Sarnath

SARNATH

Sarnath, 10km from Varanasi, is one of the most revered Buddhist pilgrimage centers. After attaining the Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, it was here that Lord Buddha preached his first sermon, sanctified as Maha Dharm Chakra Pravartan. The great Dhamekh Stupa and several other structures stand testimony to the importance the place enjoyed at that time. The Chaukhandi Stupa is the place where, during his first visit to Sarnath, Lord Buddha met his first five disciples. The area is a treasure trove of archaeological findings such as Dharmrajika Stupa and Mulgandhkuti Vihar. The smooth glistening pillar established by Emperor Ashoka in 273-232 B.C. marks the foundation of the Buddhist Sangha, and the Lion Capital atop this pillar is now India's National Emblem. Its reputation as a center of Buddhist learning spreads far and wide and is a revered location and a great attraction for tourists from across the world.

 

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