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Sarnath Tourism Package

Sarnath: Sacred Site of Lord Buddha's first sermon


Sarnath is highly revered for being one of the first locations where Lord Buddha had taught the principles of Dharma after attaining enlightenment. Located 12 kms away from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Sarnath is one of the main destinations for Buddhist pilgrimage. The other ones are Lumbini ( Lord Buddha was born here), Bodh Gaya ( he attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree) and finally, Kushinagar ( where he died.)

Previously, Sarnath has been known by many names, such as Rishipattana , Isipatana ( a place where holy men fell to the earth) and Mrigadava (deer park). Later in the 3rd century BC, Emperor Ashoka also built engraved pillars and magnificent stupas here. Unfortunately, Sarnath later witnessed Muslim invasions and got destroyed. It was only in the 1835 when Sarnath again shot into limelight due to the hard work of the British archaeologists. Over the years, it has also evolved as an important space for the followers of Janinism.

Following are the main attractions of Sarnath:

Chaukhandi Stupa: Presumably, it was built in the 4th- 6th century AD during the Gupta period. Originally, it was built as a terraced temple. An octagonal tower crowns over the brick structure of the Stupa. Hiuen-Tsang, the Chinese traveller had called it the tallest stupa during his time of the travel journey. It is also believed that Lord Buddha met his first disciples here, while he was travelling from Bodh Gaya to Sarnath. Sarnath

Dhamek Stupa:  It was built in 500 CE. It is believed that it was the spot in the deer park where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon. Here he had revealed the eight fold path to his first five disciples that could lead to enlightenment. The Dhamek Stupa has been englarged for six times in succession. It can be easily recognised as its one of the most massive structures in Sarnath, with 28 m in diameter and 43.6 m in height.

Dharmarajika Stupa: Located near to the Dhamek Stupa, the remains of Dharmarajika Stupa is a significant structure. It is assumed that it contains the bones of Lord Buddha. It is believed that this Stupa was attacked by Jagat Singh in 1794 in order to gather bricks. The casket that was excavated from the stupa is put on display in the Indian Museum, Kolkata.

Ashoka Pillar: In spite of surviving the vehement Turkish invasions, the Ashoka Pillar slowly degraded due to the excavations. It is presumed to be built in 3rd century BC. The original height of the Ashoka Pillar was 17 m. Its capital that included four lions, back to back, has been adopted as the national emblem of Modern India.

National Temples: Along with the remnants of the architectural marvel, Sarnath also includes six national temples of various Asian countries. It also includes a Sri Lankan temple and the Tibetan temple.


Archaeological Museum at Sarnath: Considered as one of the oldest museums of Archaeological Survey of India. It contains approximately 6832 artefacts and sculptures.

Excursions from Sarnath:  Tourists can travel to places such as Varanasi ( 12 km), Ghazipur (73 km) and Allahabad ( 131 km) from Sarnath.


Shopping in Sarnath: Finely embellished metal, marble and wooden sculptures of Lord Buddha can be bought from the local stores in Sarnath. One can also purchase books on meditation and Buddhism.


When to Reach: The best time to visit Sarnath is during October to March. Tourists can also visit Sarnath during the festival time of Makar Sakranti, Dusshehra, Buddha Purnima and Holi.

How to Reach
Air: The nearest airport to Sarnath is located in Varanasi at a distance of 24 km.
Rail: The small train station which is at Sarnath does not achieve much traffic. The railway station at Varanasi Cantt, at a distance of 6km, is a better option.
Road: The local buses, rickshaws and taxis are also available from Varanasi to Sarnath.

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