Various travel operators offer `Buddhist tours'.
Also, around Sarnath, there are various temples and monasterys of Burmese, Tibetan, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai origin and often with monks from those countries living there....
Sarnath is about half an hours drive out of benares. Its a sacred place for buddhists. The Buddha preached his first message here, after attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. On the day before his death, the Buddha named Sarnath as one the four places that his followers should consider sacred...
The well known Buddhist mantra, 'Buddham Sharanam Gachhami', is said to have originated here...
The statues outside are of the Buddha preaching to his first (five) disciples.
Situated on the holy river Ganges or Ganga, the river front is lined with hundreds of stairways known as ghats. Devout Hindus make pilgrimages from all over India just to bathe in the sacred river. It is believed that bathing in the river Ganges results in the lessening of sins and that dying in the holy city circumvents rebirth. Over a million pilgrims visit the city every year as well as foreign tourists
Varanasi is one of those very special places and even if you have never heard of the city, you will surely have heard of the might Ganges. Visiting at dawn is one of the highlights of experiencing the city. You will certainly leave with an indelible memory of a awesome sight.
The Buddha taught the `Middle path', which avoids extremes, the Four Noble Truths, and prescribed the Eight-fold path.
The Four Noble Truths:
1. There is suffering;
2. Suffering has a cause;
3. The cause is removable,
4. There are ways to remove the causes.
To remove the causes the Buddha prescribed an Eight-fold Path:
and Right view....
You can easily walk by this 'Main Shrine' without knowing. A shame, because the paintings inside are worth seeing and the stupa (round stone building with a relic inside) nearby is impressive. You can find out more about it in my TRAVELLOGUE!