Sarnath Things to Do

  • Buddha Statue crowds
    Buddha Statue crowds
    by Herkbert
  • Dhamekha stupa
    Dhamekha stupa
    by Herkbert
  • Remains of the Dharmarajika Stupa
    Remains of the Dharmarajika Stupa
    by Herkbert

Most Recent Things to Do in Sarnath

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    See the Statue of Standing Buddha

    by Herkbert Written Nov 4, 2014

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    On your way to or from the Buddhist Temples and Deer Park, stop at the Thai Buddha vihar to worship or just see the standing Buddha statue. With a height o 80 ft, it is the tallest standing Buddha statue and was built over 14 years as a result of an Indo-Thai joint effort.

    We were told that there are actually no pictures or paintings of Buddha, so all the statues that we would see during our travels were only "artistic depictions" of Buddha. That would explain why there have been so many different statues that we've seen. Interesting.

    Statue of Buddha Four-sided Lion Cap Buddha Statue crowds
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    Visit the Buddha Deer park in Sarnath

    by Herkbert Written Nov 4, 2014

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    The Deer Park in Sarnath is said to be the place where Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kaundinya.

    One the the significant sites to see is the Dhamekha Stupa. It is a solid brick structure standing nearly 144 ft tall. In addition, the remains of the Dharmarajika Stupa, which was demolished in a quest to find treasure are located there. It is a place to see and learn the story of Buddha and his teachings. A simple walk through the park with a guidebook will leave you enlightened.

    Dhamekha stupa Remains of the Dharmarajika Stupa Plaque near entrance to park
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    Mulagandha Kuti Vihar

    by anilpradhanshillong Updated Mar 29, 2012

    The Mulagandha Kuti Vihar built by the Mahabodhi Society, is a modern temple. It has brilliant frescoes painted by Kosetsu Nosu Japan's celebrated painter. The building houses rare Buddhist literature. Behind the temple is the bodhi tree, the sapling of which was brought from the original tree in Bodh Gaya, the tree under which Buddha meditated and gained Enlightenment almost 2,500 years ago.

    First Written: Mar. 29, 2012

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    The Sarnath Ruins

    by anilpradhanshillong Written Mar 29, 2012

    The place is now mostly in ruins but what beautiful ruins. As you wander about the ruins, you see the massive stupa, the remnants of the Ashoka Pillar, the Lion Capital, various stupas, Dharma Chakra, the monasteries and the Jin-Vihara. It is to the credit of Mr. Duncan and Cole Mackenzie who first discovered the holy site in 1798. They were followed by Alexander Cunniham, Major Kittoe and others who painstakingly excavated the site as mentioned in the plaque at the entrance to the place. It is considered auspicious to walk around the great Stupa in a clock-wise manner and, if you really want to, walk around it 108 times.

    First Written: Mar. 29, 2012

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    Archaeological Museum

    by anilpradhanshillong Updated Mar 29, 2012

    Next to this, a bit further down to your left is the Archaeological Museum, a veritable treasure house. There are five galleries and two verandahs. The Lion Capital of Ashoka, with the four-sided lions head, India's National Emblem, awaits you in the main hall. This is the original one. Behind this, against the wall is the Ashokan Pillar with the re-created Dharma Chakra. The other antiquities are from the 3rd century BC to the 12th century AD. Numerous Buddha and Bodhisattva images are on display here.

    Sir John Marshall, the-then Director General of Archaeology in India, was the pioneer in establishing the Archaeological Museum at Sarnath. The building was completed in 1910 and the museum opened to the public the same year. This museum has nearly 7,000 antiquities.

    It remains open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, except on Fridays.

    First Written: Mar. 29, 2012

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    Chaukhandi Stupa

    by anilpradhanshillong Updated Mar 29, 2012

    Just as you near the Archaeological Museum on your left is the Chaukhandi Stupa. It is on a high mound of bricks. It was supposedly built by Emperor Ashoka. Nearby is India’s tallest statue of Lord Buddha (80 ft), built in an area of 2.5 acres and consisting of 815 stones.

