Sarnath Travel Guide

  • Sarnath
    by anilpradhanshillong
  • Sarnath
    by anilpradhanshillong
  • Sarnath
    by anilpradhanshillong

Sarnath Highlights

  • Pro
    Rupanworld profile photo

    Rupanworld says…

     A very, very holy city, very green, and very peaceful 

  • Con
    Rupanworld profile photo

    Rupanworld says…

     Roads connecting to Sarnath are dusty 

  • In a nutshell
    Rupanworld profile photo

    Rupanworld says…

     Want to come closer to Buddha, come to Sarnath 

Sarnath Things to Do

  • Mulagandha Kuti Vihar

    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...

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  • The Sarnath Ruins

    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...

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  • Archaeological Museum

    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...

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  • Chaukhandi Stupa

    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 five followers of Buddha

    Near the Mulgandh Kuti Vihara temple, one can see the bigger than life idols of The Buddha and his five disciples, while the Buddha is teaching his sermons.

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  • The Dhamekh Stupa

    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...

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Sarnath Restaurants

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    by sandravdp Written Sep 7, 2002

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    There aren't many restaurants here. I have heared about the Rangoli Garden restaurant, it should be okay. I didn't go there. I'd rather buy fresh fruit at the market here or a snack at one of the shops...

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Sarnath Nightlife

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    by sandravdp Written Sep 7, 2002

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    I wasn't here at night, so I really don't know. Maybe there are some religious rituals held at night. Otherwise you should just enjoy the stars while having a late night dinner.

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Sarnath Transportation

  • hari gatt to sarnath

    sarnath is only 13 kms from varanasi. But choose not to go on friday becoz the museum will be closed on all fridays. I hired a auto riskaw to go to and from sarnath from varanasi hari chandra gatt. The driver agreed 300 to go and come. But once i reached sarnath i local person introduced himself as guide asked me to hire him for 30 rs who got...

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  • How to go?

    Sarnath is just 10 kilometers away from Varanasi. So the best way to come to this city if you are in Varanasi is just taxi a taxi/other motor vehicle on hire and it will take you a maximum of half an hour to reach there. The reason it takes such a time is because of the dusty, broken road at places.

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  • Auto Rick to Sarnath

    I took an auto rickshaw to Sarnath, located about 10km north of Varanasi where Buddha preached his message of the middle way to nirvana. I agreed a price of Rs150 with my driver before we set off which included the trip there, waiting time and the trip back. Considering I spent about 2 hours visiting and the journey there and back was another 45...

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Sarnath Shopping

  • Rupanworld's Profile Photo
    The Buddha 4 more images

    by Rupanworld Updated Sep 6, 2007

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    There are rows of shops (temporary) on both sides of the road near the archaeological museum at Sarnath.

    What to buy: There are beautiful miniature idols of Lord Buddha and also animals, birds etc. on marble or stone that are worth buying as a token. The prices are minimum but have to bargain.

    What to pay: For a 3 inch tall idol of Buddha in white marble, expect to pay Rs. 30/- as a good bargain. (See picture here)

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Sarnath Local Customs

  • Buddham Saranam Gachchami

    At Sarnath, there the Buddha, the Buddha and only the Buddha everywhere. There is a great influence of Buddhism in this place. Its very calm and peaceful, not much tourists, nor much traffic. There are sculptures, idols, inscriptions etc. on the Buddha everywhere you go. Nice experience.

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  • Archaeology

    You can witness current archaeological excavations that are still taking place on the site. It looks like the actual excavating is performed by men and women work in close proximenty by taking away dirt in dishes on their heads.

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  • Festivals

    The main festivals of Sarnath are : the Kalchakra festival, Buddha Purnima and the full moon day of Vaisakha. The latter celebrates the anniversary of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death while Buddha Purnima celebrates his birth. At this time, all the Buddha relics are take out in procession.The full moon day of Vaisakha (April-May) The full...

