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Sarnath, about 10 kms from the holy city of Varanasi , is the blessed locale where more than 2,500 years ago Buddha chose to deliver his first sermon, after attaining Nirvana. 

The five disciples who had followed him were surprised to see the mesmerizing glowing countenance of Buddha, who convinced them and delivered his first sermon before them, now termed Dharamachakra Pravartan. 

This set in motion the great Buddhist tradition of the Sangha, for popularising the teachings of the great ascetic, world-wide.

Gautam Buddha with his five disciples formed the first Sangha along with Yasa of Varanasi and his 54 friends.

The beginning of the celebrated Mantra, ‘Buddham Sharanam Gachhami’, owes its origin to Sarnath. The three Jewels

  • I go for refuge to the Buddha,

  • I go for refuge to the Wheel of Law,

  • I go for refuge to the Sangha”

first laid down here, have remained unchanged ever since. Hence rightly, every Buddhist Pilgrim after Bodhgaya, endeavours to be blessed with a visit to Sarnath in his life time.

Dhamekh Stupa bears particular significance at Sarnath as it signifies the “seat of the holy Buddha”, as he proclaimed his faith. It is about 34 mtrs. in height and including the foundations, it can be measured upto 42 mtrs. Besides Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath also has the ruins of Dharmajajika Stupa and that of the original Mulgandhakuti Temple which according to Hieun Tsang was about 61 mtrs. high. Buddha is said to have rested and meditated here while in Sarnath.

Emperor Ashoka (273-232 B.C.), converted to Buddhism after the Kalinga war and also visited Sarnath. A smooth glistening stone pillar, called the Ashoka Pillar commemorates his visit and laid the foundation of the Buddhist Sangha here. The Lion Capital on top of this pillar is now the National Emblem of India.

The Chaukhandi Stupa was originally a terraced temple during the Gupta period (4th to 6thCentury). However in 1588 A.D., Govardhan, the son of Raja Todarmal, built an octagonal tower to commemorate the visit of Humayun-father of Akbar. Govardhan later went on to become the Governor under Akbar’s rule.

Similarly Akbar, the great Mughal Emperor who revered all religions alike, raised the Chaukhandi Stupa in 1555 A.D.

The best time to visit :-  The best time to visit Sarnath is between October to March

How To Get There Sarnath is located in Uttar Pradesh
By Air  
he Nearest Airport is at Varanasi .
By Train 
The nearest Rail Head is at Varanasi 
By Road 
Sarnath is 10 Km from Varanasi,140 Km Allahabad 320 Km from Lucknow 

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