Situated in the northeast of Varanasi, Sarnath is a holy place city that is respected and held sacred by every devotee of Lord Buddha. After attaining enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, Lord Buddha arrived in Sarnath and started teaching ‘Dharma’ to the Pancavaggiya monks who had been his companion earlier. Sarnath along with Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya, and Lumbini constitute the four most important Buddhist pilgrimage spots. If you want to undertake a pilgrimage tour in Sarnath, then get your Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train bookings at the earliest. Here are four iconic structures that make the Buddha Stupa Sarnath tour so remarkable.
The Dhamek Stupa: Built-in 249 BCE by Mauryan king Ashoka, the Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath is one of the most visited and revered Buddhist structures in the world. In an attempt to spread Buddha’s message of love throughout his kingdom, Emperor Ashoka embarked on a tour to Sarnath and erected the Dhamek Stupa; marking the spot where the Buddha preached his first sermon. The most massive structure in Sarnath, its walls are exquisitely carved with figures of humans, birds, and inscriptions in the Brahmi script. Considered to be the sacred place where the voice of Buddhism was first heard, Buddha revealed his eightfold path leading to nirvana here and set the ‘Wheel of Dharma’ in motion. Complete your Buddhist circuit Sarnath tour in comfort onboard The Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train.
Ashoka Pillar: Beautifully depicting the four different stages of Lord Buddha’s life in the form of a lion, bull, elephant and horse, the Ashoka Pillar is one of the most celebrated structures at Sarnath. The famous lion capital of Ashoka, it is the national emblem of India and also a marker of Emperor Ashoka’s visit to Sarnath. The entire complex has a very serene vibe with several monks seen meditating around the compound. As these structures were erected in the 13th century, most of them are in ruins but the Ashokan pillar stands tall and attracts tourists from faraway places.
Sarnath Museum: Any Sarnath Buddhist tour is incomplete without a visit to the Sarnath Museum. Reckoned to be one of the major tourist attractions in Sarnath, this famous museum is home to a rare collection of edifices, sculptures, artifacts, and images. Founded in 1910, the amazing assortment of findings that were recovered from the excavation of various archaeological sites in Sarnath are showcased at this museum. Expect to encounter a remarkable array of Buddhist art, sculptures, and antiquities that date back to the 3rd century BCE. Presently, the museum houses more than 6800 artifacts along with five galleries that will delight the historian in you.