Sarnath: The Peaceful Land Filled with Lord Buddha’s Teachings
Sarnath: The Blessed Land of Buddha with Admirable Monuments and Natural Beauty
Though the city of Varanasi itself has so much to offer, you cannot miss out on the nearby locations. Sarnath is one such location on the outskirts you must visit during your stay. Though Sarnath is a religious pilgrimage spot for Buddhists, it is not limited to that.
The albeit small city has some of the most well-maintained parks and historical monuments in Varanasi. So, the visit is beyond just a religious experience, it would be a joyous exploration for anyone.
The History of Sarnath
You may know Sarnath as the famous place where Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon to his disciples. While the place is significant in religious history, it is as crucial in Varanasi’s culture. In earlier times, even before the 7th century- many monks lived in the area. The monasteries and teaching schools were prevalent even in those times.
Moreover, the place has a history of being rich in arts and architecture, that too, from diverse cultures. It has been a sacred spot for Buddhists, but an area near it named Singhpur was the birthplace of an influential preacher in Jainism. So, it is also very precious to Jains.
But even after being an abode to such a peaceful and harmony-loving community, the area could not escape the destruction. Qutb-ud-din Aibak, a Mughal commander, stormed the place and destroyed many essential temples and religiously crucial artifacts. Yet even after such invasions, Sarnath remains one of the holiest places.
Sarnath: A Peaceful Abode for Disciples
Sarnath is one of the four crucial pilgrimage spots for Buddhists to visit in their lives. It is also named Isipatana by Buddhists. If you know about Buddhism, you may know that this is the place Lord Buddha preached his first lecture.
He explained in detail the Four Noble Truths to some of his first disciples. It took place after he had been enlightened already. The sermon is known as Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, one of the crucial texts in the religion.
The Buddhist temples and stupas here make it a sacred site. But even for people not associated with the religion- the city is as important. Because it has so much to offer in terms of architecture, culture, etc.
The Importance of Sarnath in Varanasi Tourism
Sarnath is one of the most famous places to visit in Varanasi. And the designation is well deserved as it is the all-rounder location. The place has the perfect mix of culture, religion, nature, and many other things.
In the city’s tourism, the place plays a crucial role. It attracts many Buddhist tourists and visitors from around the world. So, it is an essential location for Varanasi to flourish in the tourism sector.
It has some of the most unique temples in Varanasi from varying cultures. You can find the main Buddhist temple, Japanese temple, Korean temple, etc. It is a great place to uncover multiple new cultures inside Varanasi.
Places To Visit in Sarnath
Sarnath Varanasi has multiple places to visit close by as it is rich in temples and gardens. Here are the most popular locations you can go to when in Sarnath-
- Dhamekh Stupa & Deer Park- Perhaps the most frequently visited place is the Sarnath Stupa or the Dhamekh Stupa. The monument and the park are in the same area so you can visit them. You can enjoy a day admiring the nature of the park while appreciating the monument’s value.
- Sarnath Buddhist Temple- The Buddhist Golden Temple is one of the most stunning temples in Sarnath. It is referred to as the Sarnath temple at times. Though the city has many other temples, this one is a must-visit due to its grand size and architecture.
- Sarnath Archeological Museum- You cannot miss out on one of the best museums in Varanasi. This museum features the Ashoka Stambh Sarnath, commonly known as the Ashoka Pillar. Aside from that, it also features a huge collection of artifacts.
Here are also some other places you can visit in Sarnath:
- Chaukhandi Stupa
- The Giant Buddha Statue
- Shri Digambar Jain Shreyansnath Mandir
- Vietnamese Buddhist Temple
- Korean Buddhist Temple
- Japanese Temple
- Chinese Buddhist Temple
Activities To Do in Sarnath
Sarnath is full of happening places and activities to do, but most people don’t know about them. While the monuments and architecture are admirable on their own, the area has much more to offer.
Here are some things you can do in the city of Sarnath when you visit:
Spend Some Peaceful Time in The Garden of Spiritual Wisdom
The Garden of Spiritual Wisdom is one of the most beautiful natural landscapes. However, while Deer Park is often bustling with tourists, the garden is quieter. So, you can relax and enjoy your time in the greenery here.
Explore the Massive Structure of the Giant Buddha Statue
The Giant Buddha Statue is a grand structure measuring 80 feet in height. So, you can imagine just how majestic the statue looks. It is an ideal place to visit to see what was once the tallest statue of Lord Buddha in the nation.
Discover Local and Continental Cuisine in the Sarnath Restaurants
Sarnath may have great hotels, but also boasts some of the best-rated restaurants. The highlights are mostly Tibetan restaurants that offer delicious meals. It is a fun experience if you wish to explore a culture gastronomically.
The ancient city of Varanasi may be most popular for its Hindu religion-related places, but there’s more. This city displays a beautiful harmony of many religions and cultures, promoting secularism.
Sarnath is one such place that features holy sites and religiously important monuments. But the religious sentiment is as important as the cultural value of the place. It is a must-visit location, no matter if you’re a tourist or local.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Sarnath a city?
Yes, Sarnath is a small city in the district of Varanasi. It is popular as both a tourist spot and a religious abode for Buddhist people. Currently, it plays a pivotal role in attracting more tourists to the city.
How long does it take to reach Sarnath from Varanasi?
The city is nearly 12 kilometres far from the main city centre. So, depending on the type of transportation you use, it can take between 40 minutes to 1.5 hours to reach it.
Does Sarnath have accommodation options?
Since Sarnath is a bustling place in Varanasi filled with tourists, you can find accommodation there. Many luxury, regular, and budget Varanasi hotels are located in the area.