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There are many places and sites that are associated with the Buddha and counted as one among the holiest of places is Sarnath. This site is just 10 kms from the holy hindu city of Varanasi and is especially revered as the first place the Buddha gave a sermon after attaining nirvana. The Sarnath temple in Uttar Pradesh is regularly visited by devout Buddhists as well as tourists throughout the year. There are many legends attached to this region in Uttar Pradesh and it is here that the Buddha also found his first 5 disciples. These disciples founded the Buddha Sangha, a community of monks that travelled across India to spread the teachings of this new religion. There are also some famous stupas here that have their own religious significance. Sarnath is home to the Dhamekh Stupa and the Choukhandi Stupa. The Dhamekh stupa is 34 meters high and is cylindrical in structure with an astounding diameter of 28 meters. The Choukhandi Stupa is believed to have been built at the very spot where Buddha gave his first discourse.
The Sarnath temple in Uttar Pradesh is also another reason for the number of visitors here every year. The Sarnath temple is a famous Jain temple and is also known as the Digambara Jain Temple and followers of Jainism believe that the 11th Tirthankara Shreyanshnath was born. The birthday of this saint is an important day and there are thousands of people who come here to pray and to receive blessings. Apart from this Sarnath temple in Uttar Pradesh there are many attractions here to make a trip here definitely worthwhile. The spiritual feeling is apparent and there are also a few history lessons to be learnt here while touring the place. The Mahabodhi temple in Sarnath also has a relic of the Buddha and this has a tooth that has been preserved carefully by the Mahabodhi Society. The famous Ashoka Pillar is also in Sarnath and it got its name from the Emperor Ashoka, who converted to Buddhism and was a major role player in spreading the religion to Sri Lanka and the Far East. This ancient Ashoka Pillar is now also famous as an emblem of India.