SARNATH

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» Uttar Pradesh
Location: Uttar Pradesh
Nearest City: Varanasi
Best Season: October-March
Languages: Hindi and English

CRADLE OF BUDDHISM
Sarnath - The Cradle of Buddhism, Sarnath, Uttar PradeshSituated 10 km from Varanasi is the site where Buddha delivered his first sermon to his five disciples, preaching the middle path for attaining 'Nirvana'. Realising the sanctity of the site, emperor Ashoka, in the 3rd century B.C. built some of the finest monuments and legacies.

The 34-metre-high 'Dhamek' stupa stands as a remarkable structure. This contains the remains of Lord Buddha, while the Deer Park in Sarnath is where the Lord delivered his first sermon. The area is now graceful and pleasant, breathing the spirit of the enlightened one, aglow with the devotion of the many followers who inhabited it through the centuries that followed.

PRIME ATTRACTIONS

Stupa's
'Choukhandi' Stupa:
Raised by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1555 A.D., it is believed to be the place where Buddha met his five disciples. The majestic Ashoka pillar records visit of emperor Ashoka to Sarnath. It was originally adorned by a capital of four lions, now housed in the Sarnath museum. The capital became the state emblem of modern India.

The Stupas:
Sarnath - A Major Buddhist Pilgrimage Centre, Sarnath, Uttar PradeshThe great Dhamekh stupa and dharmarajika stupas stand testimony to the great budhhist activity. The most remarkable structure at Sarnath, is the cylindrical Dhamek stupa, 28 mts. in diameter at the base and 43.6 mts. in height, built partly of stone and partly of brick. The stone facing the lower part is adorned with delicate floral carvings of Gupta origin.

CRADLE OF BUDDHISM
Situated 10 km from Varanasi is the site where Buddha delivered his first sermon to his five disciples, preaching the middle path for attaining 'Nirvana'. Realising the sanctity of the site, emperor Ashoka, in the 3rd century B.C. built some of the finest monuments and legacies.

The 34-metre-high 'Dhamek' stupa stands as a remarkable structure. This contains the remains of Lord Buddha, while the Deer Park in Sarnath is where the Lord delivered his first sermon. The area is now graceful and pleasant, breathing the spirit of the enlightened one, aglow with the devotion of the many followers who inhabited it through the centuries that followed.

PRIME ATTRACTIONS

Stupa's
'Choukhandi' Stupa:
Raised by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1555 A.D., it is believed to be the place where Buddha met his five disciples. The majestic Ashoka pillar records visit of emperor Ashoka to Sarnath. It was originally adorned by a capital of four lions, now housed in the Sarnath museum. The capital became the state emblem of modern India.

The Stupas:
Sarnath - A Major Buddhist Pilgrimage Centre, Sarnath, Uttar PradeshThe great Dhamekh stupa and dharmarajika stupas stand testimony to the great budhhist activity. The most remarkable structure at Sarnath, is the cylindrical Dhamek stupa, 28 mts. in diameter at the base and 43.6 mts. in height, built partly of stone and partly of brick. The stone facing the lower part is adorned with delicate floral carvings of Gupta origin.

Museums
Archaeological Museum:
On display here, is a magnificent statue of the Buddha turning the wheel of law, and many other excavations that exhibit the flowering of the Indian Plastic arts.

Mulgandha Kuti Vihara:
The Tibetan buddhist shrine, Mulgandha Kuti Vihara, built in 1930, enshrines sacred relics from various places and a lifesize golden statue of the Buddha. It is decorated with brilliant frescoes by Japanese artist, Kosetsu Nosu. There are also a few Chinese and Jain temples A 'Bodhi' tree growing on the campus is believed to be the offspring of one under which Buddha had attained enlightenment.

EXCURSIONS

Chunar:
Sarnath - Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath, Uttar PradeshThe northern extreme of the Kaimur hills affords a impressive view of the invincible sandstone battlements of Chunar, that overlook a bend in the ganges. Vikramaditya of Ujjain is said to be its earliest occupant, way back in 56 B.C. chunar sandstone has been used for the past many centuries, most famously in the making of the the Ashokan Pillar, which was highly polished for sheen and longevity.

Jaunpur:
This dusty city 65kms northwest of Varanasi, was founded by Feroz Shah, in 1930. Jaunpur is bisected by River Gomti, into two sectors. The massive Akbari Bridge is a landmark of the region. Other attractions include Feroz Shah Fort and Atala Mosque.

HOW TO GET THERE

Air: Varanasi (Babatpur) Airport is the nearest airport. Commercial flights connect Varanasi to Kathmandu, Delhi , Agra and Mumbai .

Rail: Varanasi railway station is well connected to important cities.

Road: It is located on the National Highway No. 29 that also connects Varanasi and Gorakhpur.

Local Transport: Taxis, Auto-rickshaws, and Local Buses.

PLACES TO STAY

Being one of the major toursit circuit sites, accommodation is not hard to find in Sarnath. One can even check out some monasteries, which also provide rooms to stay. Some accommodation option include:
Tourist Bungalow, Sarnath
Forest Rest House, Sarnath.
Mahabodhi Society Dharamshala, Sarnath.
Jain Dharamshala, Sarnath.
Tourist Bungalow, (UPSTDC), Sarnath.

OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION

Restaurants: Anand Restaurant, Rangoli Garden, Open Restaurant.
Banks: State Bank of India, Canara Bank, Central Bank.
Tourist Information Centre: UP Government Tourist Bureau, Sarnath.
Post & Telegraph: Post Office, Sarnath.
Hospitals: Govt. Hospital, Sarnath; Dr. Baijnath Hospital, Sarnath.

NEARBY CITIES

Varanasi: 10-km

GENERAL INFORMATION

Main Festivals: Buddha Purnima (May), Kartik Purnima (Oct-Nov).
Area: 2.80 sq. km.
Altitude: 80.71 m.
Clothing: Summer: Cottons.
               Winter: Woollens.


Booking Information/Reservation