Lord Buddha got enlightened in Bodhgaya and came to Sarnath where he preached his first sermon.
Later Ashoka the great visited the place and erected a stupa in honor of Lord Buddha. Many other stupas were erected subsequently and Sarnath came to be an important center of Buddhism.
HOW TO REACH
The little sleepy town lies close to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, which is one of the prime tourist destinations in India. So the best way to reach Sarnath is via Varanasi, which has an airport and a railway station with in the city.
The nearest airport to Sarnath is Varanasi, which is an important domestic airports in India. Nearly all public and private airlines operate regular flights to Varanasi connecting it to cities like: Delhi, Mumbai, Khajuraho. You may also approach Varanasi from Katmandu
The nearest Railhead for Sarnath is also Varanasi, which is one of the main Railway Stations in the region. A large number of important trains link Varanasi to the rest of India.
Sarnath lies only 10kms away from Varanasi by road. Varanasi as a major tourist destination and an important city in Uttar Pradesh is networked to a number of other important cities in India.
WHAT TO SEE
chaukhandi-stupaThe stupa was originally built by Ashoka the great after he converted to Buddhism.
Dhamek_stupa,_SarnathThis is the most remarkable tourist attraction in Sarnath. Built of a mixture of brick and of stone, the stupa is 28meters in diameter at the base and 43.6 mts. in height. Intricate floral carvings of Gupta origin adorn the structure.
Mulagandha Kuti Vihar:-
Mulagandha Kuti ViharThe monument is a later addition by the Mahabodhi Society. It showcases beautiful frescoes made by Kosetsu Nosu, Japan’s foremost painter and is a rich repository of Buddhist literature.
Excavations at Sarnath has revealed a large number of relics and images of Buddha and Bodhisattva. The museum has been constructed to house all these specimens. The collection includes the lion capital of Ashokan Pillar, which is today the emblem of Republic of India.
With its host of Stupas, Viharas and museums Sarnath showcases a forgotten past of Buddhism.
A bustling settlement of yore, Sarnath today looks like a deserted village with the ruins of Stupas and Viharas. So there are not many options for shopping in Sarnath. But the nearest city is Varanasi (link to Travel to Varanasi page), which offers great shopping delight. In you were a passionate shopper and keen on shopping in Sarnath, opt for shopping in Varanasi.
Highway Inn Restaurant, Ashapur crossing (about 1km from the center). Recommended for tasty masala lovers and eaters.
Holiday Inn, Main road (opposite Mahabodhi Temple entrance). 11.00-18.00.
One of 2-3 restaurants in Sarnath. Good food and reasonable prices. Opening hours limited and closed for holidays, weddings, funerals etc.