Sarnath (Buddhist Pilgrimages )

Sarnath Just 10 Kilometers away from sacred Hindu city; Varanasi, the sacred most city for Buddhist world lies. It is also mentioned as Isipattan ( Rhishipattan in Sanskrit ) where Rishis ( sages ) used to land from Himalaya for the pilgrimage to Kashi ( the city of illumination, the city of light ), and Mrigday in Jatak tales which deals with one of the previous life of Buddha, when He was here as the king of deers. Sarangnath may also have derived from the world Sarang ( deer) Nath ( master / king ). Buddha spent six rainy season here including the very first one, when he formed Buddha Sangha.

Emperor Ashok constructed three memorial stupa ( Mool Gandh kuti, the place where Buddha used to stay in Sarnath; fragrant cottage, Dhammek stupa; the place of first sermon and Chaukhandi stupa; the meeting place with first five disapples. Moolgandh kuti later take the shape of 180 feet high & huge temple. He also constructed a relic stupa; Dharmarajika stups and some monasteries . The place was renovated many times from Kanishka ( 1t cent. A.D. till Kumar Devi, a queen of Kannauj ( 12th Cent. A.D.) and many other monasteries were added for pilgrims in which Dharmachakrajin Vihara is note worthy built by Kumar Devi. But after this period all destroyed during Muslim invasion Sarnath remain hidden from the world until 1876, when Jagat Singh, a minister of Kashi state open Dharmarajika stupa to use its beautifully carved stones for his house. He found a green Marvel casket which contained another metal casket with Buddha relics. Marvel casket is still in Kolkata museum but metal casket was thrown to Ganges river and could never found again.

In 1835, the place was well identified by British Archeologist Alexander Cunningham, but excavation started in 1905 only and same year one museum was constructed here to in-house the objects founded here. The four lion capital ( now National Emblem of India ), Statue of Bodhisatva with huge carved umbrella ( 1st Cent. A.D.), Image of Buddha in preaching posture ( 5th Cent. A.D.) and unfinished statue of Shiva, killing Andhakasure ( 12th Cent. A.D.) are some of the very remarkable objects, shown here.

General Information || How To Reach || Major Attractions
Dhamekha Stupa || Choukhandi Stupa || Ashoka Pillar || Sarnath Museum || Mulagandha Kuti Vihar || Bodhi Tree

General information about Sarnath Varanasi :
Country : India
State : Uttar Pradesh
Location : 10 Kilometers from the holy city of Varanasi.
Climate Winter : Cold (October to January)
Monsoon : Warm (July and August)
Summer : Hot (April to June)
Best time to visit : October to February
Significance : Lord Buddha preached his first sermon.
Languages : English and Hindi

Festivals in Sarnath Full Moon day of Vaishakha (April-May) celebrated as Buddha's birth and enlightenment. The Full Moon in the month of Asadh (July-August) rejoiced as the anniversary of Buddha's first sermon.

Tourist Attraction in Sarnath Varanasi :
Dhamekha Stupa : Dhamekha Stupa signifies 'the seat of the holy Buddha' and occupies the space of the most prominent structure at Sarnath. This is the spot where the Buddha delivered his first sermon. The size of the Stupa is 31.3 meter in height and 28.3 meter in diameter, while its lower part has been beautifully carved with stones.

Choukhandi Stupa : The Choukhandi Stupa is believed to be the place where the Buddha met his five disciples, including his favourite, Anand.

Ashoka Pillar : The great Indian emperor, Ashoka, when converted into a Buddhist, paid a visit to the holy place of Sarnath. A smooth glistening stone pillar, known better as the Ashoka Pillar, commemorates Ashoka's visit of Sarnath. The lion capital that was found on the top of the Ashoka pillar is now the National Emblem of India.

Sarnath Museum : The Sarnath museum is the proud owner of the Buddhist artifacts, manuscripts, and statues.

Mulagandha Kuti Vihar : This is a modern temple built by the Mahabodhi society and has excellent frescoes by a famous Japanese painter, Kosetsu Nosu.

Bodhi Tree : Bodhi tree is another sacred place for the Buddhists as it originated from the sapling of the Sri Lankan Bodhi tree, which is also a branch of the original Bodhi tree (Bodh Gaya) under which the Buddha attained enlightenment in 528 BCE.

How to reach Sarnath Varanasi :
Nearest Airport : Varanasi ( 28 Kilometer )
Nearest Railway Station : Varanasi Cant. ( 12 Kms ). Moghulsarai ( 20 Kms )
Nearest Bus Stand : Varanasi Cant ( 12 Kms ) / Golgadda ( 8 Kms )

Buddhist Tourist Pilgrimage in India

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