Sarnath is considered to be the place where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment.
Where is it?
Sarnath is just 10 kilometres from Varanasi. What to see?
1. Deer Park
This is an open animal park historically important as Lord Buddha preached his first sermon here. You can still see deer at this garden.
2. Dharmekh Stupa
This is a 128 feet tall stupa with 93 meters diameter. Located at the Deer Park, the stupa dates back to 200 BC and it is believed that Lord Buddha preached his first sermon at this spot. It is also one of the rarest pieces of stupa which were built before the reign of Emperor Ashoka.
3. Mulagandhakuti Vihara
This is the monastery where Lord Buddha spent the first rainy season in mediation. This Vihara was once 200 feet high with 100 niches containing Buddha carvings. There is a life size statue of Lord Buddha in this Vihara.
The modern part of Mulagandhakuti Vihara is decorated with exquisite wall paintings.
4. Ashoka Pillar
This 45 feet pillar can also be seen on the Indian flag. Invest some time in exploring this pillar as it has some interesting carvings along with a magnificent lion capital at its top.
5. Sarnath Archaeological Museum
This is the place to witness the rich Buddhist culture through the treasured art, which includes almost 300 paintings.
6. Bodhi Tree
This is one of the oldest trees of Sarnath which is believed to have been planted by Anagarika Dharmapala from a Bodhi tree of Bodh Gaya.
7. Six National Temples
Several Asian communities have built temples here to preach Buddhism and you can visit these to check out the simple yet splendid lifestyle of the monks residing here.
Visiting Sarnath is thus just not a pilgrimage but a crusade to a new life. Explore Varanasi by Indian Panorama which is the famous itinerary of Maharajas Express train. It is the world’s leading luxury train in India.