Considered as an important pilgrimage center for Buddhists, Sarnath is a popular tourist spot in Varanasi . Known as the place where Lord Buddha came to give his first sermon after he attained enlightenment in Bodhgaya, Sarnath is definitely a must-see place. A trip to Sarnath will definitely increase your spiritual beliefs and leave you in a peaceful mood. Sarnath is considered as one of the four holy Buddhist sites for pilgrimage.

A Sarnath brief story:

Located near Varanasi, Sarnath is a sacred place where the Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon speaks and preached to his five former companions. It is believed that the Buddha came to Sarnath in 528 BC after attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya .

The event is described as Dharamachakra-Pravartana (ie, turning the wheel of the law). The first preaching delivered by the Buddha in Sarnath is known as Dhammacakkhapavathana Sutta. After the preaching, a community of monks settled here.

Sarnath was developed as a center for arts and Sammatiya School of Buddhism in the third century BC Later in the 12th century, it was sacked by Turkish Muslims and was in ruins for years. During the excavations, it was found by British and restored.

What place to visit in Sarnath?

The main sanctuary:

The main sanctuary in Sarnath is called as Mulagandhakuti and it is believed that the hut where the Buddha used to sit in meditation during his visit to Sarnath.

Ashoka Pilar:

Pillar of Ashoka, the national emblem of India is a major tourist attraction in Sarnath. It is located 50 m high stone pillar built to commemorate the visit of Emperor Ashoka in Sarnath.

The pillar has four lions at the top, looking back and a wheel called Ashok Chakra placed under the lions. Also, you will find a bull, a lion, an elephant and a horse represented at the base of the Ashoka pillar symbolizing four phases of Gautam Buddha of life.

Chaukhandi Stupa:

It is one of the most important monuments of Buddhist culture and built to commemorate the rise of the teachings and religion of Buddhism. It serves as a shrine to the Buddha as being built in the place where he preached his five former companions. It is the most sacred place and is visited by tourists.

Thai Temple:

Built in Thai architectural style, Thai Temple located in the middle of gardens near Sarnath. The temple is administered by the Thai monks and you will feel the tranquility here.

Archeological Museum:

It was created in 1910 and consists of artifacts related to Buddhism art. Inside it has five galleries and two antique galleries, showing a collection of Buddhist cultures.

Deer Park / Isipatana:

It is a tourist place in Sarnath and attracts nature lovers here. It also has religious significance as it is the place where the Lord Buddha preached his first sermon.

Jain temple:

Jain Temple at Sarnath is quite famous and was built in 1824. It is also called as a place where the 11th Jain Tirthankara was born Shreyanshnath.

Dhammek Stupa:

It is one of the main attractions of Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh. It is made of stone and brick, with floral carvings.

Mulagandha Kuti Vihara:

It is a Buddhist temple and is known for its murals and frescoes painted by a famous Japanese painter.

How to get to Sarnath?

Sarnath is located near Varanasi, which has an airport together with a railway station. By air, you can take a flight to Babatpur Varanasi airport. Also, Sarnath is well connected through highways with major cities.

What is the best time to visit Sarnath?

The best time to visit the place is between the months of October and March. The summers are hot in the north of India , and the winters are pleasant.

Travel tips if you travel to Sarnath:

  • Maintain peace and tranquility in the area
  • Do not touch the sacred objects
  • Try to wear appropriate clothing and take care of the children while moving around the

Book Sarnath tour packages with Varanasi from Rajasthan