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Sarnath

Top Attractions

Sarnath

Ashoka Pillar:

Ashoka Pillar, the national state emblem of Republic of India is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Sarnath. Carved out of stone, the ancient Ashoka Pillar was made as a mark of respect for Emperor's Ashoka's visit to Sarnath. Standing at a height of 50 meters, the Ashoka Pillar depicts four lions and a wheel known as the Ashoka Chakra. The pillar symbolizes various phases of the life and times of the most successful king of India, Emperor Ashoka. Ashoka Pillar attracts a large number of tourists, historians and photography enthusiasts.

 

Chaukhandi Stupa:

Chaukhandi Stupa built buy the rulers of the Gupta dynasty is one of the most prominent historic attractions of Sarnath. Built in early 5th century to commemorate the visit of Lord Buddha to visit his disciples, Chaukhandi Stupa stands on a rectangular platform with an octagonal tower. Maintained by the Archeological Survey of India, Chaukhandi Stupa attracts a large number of historians, spiritual seekers, travelers and school children.

 

Thai Temple:

Thai temple is one of the most popular religious shrines of Sarnath. Built in perfect Thai style of architecture, the Thai temple dedicated to Lord Buddha attracts a large number of tourists and spiritual seekers alike. Administered by Thai Buddhist monks, the Thai Temple is surrounded by lovely lush green gardens making it one of the most picturesque locations of Sarnath.

 

Deer Park:

The Deer Park of Sarnath is one of the most highly visited landmarks of the region. Deer Park is one of the most holies Buddhist sites attracting a large number of tourists, monks and spiritual seekers. Believed to be the spot where Sangha originated and Buddha proclaimed Dharma, Deer Park has a long historic associated with the Buddhist religion and its preaching. Buddha is believed to have taught various principles of Buddhism to his disciples at the Deer Park.

 

Archaeological Museum:

Archaeological Museum of Sarnath is home to various rare artifacts and sculptural delights of the region attracting a large number of tourists, art lovers and historians. Built in 1910 by the Sangharama Monastery, the museum is now operated by the Archeological Survey of India. The museum has five galleries named as Tathagata, Triratna, Shakyasimha Gallery, Trimurti and Ashutosh Gallery. The major exhibits at the Archaeological Museum include rare images of Buddha and Bodhisattva along with antique sculptures ranging from 3rd century to 12th century AD.

 

Archaeological and Excavation Area:

Archaeological and Excavation Area is a popular tourist landmark attracting art lovers and historians alike. Located in the heart of Sarnath, the Archaeological and Excavation Area has a large number of Buddhist monuments including pillars and monasteries. Archaeological and Excavation Area is believed to comprise of ruins dating from 250 BC to 12th century AD.  The Archaeological and Excavation Area also attracts a large number of religious students and art lovers. The area is famous for having a branch of the Bodhi tree of Bodh Gaya. A Jain temple dedicated to Tirthankar Shrais Nath is also located amid the Archaeological and Excavation Area of Sarnath.

 

Tibetan Temple:

Tibetan temple is one of the most popular religious shrines of Sarnath. Built in perfect Tibetan style of architecture, the Tibetan temple dedicated to Lord Buddha attracts a large number of tourists and spiritual seekers alike. Tibetan temple houses a large statue of Lord Buddha as Shakyamuni. The temple has a large number of Tibetan Buddhist paintings known as Thangksa displayed around the walls of the inner sanctorum. Buddhist prayer wheels are found at the Tibetan temple making it one of the most widely visited religious shrines of Sarnath.

 

Dhamekha Stupa :

Lord Buddha delivered his first Dhamma discourse here. There is a solid, cylindrical, brick structure here about 43.6 m high which was originally built  during Emperor Ashoka’s reign (249 BCE).  

 

Mulagandhakuti Vihara temple:

Built by the Sri Lankan Mahabodhi Society, this is a prominent Buddhist temple in Sarnath. It houses Buddha’s relics found in Taxila and is displayed every year on Karthik Purnima day. The temple walls have beautiful frescoes by a Japaneese artist, depicting the life of the Buddha.

 

Dharmarajika Stupa :

This is another significant structure in Sarnath. It contains the bones of Lord Buddha and was constructed during Emperor Ashoka’s reign. It was demolished during 17th century and during demolition, a casket containing bones and gems were recovered from the ruins. The bones were disposed off in River Ganga and gems went missing and have not been traced till now. The casket is presently displayed at the IndianMuseum, Kolkata.