Sarnath Buddhist Circuit
Sarnath is a holy place where Gautam Buddha revealed the truth, the Dharma to his disciples. After attaining enlightenment Gautam Buddha headed for Sarnath to deliver his first sermon or Maha Dharma Chakra Pravartan (to set in motion the wheel of law). Sarnath is a beautiful deer park which offers peace in plenty. Located near the sacred city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Sarnath occupies an important place in the Buddhist circuit. The Great King Ashoka came to Sarnath in 234 BC and erected a stupa here. Later several other Buddhist structures were established at Sarnath during the period between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD.
Attractions Of Sarnath
Carved beautifully out of bricks, Chaukhandi Stupa is a wonderful earthen mound. According to sources, the great king Ashoka established the original structure.
On your tour to Sarnath you must not miss Dhamek Stupa as it is one of the most beautiful stupas in Sarnath. Beautifully built with stone and bricks, the stupa is 28 m in diameter and 43.6 m in height. The stupa mesmerizes the visitors with its exquisite floral carvings, reflecting the creativity of the Gupta period.
Mulgandha Kuti Vihara
Renowned for its architectural beauty, Mulgandha Kuti Vihara is an arresting temple built by the Mahabodhi Society. Towering to a height of 110 feet, it was the place where Buddha stayed during his trips to Sarnath. The mind-blowing murals adorning the temple were painted by one of the most famed painters of Japan, Kosetsu Nosu. The temple houses rare collections of Buddhist literature. Although the temple is in ruins, it still has a unique charm of its own.
Almost in ruins, Dharmarajika Stupa attracts many a tourist. It is believed that its foundation was laid by king Ashoka in the 3rd century to enshrine the Buddhist relics. Later the subsequent rulers made their contributions to the Stupa by increasing it in area.
There is a wonderful museum at Sarnath, where rare articles related to the Buddha? are on display. The beautiful Buddha sculptures, Bodhisattva images and some of the finest pieces of the Buddhist art can be seen here.
Buddha Purnima, commemorating the birth of Lord Buddha is a wonderful festival celebrated with great joy in Sarnath. It attracts devotees from far and wide.