At a distance of only 10-km from the famous Hindu pilgrimage
Varanasi, after attaining Enlightenment the Buddha went to Sarnath.
Lord Buddha had visited Sarnath looking for his five companions who
abandoned him in Rajgir while they deviated from the viewpoint of Lord
Buddha on self-mortification.
Here in the Deer Park, he delivered his first sermon, set in motion the
Wheel of Law (Maha-Dharmachakra Pravartan). The Emperor Ashoka (c 304 - 232
BC), who spread the Buddha's message of love and compassion throughout his
vast empire, visited Sarnath around 234 BC, and erected a stupa here.
Several Buddhist structures were raised at Sarnath between the 3rd century
BC and the 11th century AD, and today it presents the most expansive ruins
amongst places on the Buddhist trail. The ruins, the museum and temple are
all within walking distance.
Stupa The stupa is the most impressive structure in Sarnath.
Built around 500AD the excavations have revealed that some earlier
construction was present at the site. The stupa is a place where one can see
the devoted Buddhists circumambulating the structure, Ashoka might have
built the stupa to earmark the Dharmachakrapravartana to five ascetics.
The first impression of the ancient Buddhism monuments while one enters
Sarnath from Varanasi, this Chaukhandi was built to mark the meet of Lord
Buddha with his five companions. Todar Mal added an octagonal tower to the
structure to commemorate the arrival of Emperor Akbar to the city in 1588.
Asokan Pillar -
is the national emblem of India, presents a splendid representation of art
during Ashoka's period, and the Asoka Wheel down the base adorns the
Tricolor national flag.
The pillar also records the visit of Ashoka to Sarnath. The year of his
visit is said to be around mid 3rd century BC. It is interesting to note
that at one time, the Ashoka Pillar of Sarnath stood over 17 meters in
height. Its capital with the four lions back to back that has been adopted
as the official emblem of modern India can be seen in the museum at Sarnath.
If you are in Sarnath, don't miss this pillar.
The Monasteries -
The Buddhist temple
built only in 1931, claims to have Buddha's original relics. Moreover, the
temple houses some of the most interesting mural paintings depicting the
story of Buddha's life.
The Digambar Jain temple -
Shreyanshnath, a Jain Tirthankar, this temple famous among the Jain
community and good for visualizing some interesting paintings and sculptures
depicting the life of Lord Mahavira.
At a distance of
10 km from Sarnath, Varanasi, called 'Kashi' in the scriptures and popularly
known as "Benaras", is said to be the oldest living city in the
world with a glorious history that goes back to thousands of years. Varanasi
is a revered Hindu pilgrimage, well known for the pristine Ghats, bathe
rituals and the numerous temples. The golden temple, with stunning golden
towers does attract majority of the pilgrims and is definitely an
If you belong to history, do visit this place,
14 km. from Varanasi. This fort and its museum are the repository of the
history of the kings of Benaras. Built in the 18th century Ramnagar
fort has carved balconies, open courtyards and picturesque pavilions. The
Vidya Mandir museum, inside the darbar hall has a wide range of old armours,
antique clocks, medieval costumes, gold & silver palanquins, silver
Howdahs & jewellery on display.
Chunar Fort -
Associated with one of the
greatest leaders Sher Shah Suri, the fort is also famous for the fact that
Saint Bhatrihari had taken "samadhi" inside the Fort.
How to reach
For Sarnath, Varanasi is very convenient centre regarding Air, Rail and
The nearest Airport is 22 kms from
Varanasi and 29 kms from Sarnath. Varanasi is connected with Delhi, Agra,
Khajuraho, Kolkata, Mumbai, Lucknow, Bhuvaneshwar and kathmandu with direct
Varanasi is a major
station in Broad gauge network, Varanasi Cantt. and Mughal Sarai (16 km, one
of the main railway stations of Varanasi) are the important rail junctions,
that link Varanasi with all major cities of India.
roads connect Sarnath with Varanasi and other important cities.
Taj Ganges -
Now should be
written as The Gateway hotel Ganges Varanasi
Ramada Hotel -
Now should be
written as Ramada Plaza JHV
Where to stay ( Hotels
-|- Temples/Monasteries )