Buddhist Circuit Train

The Railway Ministry has once again flagged off The Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train, and we are all for it. This special operation, which was shut down for the last couple of years, has seen a growing demand for return, and we are quite pleased to see this unique tour once again starting from Safdarjung Railway Station in New Delhi. Tourists and devotees alike can take part in this transformative journey that will take them through the heart of Buddhism, including retracing for the footsteps of Lord Buddha along the way.

So, are you ready to experience the profound serenity that is an integral part of many of these holy sites? Are you ready to discover the path towards inner peace? Ready to immerse yourself in the rich history of Buddhism? Then, you should definitely take part in the Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train tour.

Here, we have explored everything there is to know about this special train, the path it takes, the sites it visits, and even its features. So, fasten your seatbelts as we are going on an adventure.

Buddhist Circuit Train Route

The Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train is organized by IRCTC as part of the “Dekho Apna Desh” initiative. The purpose of this train is to unveil the rich tapestry of Buddhist heritage sites with a captivating journey aboard the Buddhist Circuit Train. The train departs from the Safdarjung Railway Station in Delhi, whisking you away on a unique journey to sacred destinations across India (& Nepal). The tourists will visit sites such as Bodhgaya, Nalanda & Rajgir, Sarnath, and even Varanasi, one of the oldest cities on the Indian subcontinent.

The tour and the train itself are the gateways to understanding the profound teachings and self-disciplined life of Lord Buddha. We must also not discount the unique features of this train that make traveling on it even more appealing.

Its Features

  • The Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train provides a balance between comfort and spiritual immersion for travelers’ abode. It is a semi-luxury train operated by the IRCTC, and it promises to elevate your pilgrimage experience to another level. Its many features include –
  • Deluxe air-conditioned accommodations for comfortable travel; you can choose from three travel classes to suit your preference
  • Exquisite dining car serving a variety of cuisines
  • Enjoy the convenience of private bathroom cubicles with showers for a refreshing journey
  • Travel insurance is provided for all passengers
  • Enhanced security

Places That We Will Visit with Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train

1- Bodhgaya


The Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train will take you to Bodhgaya, which is the epicenter of the Buddhist pilgrimage. It is the same place where Gautama Buddha gained enlightenment under the sacred Bodhi Tree – so its significance does not need any explaining. The majestic Mahabodhi Temple Complex, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a place you can visit by embarking on this journey.

2- Rajgir


Another place that is located in the beautiful state of Bihar is Rajgir. Nestled amidst the rolling hills and lush forests, Rajgir was a favored retreat for Lord Buddha. This place is known for its healing hot springs and the calming nature of the Vulture Peak, the site for many of his important teachings. Fun fact: Do you know this place was once the capital of the Magadha Kingdom?

3- Nalanda


Who has not heard of Nalanda? This famous ancient university was once destroyed by the invaders, but now it invites you to step back in time. Take steps inside the sacred halls where renowned scholars like Nagarjuna once studied and debated Buddhist philosophy. As you wander through the ruins, you can almost sense the echoes of scholarly discourse & the pursuit of knowledge that flourished here.

4- Sarnath


Sarnath is another popular and quite significant site in Buddhism. This is the place where Buddha gave his first teaching after enlightenment, setting in motion “The Wheel of Dharma.” On your trip, you can explore the Dhamekh Stupa and visit the Sarnath Museum, where you can gaze upon the wealth of treasures stored here.

5- Varanasi

Varanasi Tour Packages

No trip to the spiritual heart of India is complete without exploring Varanasi, one of the holiest cities in the subcontinent. In the city, you can explore the banks of the sacred Ganga river and witness the mesmerizing Ganga Aarti. The day will also consist of you taking a stroll through the city. Don’t forget to visit the many temples and shops that can be found in this ancient city.

6- Lumbini


It is time to go international, as this trip will take you to Lumbini, located in Nepal. Do you know this is the birthplace of Siddharth Gautam? If yes then it should not surprise you that this is a sacred pilgrimage destination for Buddhists worldwide. Do you know that the iconic Maya Devi Temple, marks the exact spot where Lord Gautam Buddha was born? You can also visit the Sacred Garden and witness the many Buddhist traditions during this leg of your trip.

7- Kushinagar

Wat Thai Temple, Kushinagar

Kushinagar is another significant site on the Buddhist Circuit train. This is the place where Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana. Here, you will explore the Mahaparinirvana Temple, which houses the famous reclining Buddha statue, as well as offer your respect at the Rambhar Stupa, which is Lord Gautama Buddha’s cremation site.

