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Sarnath

3.5 / 5 61 votes

Weather:

Ideal duration: 1 day

Best time: Oct-Mar (Read More)

Nearest Airport: Varanasi (Check Flights)

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"One of the four holiest places to the Buddhists"

Sarnath Tourism

A quiet and spiritual town set amidst the otherwise densely populated state of Uttar Pradesh, Sarnath is a city of historical marvel with numerous Buddhist stupas, museums, excavated ancient sites and beautiful temples that prove to be a source of immense wonder and astonishment to tourists due to their mystical and serene setting. Being just 10 kms from Varanasi, Sarnath is often flocked with devotees is the perfect pilgrimage site for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus, alike.  

A pilgrimage place for Buddhists, Sarnath features a number of temples and completely serene surroundings with its various historically significant, architectural marvels. Being the place where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon, Sarnath has since been a popular tourist attraction and is well known for its cultural significance as well as the mystical setting. To name a few attractions contributing to the spiritual significance of Sarnath, we have, Ashoka's Pillar, Dharma Stupa built by Emperor Ashoka and many more.

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Hotels in Sarnath

Top Hotels in Sarnath

  • Taj Nadesar Palace

    INR 40,000 /night onwards

  • BrijRama Palace- A Heritage Hotel

    INR 22,884 /night onwards

  • Tree of Life Resort & Spa, Varanasi

    INR 8,568 /night onwards


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More on Sarnath


Buddhism, as a philosophy of life and as we know of it today, is followed in many countries with over 400 million followers worldwide - yet, very few know that inside of Sarnath is in fact, the place called the Deer Park where Buddha came to give his first sermon, after receiving enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree, at Bodhgaya. Sarnath derives its name from Sarangnath or the Deer God, and hence the place becomes truly special in symbolism. Since then, it has become part of the four key sites in the Buddhist circuit. It is also an important Jain pilgrimage site as it is the birthplace of Shreyansanath, the Eleventh Tirthankara of Jainism, and there is a temple dedicated to him here. After this, Sarnath went through a series of historical upheavals, right from 3rd Century BC, when Emperor Ashoka took special interest in this place and built magnificent structures like giant stupas, a well engraved Ashokan pillar and Buddhist monasteries for monks to reside in peacefully to approximately 10th to 12th Century BC, when a series of prolonged invasions by foreign invaders annihilated the cities of modern-day Uttar Pradesh, and left Sarnath in crumbles. It was only in the mid 19th Century when Sarnath was preserved again for its historical significance by some British archaeologists and Sarnath regained its position of being one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Buddhism.

Located close to the confluence of rivers Ganges and Varuna, Sarnath is one of the major Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world. An ancient city, dating back to 528 BC, Sarnath is believed to be the first place where Lord Buddha started preaching and laid the foundation of Buddhism. An example of rich cultural heritage and spiritual legacy, Sarnath is also the origin of our national Emblem, sourced from one of the most significant contributions of Emperor Ashoka-the Lion Capital.

Sarnath does not have too many restaurants but the handful that it does offer delicious food. The food is mainly North- Indian, with some of its most popular delicacies. One can also enjoy typical and popular bits of Chinese cuisine in the area. Along with these one can also find some instances of Tibetan cuisine here such as Momos. There are also some joints serving traditional snacks.

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Day 1: Start off your tour with a visit to the Buddhist temples like the Thai temple, Dhamekh Stupa, the Chaukhandi Stupa and the Archaeological Museum.

NOTE: It is best to stay at Varanasi and spend a full day at Sarnath.

Best time to Visit Sarnath


Commuting within Sarnath

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Sarnath Reviews

4 months ago by Kovid Kapoor

- As Sarnath is a religious place, certain points must be noted by tourists while on a visit here. Circumambulation must be done in a clockwise direction and also one must not step onto any statues or holy items. Peace and quiet must be maintained by visitors.



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Holidify's Opinion

  What's Great?

Peaceful environment and surroundings.

  What's not so Great?

Scalding in summers. Not much to explore.

For Whom

Sarnath is one of the major Buddhist pilgrim centres in the world. Apart from pilgrims, Sarnath is a major attraction for historians, architects and linguists.

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How to Reach Sarnath

The Varanasi airport (24 km) is the nearest to Sarnath. The main railway station is also at Varanasi as only a few trains halt at the Sarnath railway station. Government owned, as well as private b... (Read More)

Latest questions by travellers on Sarnath

Answer: The Sarnath Museum houses artifacts that have been dug up at Sarnath, their age ranging from the first century BC to 12th century AD. Sculptures, edifices and remains of Buddhist art have been found and housed at the museum.


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