Located very close to the Hinduism city of Varanasi, Sarnath is a very famous Buddhism site in India. Endowed with Buddhism monuments, deer park and other attractions, this place is a treat for everyone. This is the place where Gautam Buddha first taught the Dharma and Buddhist Sangha came into existence.
What to See in Sarnath?
1. Dhamekh Stupa
King Ashoka built this monument in 300 BC to mark his pilgrimage to Sarnath. This monument is built in the exact location where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon.
2. Chaukhandi Stupa
This 5th century monument is famous for its architectural factor in North India. You can find an octagonal tower, which has Islamic features.
3. Mulagandhakuti Vihara
This is an ancient temple, which is now in ruins. According to history, Buddha took shelter in this tower during rainy days, during his visit to Sarnath.
4. Sarnath Archaeological Museum
This is a small museum, which is famous for the broken capital of Ashoka Pillar, ancient sculptures, Buddhism artwork and others. The museum is closed on Fridays.
5. Sri Digambar Jain temple
This is a small temple located very close to Dhamekh Stupa. Apart from this, you can find many other temples including a Sri Lankan styled temple in Sarnath.
6. Deer Park
This park has many deers that roam freely. You can also spot many birds during winter season. There is a beautiful garden inside the park and you can find a few relics inside.
How to Reach Sarnath?
The nearest airport is located in Varanasi, which is 24 km away from Sarnath. Varanasi is well connected with many important international airport destinations like Delhi, Mumbai and others. From airport, you can find buses or taxis to reach Sarnath. The nearest railway station is located in Varanasi, 6 km away from city. There is a small station in Sarnath, which is served by very few trains. Indian Luxury Trains are also connected with Varanasi. If you choose luxury trains then Indian Panorama Journey of Maharaja Express will get you here. You can find buses to Sarnath from Varanasi railway station too.You can find taxis and autos from different destinations from Varanasi to Sarnath.
When to Visit Sarnath?
The best time to visit is from October to March. This is the winter season of the region. During this season, the temperature will be mild and easy for sightseeing. Showers are rare and humidity will be less. This is the prime tourism season of many destinations in India and thus, you can find many attractions, close to Varanasi.
Monsoon starts in July and ends in September. The place receives moderate to high rainfall. The frequent rainfall makes it harder to explore the place. Summers start in March and end in June. Temperature and humidity will be very high. Dehydration is very common during summer.
What to Eat in Sarnath?
The cuisine of Sarnath is closely liked with Tibetan cuisine. You can also find Chinese cuisine in this region. Top dishes to enjoy are momos, Indian snacks, naan and others.
What to Buy in Sarnath?
You can find very few shops in this region. Most of the shops open by 10 in the morning and closes by 5 in the evening. Top things to buy are replica of monuments and artifacts, Buddha statues and other articles.
What to Wear in Sarnath?
There is no strict rule in clothing here. Since it is a pilgrimage site, it is better to wear conservative clothing. Wear dresses that cover at least up to your knee. This holds good for both the genders. Remove your footwear when you enter any temple. Always explore the monuments in clockwise direction. Avoid stepping up on any ruins of statues that you find on the floor.