8- Sravasti

Shravasti Buddhist Site

Sravasti is another significant place on the Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train tour plan. Amongst the most popular locations in Buddhist lore, this small yet beautiful town welcomes hundreds of thousands of devotees every year. This is the exact place where Lord Buddha proved himself to his many doubters, by performing unbelievable miracles. This place is also renowned for being a favorite monsoon retreat of the Lord himself.

9- Agra

Taj Mahal, Agra

The final city on the Buddhist circuit train tour plan is the city of Agra, home to the iconic Taj Mahal. This offers a breathtaking culmination of your Buddhist pilgrimage. In addition to the Taj Mahal, you can also explore the majestic Agra Fort located on the banks of Yamuna.

Travel Itinerary of Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train

Day 1 – Delhi

  • Arrive at Delhi’s iconic Safdarjung Station, where you will be welcomed with traditional Indian hospitality
  • You can immediately settle into your luxurious cabin, which is thoughtfully designed, keeping all your needs in mind and ensuring a comfortable journey
  • As the train departs, you can save your delicious meals, including dinner, on your journey to the next destination
  • Get ready for your arrival in Gaya, which will be the first stop on this transformative Buddhist pilgrimage

Day 2 – Gaya to Bodhgaya

  • The day will begin with a leisurely breakfast onboard the train
  • Get ready for a short and scenic coach journey to Bodhgaya, the very heart of this Buddhist pilgrimage
  • Check into your comfortable accommodation and prepare for lunch
  • Next up is the visit to the Mahabodhi temple complex, where you can witness the sacred Bodhi tree where Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment
  • The rest of the day, you will explore monasteries representing Japanese, Sri Lanka, and other lineages

Day 3 – Bodhgaya – Nalanda – Rajgir – Gaya – Varanasi

  • A significant day as this day will see the traveling party covering many sites. However, your day will begin with an early breakfast at the hotel
  • Rajgir is up next. Renowned for its healing hot springs and significant locations. So, in addition to being a spiritual site, it is also a famous tourist spot
  • You will visit marvels such as Bimbisara Jail and Gridhakuta Hill during the day
  • Later in the day, the traveling party ventures to Nalanda
  • Return to Gaya as the sun begins to set

Day 4 – Varanasi – Sarnath – Nautanwa

  • As the sun begins to rise, the Buddhist Circuit Train will reach Varanasi
  • Leave the train and head towards Sarnath. It is the same location where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon
  • Return from Sarnath and check into the pre-booked accommodation in Varanasi
  • Head towards the beautiful banks located in the city to witness Ganga Aarti from your very eyes
  • Return to your booked seats in the Buddhist Circuit Train

Day 5 – Nautanwa – Lumbini

  • Arrive early in Nautanwa; delicious breakfast on the train
  • Cross the border into Nepal and travel to Lumbini. It is the birthplace of Gautama Buddha
  • Check into your hotel rooms upon reaching Lumbini
  • Get ready for a moving tour of the city with visits to the Maya Devi temple as well as the Ashokan Pillar
  • Visit to the Sacred Garden included; it is dotted with monasteries representing diverse Buddhist traditions from around the world

Day 6 – Lumbini – Kushinagar – Gorakhpur

  • You will start your day in Kushinagar; early breakfast
  • As soon as you reach Kushinagar, you will be checked into your hotel. Enjoy your delicious lunch here
  • Next, you will explore the many significant sites of Kushinagar
  • As the sun begins to set, you will travel by coach to Gorakhpur

Day 7 – Balrampur – Sravasti – Balrampur – Agra

  • Arrive in Balrampur as the sun begins to rise
  • Next up is a journey to Sravasti, a place which is famed for Buddha’s miracles
  • Check into your hotel room, where a delicious breakfast awaits you
  • The rest of the day consists of you and the rest of the party exploring Buddhist sites
  • Return to Balrampur, where you will board the train and enjoy a delightful dinner as you depart for Agra

Day 8 – Agra – Delhi

  • Arrive in Agra and witness the breathtaking beauty of the Taj Mahal
  • Return to the train and savor breakfast as you begin your journey back to Delhi
  • Enjoy a final onboard lunch as you head towards Delhi
  • Arrive at Safdarjung Railway Station in Delhi, marking the end of your Buddhist Circuit adventure

Final Words

If you are looking to truly experience Buddhism, its origin and explore it at its very root, then the Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train is an excellent opportunity for you. On this tour, you can trace the footprints that were once taken by Lord Buddha himself. This tour includes visits to sites such as the Mahabodhi Complex, Maya Devi temple, and more. Don’t think twice – make your bookings today!