilgrimage site in a country that is almost exclusively Buddhist. Completing the tour is a visit to Bago, the 15th-century capital of the Mon Kingdom and a delightful ode to history.
The sights and scenery are spectacular, but it's the atmosphere provided by the visiting pilgrims that can never be forgotten. This feeling cannot be photographed but it is thoroughly felt, and it envelopes you totally on every stage of this vacation. These feelings are magnified throughout your ten-day journey as you discover the most spiritually poignant places in a land that always evokes the spirits.
$1,645 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
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- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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