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Uttar Pradesh >>

Sarnath Tours

CRADLE OF BUDDHISM: Situated 10 km from Varanasi is the site where Buddha delivered his first sermon to his five disciples, preaching the middle path for attaining 'Nirvana'. Realizing the sanctity of the site, emperor Ashoka, in the 3rd century BC built some of the finest monuments and legacies. The 34-metre-high 'Dhamek' stupa stands as a remarkable structure. This contains the remains of Lord Buddha, while the Deer Park in Sarnath is where the Lord delivered his first sermon. The area is now graceful and pleasant, breathing the spirit of the enlightened one, aglow with the devotion of the many followers who inhabited it through the centuries that followed.

Location: Uttar Pradesh
Nearest City: Varanasi
Best Season: October-March
Languages: Hindi and English

NEARBY CITIES
Varanasi: 10-km

PRIME ATTRACTIONS
'Choukhandi' Stupa:

Raised by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1555 AD, it is believed to be the place where Buddha met his five disciples. The majestic Ashoka pillar records visit of emperor Ashoka to Sarnath. It was originally adorned by a capital of four lions, now housed in the Sarnath museum. The capital became the state emblem of modern India.

The Stupas:
The great Dhamekh stupa and dharmarajika stupas stand testimony to the great Buddhist activity. The most remarkable structure at Sarnath, is the cylindrical Dhamek stupa, 28 Mts. in diameter at the base and 43.6 Mts. in height, built partly of stone and partly of brick. The stone facing the lower part is adorned with delicate floral carvings of Gupta origin.

Archaeological Museum:
On display here, is a magnificent statue of the Buddha turning the wheel of law, and many other excavations that exhibit the flowering of the Indian Plastic arts.

Mulgandha Kuti Vihara:
The Tibetan Buddhist shrine, Mulgandha Kuti Vihara, built in 1930, enshrines sacred relics from various places and a life-size golden statue of the Buddha. Japanese artist, Kosetsu Nosu, decorates it with brilliant frescoes. There are also a few Chinese and Jain temples A 'Bodhi' tree growing on the campus is believed to be the offspring of one under which Buddha had attained enlightenment.

EXCURSIONS
Chunar:

The northern extreme of the Kaimur hills affords an impressive view of the invincible sandstone battlements of Chunar, which overlook a bend in the Ganges. Vikramaditya of Ujjain is said to be its earliest occupant, way back in 56 BC Chunar sandstone has been used for the past many centuries, most famously in the making of the Ashokan Pillar, which was highly polished for sheen and longevity.

Jaunpur:
Feroz Shah founded this dusty city 65kms northwest of Varanasi, in 1930. River Gomti, into two sectors bisects Jaunpur. The massive Akbari Bridge is a landmark of the region. Other attractions include Feroz Shah Fort and Atala Mosque.

HOW TO GET THERE
Air: Varanasi (Babatpur) Airport is the nearest airport. Commercial flights connect Varanasi to Kathmandu, Delhi, Agra and Mumbai.
Rail: Varanasi railway station is well connected to important cities.
Road: It is located on the National Highway No. 29 that also connects Varanasi and Gorakhpur.
Local Transport: Taxis, Auto-rickshaws, and Local Buses.

GENERAL INFORMATION
Main Festivals: Buddha Purnima (May), Kartik Purnima (Oct-Nov).
Area: 2.80 sq. km.
Altitude: 80.71 m.
Clothing: summer: Cottons.
Winter: Woolens.

 
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