The small village of Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh is an important site on the Buddhist circuit. Along with Bodhgaya, Kushinagar, and Lumbini in Nepal, it attracts followers from all over the world with its picturesque Buddhist ruins and modern temples. Sarnath's main claim to fame is the fact that Buddha came here to preach his message and teach the Dharma at a deer park that has now been recreated for visiting pilgrims. The spot where Buddha preached his very first sermon is marked by the impressive Dhamekh Stupa. This 34-metre tall structure was built in 249AD by a ruling king.Read More
A number of other religious monuments mark locations that hold significance to the story of Buddha, including Chaukhandi Stupa, a 5th century octagonal tower built where Buddha met his five disciples. Mulagandhakuti Vihara, Ashoka Pillar and Sri Digamber Jain Temple are also worthy of a visit. History buffs will find the archaeological museum especially appealing. Housed in a 100-year old sandstone building is a fantastic display of ancient treasures and artefacts, including a superbly preserved sculpture of four lions that once stood proudly atop the Ashoka Pillar and dates back to the 3rd century. In this museum you'll also find a mammoth stone umbrella, which is over 2,000 years old and intricately engraved with Buddhist symbols.
Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Sarnath