Sarnath-History and Tour | सारनाथ इतिहास और दर्शन

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We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

Sarnath, one such historical heritage of India, where Lord Buddha gave his first speech after attaining enlightenment in 533 before Christ. In history, this event was named as Dharma Chakra Pravartan and this speech became famous as Dharma Chak Pravartan Sutra. Sarnath is a famous Buddhist shrine located about 10 km from Varanasi. Earlier it was named ‘ Rishipattan Mrigdaay’ which was known as the deer forest.

Mohammad Ghaznavi attacked and destroyed Sarnath shrines in 1017. In 1905, the Department of Archeology excavated here. Many of the remains found in the excavation can be seen in the Indian Museum in Kolkata. The remains and tunnels of the excavation can still be seen near the Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath. In addition to the Ashoka pillar, a large number of sculptures and inscriptions have been found in the excavation. Among the prominent idols are the huge recorded idol of the Bodhisattva, the seated Buddha statue, Avalokiteshwara, the Bodhisattva, Manjushri, Neelkanth idols and statues of Tara, Vasundhara etc. Which are kept in the museum of Sarnath.

Main Attractions of Sarnath Archaeological Museum, Dhamekh Stupa, Thai Temple and Math, Moolagandha Koot Vihar, Chaukhandi Stupa, Japanese Temple, Chinese Temple convent, Buddha Temple, Ashoka Pillar.

Moolagandha Kuti is the temple of Gautama Buddha. Chinese traveler Xuanzang, who came to India in the seventh century, described it as the 200-foot-tall Moolgandh Kuti Vihar. The carved shells and small pillars built on this temple suggest that it must have been built in the Gupta period. Next to the temple are sculptures made by Gautam Buddha giving initiation to his five disciples.

Dharmarajika Stupa, it was built by Ashoka. In 1794, Jagat Singh’s men took out the bricks of Kashi to build Jagatganj, the famous mohalla. It is believed that it has the ashes of Lord Buddha. The coffin excavated from the stupa is kept in the Kolkata Museum.

Chaukhandi Stupa is quite revered for the Buddhist community. There are many signs associated with Gautama Buddha here. The Chaukhandi Stupa is believed to have been constructed as a terraced temple. An octagonal tower is located atop the stupa. Hiuen-Tsang called it the highest stupa of that period. It is also believed that Lord Buddha met his first disciples when he was traveling from Bodh Gaya to Sarnath.

 Ashoka Pillar: The Ashoka Pillar is also known as Sarnath Pillar. It was built in the 3rd century before Christ. Four lions sit on the top of the pillar at Sarnath and all have their backs adjacent to each other. India has adopted the Ashoka Pillar of Sarnath as a national symbol. Apart from this, the chakra located at the bottom of the Ashoka pillar is placed in the central part of the Indian tricolor. The original height of the Ashoka Pillar was 17 meters.

Dhamek Stupa : The construction of Dhamek Stupa in 500 AD by Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Empire in 249 BC. Was built in place of a former stupa built in. This is the most attractive structure of Sarnath. The base diameter of this cylindrical stupa is 28 meters while its height is 43.6 meters. The lower floor of the stupa is decorated with magnificent flowers.

Archaeological Museum

It is the oldest museum, which was established in 1904. It has a repository of antiquities dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 12th century CE. In which, in addition to statues of Buddha in many postures, giant statues, umbrellas etc. are kept in the standing posture of the monk Bala Bodhisattva.

National Temple:

Sarnath also contains six national temples of various Asian countries. It also includes Sri Lankan temples, Thai temples, Japanese temples, Chinese temples, Buddha temples and Tibetan temples.

How to reach Sarnath

Varanasi city can be reached by road, by plane and by train, and Sarnath can be reached by road from there.

When to reach: The best time to visit Sarnath is during October to March. Tourists can visit Sarnath during the festival of Makar Sakranti, Dussehra, Buddha Poornima and Holi.

How to reach

Air: The nearest airport to Sarnath is Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport which is situated at a distance of 24 km.

Rail route: Varanasi Junction railway station is a better option for those who like to travel by train at a distance of 7 km from Sarnath.

By Road: Local buses, rickshaws and taxis are also available from Varanasi to Sarnath.

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