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Sarnath Warnings and Dangers

  • Security

    Security is tight at all religious and important sites throughout India. Before entering the grounds of the Archaeological Museum you will need to leave large bags and cameras outside and also be screened. Obviously no photos are allowed to be taken inside. There is no problem with other places but you will still see fully armed security guards...

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  • Only the pickpockets again....

    Only the pickpockets again. Nothing much further.On the picture: a poster, but I can't read it. Maybe it says 'wanted' or maybe 'missing' or it also can be an election poster. Who knows?may 08 2002: meanwhile several VT- members told me it was a college election poster. So it doesn't really belong to the warning & danger tips :o) LOL

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  • Sarnath Hotels

    0 Hotels in Sarnath

Sarnath Tourist Traps

  • Hawkers

    Many of the hawkers that bombard you in Sarnath are children. They will attempt to sell you anything from postcards to miniature temples. At times the mob was so bad that we sought refuge in the bus even though we could have walked the short distance. Inside the park itself was not as bad and some children were happy to ignore us and just play...

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  • Don't drink tabwater or any...

    Don't drink tabwater or any other water that isn't cooked or doesn't come from a sealed mineral bottle. Best brands here: Yes!, Bisleri and Evian.Watch out for pickpockets. They come stand near you and talk while they take your wallet.

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Sarnath What to Pack

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    by sandravdp Written Sep 7, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Wear long sleaves, long trousers or a dress especially here! This is a religious place. Also wear slippers, they are easy to get off when you want to enter a temple.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Slippers

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Suncream, anti mosquitospray, malariapills, anti diarhoeapills.

    Photo Equipment: You can buy film here, but the quality will be rather lousy.

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Sarnath Off The Beaten Path

  • Buddhist tours

    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....

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  • The Buddha's sermon

    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...

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  • Varanasi

    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...

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Sarnath Favorites

  • Some Hindi words for help

    So here's some Hindi words commonly used that might make your travel to Sarnath simpler:Water (Paani), Food (Khana), Lane (Gali), Road (Rasta), House (Ghar), The Ganges (Ganga), Money (Rupiya), How much? (Kitna?), Where? (Kidhar?), How? (Kaise?), Why? (Kiu?), Who? (Kaun?), When? (Kab?), Price (Kimat), Cloth (Kapra), Tea (Chai), Yes (Ha), No (Nehi),...

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  • Gaylord icecream????

    Ok you have to have some funny pictures for the homefront. I've seen these icevendors in other parts of Uttar pradesh. Over here i took a nice picture of them though.

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  • Muslim peoples

    Here in Sarnath has many Muslims, just click the photo to see in details. The women here dressed the Arabic way of full black robe, they covered completely using a piece of black but transparent cloth all over the face. Very obviously they are Muslims.

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Explore Deeper into Sarnath
The Lion Capital - Ashoka Pillar
Things to Do
The Deer park
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Sarnath archaeological museum
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The Japanese Temple
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Chinese Temple
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Golden statue of the Buddha
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Sleeping Buddha at Japanese Temple
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The big bell near Mulgandh Kuti Vihar
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Archaeological Museum
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Chaukhandi Stupa
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Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery
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Bodhi tree
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Mulagandha Kuty Vihara
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Sri Digamber Jain Temple
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Dhamekh Stupa
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Deer Park
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Dharma Chakra-Jin Vihar
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Mulgandha Kuti
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Dharmarajika Stupa
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Monolithic Railing
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Ashoka Pillar
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Sarnath ruins
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Mulgandha Kuti Vihar
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How to get to Sarnath
Transportation
Archeology survey
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Archeological site
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Mulgandha Kuti Vihara temple
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The Japanese Temple
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Sarnath Museum
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Visting saranath
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Taxi from Varanasi to Saranath
Transportation
Buddhist Monks
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Dharmarajika Stupa
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Getting Around
Transportation
Circumambulating
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Anagarika Dharmapala
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Getting There
Transportation
Ancient Monasteries
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Deer Park
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Golden Buddha
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Map of Sarnath

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