Sarnath is a small town located just half an hour’s drive from Varanasi, the holy city in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. Sarnath is a sacred place for Buddhists as it is the place where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment to his five disciples. It is a popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists from all over the world.
The main attraction of Sarnath is the Dhamek Stupa, which was built in the 3rd century BC by Emperor Ashoka. The stupa is 43.6 meters high and 28 meters in diameter, and it is one of the largest and most well-preserved stupas in India. The stupa is made of stone and brick and is adorned with intricate carvings of flowers and animals. It is said that Lord Buddha gave his first sermon at this spot, which is now marked by a small shrine.
Another popular attraction in Sarnath is the Buddha statue, which is located within the Sarnath Deer Park. The statue is made of sandstone and is 80 feet tall. It is a serene and peaceful place where visitors can sit and meditate.
The Mulagandha Kuti Vihar Temple is another important site in Sarnath. This temple was built in the 1930s and is a modern-day Buddhist temple. It has beautiful frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Lord Buddha.
The Ashoka Stambha, also known as the Ashoka Pillar, is a 50-meter-high pillar that was erected by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. The pillar is made of sandstone and is adorned with inscriptions in Prakrit language. It is one of the most well-known landmarks in Sarnath.
The Sarnath Deer Park is another popular attraction in the town. It is a peaceful and serene place where visitors can relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the park. The park is home to a variety of deer and other animals, and it is a great place to explore nature.
Lastly, the Sarnath Museum is also worth a visit. The museum has a collection of Buddhist artifacts and is a great place to learn about the history and culture of Buddhism.
To fully explore Sarnath and see all of its monuments and attractions, visitors should plan to spend at least three hours in the town. It is recommended to hire a local guide who can provide valuable insights and information about the history and significance of the various sites.
In conclusion, Sarnath is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history and culture. Its monuments and attractions offer a unique insight into the life and teachings of Lord Buddha, and the town is a peaceful and serene place to explore.