India is blessed with archaeological, spiritual and natural wonders throughout its length and breadth. This often results in certain destinations getting overlooked. Buddhism is one of the four religions that traces its origin to India. It eventually spread and became popular in Tibet and Southeast Asia. The beginnings of Buddhism can be traced to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and yet when we think of Buddhism in India, our thoughts travel to McLeodganj, Spiti Valley, Ladakh, Sikkim and the Northeast. The magnificent Buddhist sites in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar remain in our blind spots.
Fortunately, the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) recently announced a new travel programme - ‘Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train’. The eight-day train tour covers four most important Buddhist sites, other major Buddhist shrines, religious centres and cultural hotspots of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar along with the Taj Mahal and Lumbini, Nepal. The train journey starts and concludes in Delhi. Meals are provided either onboard or in the cities. You'll be either spending your nights on the train or in hotels.