    First Written: Mar. 29, 2012

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    The Dhamekh Stupa

    by Rupanworld Updated Sep 6, 2007

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    The Dhamek stupa at Sarnath is a beautiful sight. It was built in 500 AD. and it is said to be built at the place where the Budhha first gave his sermon. At the bottom of the huge stupa, there are beautiful floral curvings on stone. There is also a stone slab with Buddhist inscriptions on it that dates back to the 6th century BC. The place around the Dhamekh stupa is very green and soothing.

    On way to the Dhamekh Stupa

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    The Lion Capital - Ashoka Pillar

    by Rupanworld Updated Sep 6, 2007

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    Emperor Ashoka, who spread Lord Buddha's message of love and compassion throughout his vast empire, came to Sarnath around 234 BC and constructed the Ashoka pillar with the Lion Capital on top of it. Today, this pillar has been ruined but in Sarnath archaeological Museum one can see the magnificent Lion Capital, which once crowned the top of the Ashoka pillar at Sarnath. This top broke off and is stored in the museum. It is today the national symbol of India (can be seen in currency notes and coins).

    The broken top of the Ashoka pillar The remains of the original Ashoka pillar

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    The Deer park

    by Rupanworld Written Sep 6, 2007

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    There is a beautiful Deer Park at Sarnath. It is said that this park houses deers that are the direct descendents of the original deer, living thousands of years ago in Sarnath when the Great Buddha preached here.

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    Sarnath archaeological museum

    by Rupanworld Updated Aug 8, 2007

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    The Sarnath archaeological Museum is a great collection of Buddhist sculptures, inscriptions, The Buddha's statues and pottery. Some of the finest images/idols of the Buddha and panels depicting important episodes from his life can be found here. One also finds the top of the Ashoka pillar, once forming part of the pillar and now the national symbol of India.

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    The Japanese Temple

    by Rupanworld Updated Aug 8, 2007

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    The Japanese temple at Sarnath is situated in a very calm and serene environment. The place is also very clean. There is a huge golden statue of the sleeping Buddha inside the temple. This temple is very close to the Dhamek stupa

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    Chinese Temple

    by Rupanworld Updated Aug 8, 2007

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    This is a piture of the chinese temple at Sarnath. This is very close to Dhamek Stupa. Infact, one can enter the Dhamek Stupa from the back side of this temple. This is a very smal but beautiful temple.

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    Sleeping Buddha at Japanese Temple

    by Rupanworld Updated Aug 8, 2007

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    Very near to the Dhamek Stupa, infact a walking distance only, is situated the Japanese temple in a very calm and serene environment. There is this huge golden idol of sleeping Buddha that I really liked. Must check out.

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    The big bell near Mulgandh Kuti Vihar

    by Rupanworld Written Jul 19, 2007

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    This is a huge (but very beautiful) bell near the Mulgandha Kuti Vihar temple. We tried ringing it, and I bet it's one hell of a job. The sight is beautiful, and the sorrounding place is so very attractive and cool.

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    Archaeological Museum

    by Willettsworld Written Jul 8, 2007

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    This is the Archaeological Museum in Sarnath which is located just opposite the entrance to the ruins. The single most famous exhibit of this museum is the lion capital which has four back-to-back lions and has been adopted as the national symbol of India. It used to sit on the Ashokan Pillar that dates from the 3rd century BC of which fragments still remain in the ruins site. The Sarnath Museum has a small but amazing collection of Buddhist artifacts. Among the things to see is a beautiful sculpture of the Buddha from the 5th century. The Buddha sits cross-legged with eyes downcast in deep meditation and a halo around his head.

    Of other Buddhist remains there is an impressive and amazingly beautiful life-size standing Bodhisattva and a delicate image of the Bodhisattva with a lotus and yet another bronze sculpture showing the Bodhisattva with multiple arms. The museum also houses an excellent collection of figures and sculptures from the Mauryan, Kushana and Gupta periods. Prominent of them is the earliest Buddha image found at Sarnath and many images of Hindu Gods dating from the 9th to 12th centuries.

    Open: 10am-5pm Sat-Thur. Closed on Fridays. Admission: Rs200 for foreigners.

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    • Archeology
    • Museum Visits

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