dhamekh-stupa

Top 15 Places To Visit In Sarnath

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Sarnath, a small town in Uttar Pradesh, India, is a significant religious destination for Buddhist followers. Known as the place where Buddha gave his first sermon, Sarnath has several historical sites that attract tourists from all over the world. If you’re planning a trip to Sarnath, here are the top three places you must visit.

1. Dhamekh Stupa

The Dhamekh Stupa is a massive cylindrical tower built in the 5th century to mark the spot where Buddha gave his first sermon. The stupa is over 40 meters high and 28 meters in diameter, and it is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India. The Dhamekh Stupa is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures, and it is surrounded by lush gardens and peaceful ponds. Visitors can walk around the stupa, meditate, and offer prayers to Buddha.

2. Mulagandha Kuti Vihar

The Mulagandha Kuti Vihar is a monastery located in Sarnath, and it is considered one of the holiest sites in Buddhism. Built in the 1930s, the monastery houses several relics of Buddha and his disciples, including a statue of Buddha in a meditative posture. The Mulagandha Kuti Vihar has several meditation rooms and prayer halls where visitors can sit and meditate. The monastery also has a beautiful garden where visitors can relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

3. Chaukhandi Stupa

The Chaukhandi Stupa is an ancient monument built in the 5th century to mark the spot where Buddha met his first disciples. The stupa is made of brick and stone, and it has several terraces and platforms that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The Chaukhandi Stupa is a popular spot for tourists, especially during sunset, when the sky turns into shades of orange and pink.

4. Sarnath Archaeological Museum

The Sarnath Archaeological Museum is a must-visit for history buffs. The museum houses several artifacts and sculptures from the ancient Buddhist era, including the famous Lion Capital of Ashoka. The Lion Capital of Ashoka is a national emblem of India, and it depicts four lions standing back to back. The museum also has several galleries dedicated to the history of Sarnath and Buddhism.

5. Thai Temple

The Thai Temple, also known as the Wat Thai Sarnath, is a beautiful temple located in Sarnath. Built in the traditional Thai style, the temple is adorned with intricate carvings and colorful murals. The Thai Temple is a serene spot where visitors can offer prayers and meditate.

6. Tibetan Temple

The Tibetan Temple, also known as the Gelugpa Temple, is a peaceful monastery located in Sarnath. The monastery is a beautiful example of Tibetan architecture, and it houses several Tibetan artifacts and relics. Visitors can attend prayer sessions and learn about the Tibetan culture and traditions.

7. Ashoka Pillar

The Ashoka Pillar is an ancient monument built by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. The pillar is made of sandstone, and it has several inscriptions in Brahmi script. The Ashoka Pillar is a symbol of peace and non-violence, and it attracts tourists from all over the world.

8. Anathapindika’s Stupa

Anathapindika’s Stupa is an ancient stupa located in Sarnath. The stupa is named after Anathapindika, a wealthy merchant who donated funds for the construction of the stupa. The Anathapindika Stupa is a beautiful example of Buddhist architecture, and it is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures. Visitors can walk around the stupa, offer prayers, and learn about the history of Buddhism in Sarnath.

9. Japanese Temple

The Japanese Temple, also known as the Nichigai Suzan Horinji Temple, is a beautiful temple located in Sarnath. The temple is built in the traditional Japanese style, and it has several Japanese artifacts and sculptures. Visitors can attend prayer sessions, participate in meditation classes, and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the temple.

10. Deer Park

Deer Park, also known as the Isipatana, is a beautiful park located in Sarnath. The park is spread over several acres, and it has several ponds, gardens, and walking trails. Deer Park is the site where Buddha gave his first sermon, and it is a significant pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful stroll in the park, meditate, and offer prayers to Buddha.

11. Sarnath Temple

The Sarnath Temple is a beautiful temple located in Sarnath. The temple is built in the traditional Indian style, and it has several shrines dedicated to different Hindu deities. Visitors can attend prayer sessions, offer prayers, and learn about the history of the temple.

12. Ramnagar Fort

Ramnagar Fort is a historical fort located near Sarnath. Built in the 18th century, the fort is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture. Visitors can explore the fort, walk around the gardens, and learn about the history of the fort and its significance in Indian history.

13. Tibetan Refugee Market

The Tibetan Refugee Market is a vibrant market located in Sarnath. The market is run by Tibetan refugees who sell a variety of handicrafts, including Tibetan carpets, jewelry, and clothing. Visitors can shop for souvenirs, interact with the locals, and learn about the Tibetan culture and traditions.

14. Sarnath Botanical Garden

The Sarnath Botanical Garden is a beautiful garden located in Sarnath. The garden has several species of plants and trees, and it is a popular spot for nature lovers. Visitors can walk around the garden, enjoy the scenic beauty, and learn about the different species of plants and their significance in Indian culture.

15. Dharmajika Stupa

Dharmajika Stupa is an ancient stupa located in Sarnath. The stupa is a beautiful example of Buddhist architecture, and it is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures. The Dharmajika Stupa is a significant pilgrimage site for Buddhists, and visitors can offer prayers and learn about the history of Buddhism in Sarnath.

In conclusion, Sarnath is a hidden gem in India that offers a unique travel experience. It is a significant pilgrimage site for Buddhists, and it is also a great place for history buffs and nature lovers. Visitors can explore ancient stupas, temples, and forts, walk around beautiful gardens, and shop for souvenirs in the vibrant Tibetan Refugee Market. With its peaceful surroundings and rich cultural heritage, Sarnath is a destination that should not be missed. So, pack your bags, head to Sarnath, and immerse yourself in the spiritual and historical atmosphere of this beautiful place.

Frequently asked questions about visiting Sarnath:

  1. What is the best time to visit Sarnath?

The best time to visit Sarnath is from October to March when the weather is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing.

  1. How much time should I spend in Sarnath?

You can explore most of the major attractions in Sarnath in 1-2 days, but if you want to delve deeper into the history and culture, you can extend your stay.

  1. Is there an entry fee to visit the sites in Sarnath?

Yes, there is an entry fee to visit most of the sites in Sarnath, and the fees may vary depending on the site.

  1. What is the dress code for visiting Sarnath?

There is no specific dress code for visiting Sarnath, but it is recommended to dress modestly and avoid wearing revealing clothes as a sign of respect for the religious sites.

  1. Are there any guided tours available in Sarnath?

Yes, there are several guided tours available in Sarnath that offer insights into the history and culture of the region. You can opt for a guided tour or hire a local guide for a more personalized experience.

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Upendra Yadav is a seasoned Data Analyst with a passion for exploring new places and immersing himself in different cultures. With a curious mind and an eye for detail, Upendra delves deep into the history, people, and cuisine of the places he visits, and brings his experiences to life through his writing.. His work has been featured in various travel blogs, where he shares his insights and recommendations for fellow explorers. Through his writing, Upendra aims to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and discover the hidden gems of the world. When he's not analyzing data or traveling to new destinations, Upendra can be found indulging in his other hobbies, such as photography and trying out new recipes. He is currently working on his next travelogue, where he hopes to take his readers on a journey to even more exciting and lesser-known destinations.