Located: In the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh
Majore Touris Atttraction: Museums , Stupas
Nearest Destination: Jaunpur, Chunar, Varanasi, Kushinagar, Allahabad
When to Visit: October to March
Sarnath is one of the most famous Buddhist centers of India and is located 6 km north Varanasi – in Uttar Pradesh. There are four important places in the life of Buddha: Where he was born (Lumbini, Nepal), where he gained enlightenment (Bodh Gaya, India), where he gave his first sermon (Sarnath, India) and where he left his mortal body (Kushinager, India).
Buddhist worldwide look upon India as the land of the Buddha and a visit to this country means a pilgrimage to those place sacred to the memory of the Enlightened one.
After the Buddha attained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya he came to Sarnath. Here in the Deer Park, he delivered his first sermon, or in religious language, set in motion the Wheel of Law (Maha-Dharmachakra Pravartan). Several Buddhist structures were raised at Sarnath between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, and today it presents the most expansive ruins amongst places on the Buddhist trail. Sarnath is 10 km from the holy city of Varanasi and is an exceedingly tranquil place.
The ruins, the museum and the temple are all within walking distance. Also see the bodhi tree whose sapling was brought from a tree in Sri Lanka, which in turn originated from the original tree under which Buddha Ashok Stambhat in Bodh Gaya and gained enlightenment 2,500 years ago.
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