Sarnath, located near the ancient city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India, is a place of immense historical and cultural significance. This small town holds a special place in Buddhism as it is the site where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Here are some of the key places to visit in Sarnath, each carrying a rich history and spiritual essence.
Dhamek Stupa: The Dhamek Stupa is a massive structure built at the spot where Buddha is believed to have preached his first sermon. Constructed during the reign of Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE, the stupa stands tall at a height of 43.6 meters. Its intricately carved lower portion and the cylindrical tower make it a remarkable architectural marvel.
Chaukhandi Stupa: Another important structure in Sarnath is the Chaukhandi Stupa, believed to be built to mark the spot where Buddha met his first disciples. Originally built as a terraced temple during the Gupta period, it has been modified over the centuries. The stupa offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Mulagandha Kuti Vihar: This modern Buddhist temple is known for its frescoes depicting the life of Buddha. Mulagandha Kuti Vihar was built in the 20th century and is a peaceful place for meditation and reflection. The beautifully maintained garden surrounding the temple adds to its serene atmosphere.
Sarnath Archaeological Museum: To delve deeper into the history of Sarnath, a visit to the Archaeological Museum is a must. The museum houses a vast collection of artifacts dating back to the Mauryan, Kushan, and Gupta periods. Visitors can explore sculptures, statues, and other relics that provide insights into the ancient Buddhist culture.
Japanese Temple and Thai Temple: Sarnath is not just a site of Indian importance but also a destination with international significance. The Japanese Temple, also known as the Nichigai Suzan Horinji Temple, and the Thai Temple, Wat Thai Sarnath, are two beautiful examples. These temples reflect the global appeal of Sarnath as a sacred place for Buddhists worldwide.
Ashoka Pillar: The Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath is an iconic symbol of Emperor Ashoka's patronage of Buddhism. The pillar, with its four-lion capital, is an emblem of the Ashokan edicts and can be seen as a national emblem of India. It stands tall, representing the spread of Buddha's teachings.
Deer Park: Sarnath's Deer Park, also known as Isipatana, is where Buddha first taught the Dharma. The park is serene and dotted with greenery, making it an ideal place for contemplation. The presence of deer adds a natural charm to the surroundings.
Uttar Pradesh is a state located in the northern part of India. It is the most populous state in India, with a population of over 200 million people. The state is known for its rich history and culture and is often referred to as the "Heartland of India". The state has a total area of 243,286 square kilometers and is bordered by the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Bihar. Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh.
If you want to spend a few moments of comfort in solitude away from congestion, you can go to Sarnath, 10 km from Varanasi. Lord Gautam Buddha is said to have given his first sermon after gyan pafter in Sarnath. Here you can visit many beautiful stupas and temples.
Mulagandha Kuti Temple, which, though now only remains there, it will be wonderful to see it also. Its incredible architectural style has impressive designs and patterns that are very special. Which separates it from other temples, as well as attractive graffiti can be seen here, it was made by a renowned painter Kosetsu Nosu of Japan. There is a large bell of copper on the entrance of the Mulagandha Kuti Vihar, which was gifted by a Saheb family from Japan. Apart from collection of Buddhist literature, here is the statue of Lord Buddha which is worshiped. Radhagandh Kuti Vihar monastery was created in 1931 with the donation of various countries and international Buddhist communities which are also called Maha Bodhi Society, which was made by Angarka Dharmapalal, the founder of Mahabodhi Samaj. There are spiers on top of the huge building, which make it like a church, here also a gemstone statue of gold of Gautam Buddha is kept. Apart from this, there is also a Bodhi tree located in this temple which was planted here by a branch of Sri Lankan tree through transplantation. This tree in Sri Lanka is originated from the same root tree, under which Gautama Buddha had attained the knowledge of some 2500 years ago in Bodh Gaya. Vihar is described with the sacred relics of Shakyamuni Buddha. It is open from sunrise to sunset and entry is free.
If there are visions of something before the ghats and temples in the city of Varanasi, it is Chaukhandi Stupa which is said to be the most visited stupa by tourists. This place is considered to be the most sacred place in all holy pilgrimage places of Uttar Pradesh. Chaukhandi Stupa is one of the most important and important monuments of Buddhist culture, people believe that it was built during the era of Emperor Ashoka and this stupa was built right here, where the great Buddha met his five It was from the ascetics that the Chaukhandi Stupa of Sarnath is completely made of bricks and there is an octagonal shape tower in the middle which is very attractive to see if you find this place If you go, you will also feel the divinity of the memorial in the air surrounded by here. After going to Chaukhandi Stupa, tourists get a different peace which is very amazing.
Here you can see everything related to Buddhist art. From 10 am to 5 pm, you can come here anytime. Inside the Museum, Dharmrajika Stupa, Sadharmachar Vihar, etc. are Founded in 1910, Archaeological Museum performs collection of artifacts from 3rd century BC to 12th Century AD. If you come to visit Sarnath, then go to see the ancient artifacts kept in this museum.
The Tibetan Temple is one of the chief shrines of Sarnath, this temple is decorated with Thangaas, which are Tibetan Buddhist paintings. This temple has a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. Here, outside the temple building, you can see prayer wheels, which are rotated in the clockwise direction, let us know that in this temple there are a large number of pilgrims and Buddhist scholars from Thailand, Tibet, China, and Japan.
This place, situated on the banks of River Ganga in Varanasi, is also known as Jain Ghat. There is a white statue here. On the other hand, Digambar Panth has also kept a black idol. Here comes the feeling of peace and comfort separately.
A famous attraction in the Thai temple Sarnath, which shows the style of architecture here. It is said that this temple is made up of beautiful gardens, which is the center of attraction of tourists and pilgrims coming here, where peace and peaceful are provided by Buddhist monks.