Sarnath: A Complete Guide to the Birthplace of Buddhism
Sarnath is located in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is considered to be the birthplace of Buddhism, as it is the place where the Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment.
Today, Sarnath is a major pilgrimage site for Buddhists from all over the world, as it is home to numerous temples, stupas, and monuments that reflect the rich cultural heritage of India.
History of Sarnath
Sarnath has a rich and storied history that dates back more than 2,000 years. It was here that the Buddha first delivered his sermon, known as the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, to his five disciples. This sermon marked the beginning of the Buddhist religion and is considered to be one of the most important events in world history.
Over the centuries, Sarnath became a major center of learning and pilgrimage for Buddhists from all over the world. It was visited by numerous famous monks and scholars, including the Chinese pilgrim, Xuanzang, who visited Sarnath in the 7th century CE and recorded his observations in his famous travelogue.
Top Attractions in Sarnath :
Dhamek Stupa, Sarnath
The Dhamek Stupa is a massive cylindrical structure that stands 43 meters tall and 28 meters in diameter. It was built by Emperor Ashoka in 249 BCE to commemorate the Buddha’s first sermon. The stupa is adorned with intricate carvings and inscriptions, and it is considered to be one of the most important Buddhist sites in the world.
Mulagandha Kuti Vihar, Sarnath
This temple is one of the most important places of worship for Buddhists. It was built by the famous Buddhist monk, Ven. Anagarika Dharmapala, in 1931. The temple is famous for its murals depicting the life of the Buddha and for its beautiful gardens.
Chaukhandi Stupa, Sarnath
The Chaukhandi Stupa is a beautiful brick structure that was built to mark the spot where the Buddha met his five disciples for the first time. The stupa was later renovated by Emperor Ashoka.
Ashoka Pillar, Sarnath
The Ashoka Pillar is an ancient monument that was built by Emperor Ashoka to mark the spot where the Buddha delivered his first sermon. The pillar is adorned with intricate carvings and inscriptions.
Thai Temple, Sarnath
The Thai Temple is a beautiful golden temple that was built by the Thai government in 2005. The temple is famous for its stunning architecture and beautiful gardens.
Japanese Temple, Sarnath
The Japanese Temple is a beautiful temple that was built by the Japanese government in 1989. The temple is famous for its beautiful architecture and serene surroundings.
Tibetan Temple, Sarnath
The Tibetan Temple is a beautiful temple that was built by the Tibetan government in exile. The temple is famous for its beautiful murals depicting the life of the Buddha and for its peaceful surroundings.
Sarnath Archaeological Museum, Sarnath
The Sarnath Archaeological Museum is a must-visit for history buffs. The museum houses a collection of artifacts that date back to the 3rd century BCE, including sculptures, coins, and inscriptions.
Deer Park, Sarnath
The Deer Park is a beautiful park that is located just a short distance away from the main temple complex. The park is home to a large population of deer, and it is a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
Sarnath Bodhi Tree, Sarnath
The Bodhi Tree is a sacred fig tree that is said to be a direct descendant of the tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. The tree is located near the main temple complex and is considered to be a very important pilgrimage site for Buddhists.
How to Get to Sarnath
Sarnath is located just 13 kilometers from Varanasi, so the best way to get there is by car or auto-rickshaw. You can also take a taxi from the Varanasi airport or railway station.