Saranath The Buddhist Sacred Destination | Select | Places |

Buddhists worldwide look upon India as the land of the Buddha and a visit to this country means a pilgrimage to those places sacred to the memory of the Enlightened One.

After the Buddha attained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya he came to Sarnath. Here in the Deer Park, he delivered his first sermon, or in religious language, set in motion the Wheel of Law (Maha-Dharmachakra Pravartan.). On the day before his death Buddha included Sarnath along with Lumbini, Bodh Gaya and Kushinagar as the four places he thought to be sacred to his followers.

The Emperor Ashoka, who spread Lord Buddha’s message of love and compassion throughout his vast empire, visited Sarnath around 234 BC, and erected a stupa here. Several Buddhist structures were raised at Sarnath between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, and today it presents the most expansive ruins amongst places on the Buddhist trail. Sarnath is 10 km from the holy city of Varanasi, and is an exceedingly tranquil place. The ruins, the museum and temple are all within walking distance.  

  • Area: 2.80 sq. km.
  • Altitude: 80.71 (1991 census)
  • Season: October-March
  • Clothing: Summer - Cottons; Winter - Woolens
  • Language: Hindi and English
  • Festivals : Buddha Purnima (Full Moon, April-May), Anniversary of First Sermon (Full Moon, July-August)
  • Local Transport : Buses/Cycle-Rickshaws/Taxis
  • STD Code: 0542


  • Just 10 km away from Varanasi  is Sarnath, a highly revered Buddhist pilgrimage centre. It is believed that after getting enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, Lord Buddha preached his first sermon, sanctified as Maha Dharm Chakra Parivartan, at Sarnath
  • The great Dhamekh Stupa and several other structures stand testimony to the importance the place enjoyed at that time
  • The Chaukhandi Stupa is the place where, during his first visit to Sarnath, Lord Buddha met his first five disciples
  • The area is a treasure trove of archaeological findings such as Dharmrajika Stupa and Mulgandhkuti Vihar
  • The smooth glistening pillar established by Emperor Ashoka in 273-232 B.C. marks the foundation of the Buddhist Sangha, and the Lion Capital atop this pillar is now India's National Emblem


Chaukhandi Stupa

Dhamek Stupa

Mulagandha Kuti Vihar

Sarnath Museum

Modern Reception Centre



The nearest airport is Babatpur : 30 Km.


There are passenger trains plying daily between Sarnath.


Sarnath, 10- km from Varanasi, is well connected by road to other destinations of the state.

This Article is Posted on 16 Apr 2015 in Travel Section and Places