Sarnath is a quaint deer park situated near the Holy city of Varanasi (Benaras) in Uttar Pradesh. This is of the four main Buddhist Pilgrim destinations in India and is posthumously known as the place where Lord Gautama Buddha delivered his first sermon. Being an important tourist and pilgrim destination, this beautiful city attracts many visitors from India and abroad round the year and has been mentioned in many Buddhist scriptures.
Sarnath or Isipatana is popular for many Buddhist relics that find their presence in this deer park spread across the land. There are many popular beliefs related to the existence of this great pilgrim destination and one such story narrates that Lord of the Deer ‘Bodhisattva’ offered his life to the king who was planning to kill the deer and being utterly moved by this gesture the king built a Deer Park to protect these species. The Deer park has many fascinating deer’s even today and sees a footfall of many tourists. Most of the relics and ancient buildings of Sarnath were destroyed completely or partially during the Turk invasion of India however few of them that lie in ruins are still revered upon such as The Dhamek Stupa, The Dharmarajika Stupa- a historical pre-Ashokan stupa, The Chaukhandi Stupa- currently under renovation, this stupa symbolises the place where Lord Buddha met his first disciples, The Mulagandhakuti Vihara- a beautiful Buddhist temple decorated by frescos and teachings of Buddha, Ashoka Pillar, Sarnath archaeological museum- houses the statue of Buddha in a Dharmachakra position along with our National Emblem- the Ashoka pillar. Besides these there are various monasteries built in Sarnath by followers from many countries like Tibet, China, Japan, etc. reflecting their traditional style of architecture.
Enjoy a peaceful time in this holy Buddhist city of Sarnath!