Sarnath is a famous pilgrimage and tourist destination in India. The city is famous as the seat where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after he got enlightened in Bodh Gaya. There are several tourist spots in Sarnath that are worth visiting.
Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath is one of the most famous and most visited
tourist spot in India. Emperor Ashoka erected this pillar like several
others in other parts of his kingdom. The date of erection and
commissioner of this pillar is also confirmed by the edicts of Ashoka
that is engraved on it. The pillar also records the visit of Ashoka to
Sarnath. The year of his visit is said to be around mid 3rd century BC.
It is interesting to note that at one time, the Ashoka Pillar of Sarnath
stood over 17 meters in height. Its capital with the four lions back to
back that has been adopted as the official emblem of modern India can be
seen in the museum at Sarnath.
Chaukhandi is another very famous and historically important monument
in Sarnath. Chaukhandi is the first monument you will encounter as you
enter Sarnath. Chaukhandi Stupa is actually a lofty mound of brickwork.
An Octagonal tower surrounds the square edifice of Chaukhandi Stupa. It
is believed by majority of historians that Emperor Ashoka originally
built this Stupa. Standing on a terraced rectangular plinth, the Stupa
is capped by an octagonal Mogul tower. This Mogul tower has been built
by Emperor Akbar to commemorate the visit of Humayun at this shrine.
Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath is one of the most visited and most revered
Buddhist Shrines in the world. Dhamek Stupa marks the place where Lord
Buddha gave away his first sermon after he got enlightened in Bodh Gaya.
Dhamek Stupa is arguably the most remarkable structure at Sarnath.
Typical of Stupas of that period, Dhamek is cylindrical in shape with a
base that is more than 28 meters in diameter. The Stupa stands 31.3
meters above the pedestal whereas the entrance measures 43.6 meters on
its feet. Dhamek Stupa that was originally commissioned during Mauryan
period is made partly out of red bricks and stones.
Mulagandha Kuti Vihar
Mulagandha Kuti Vihar is a welcome break from architectural monotony in
Sarnath. Situated amidst brick ruins of ancient Sarnath, this Buddhist
Temple is as distinct from any Buddhist Architectural pattern as chalk
and cheese. This modern temple that looks truly magnificent with
detailed designed patterns in its interiors has been erected by the Maha
Bodhi society in the year 1931. The temple is famous for its Murals and
The Archaeological Museum of Sarnath is one of the most famous museums
of its kind in entire South-Asia. Locally known as Sarnath Museum,
Archeological Museum of Sarnath is a splendid building built early this
century and stands adjacent to the historical ruins. The museum contains
a large collection of sculptures that stands testimony to the fervent
artistic and religious activity at Sarnath for more than a thousand