I started around 10.30 AM and the roads were very much crowded at that time. One road was in very bad conditions in Varanasi and added to the traffic chaos, at some places it was too dusty. But once I reached near Sarnath, the condition of road improved a little bit.
Sarnath is one of the four most important places in Buddhism.
The Sarnath stupa is under Archaeological Survey of India and they maintain the whole complex. I bought a ticket from ASI’s counter to enter the stupa. It is historically most important monument in Sarnath. The stupa was built in 500 CE to replace an earlier structure commissioned by King Ashoka in 249 BCE.
Japanese Temple –
I came out on the road and walked few meters to another interesting place known as Japanese temple. It has two entry gates. There are well-maintained gardens and a couple of temples in this area. The tall statue of standing Buddha in the park can be seen from a distance and it tallest in the area. The whole compound is well maintained and decorated for festivities.
Sarnath Museum –
The museum had a good collection of important and valuable artifacts. Camera and mobile phones are not allowed inside the museum due to security reasons. There are lockers at the gate to deposit bags. Museum house many important and old artifacts but the most important is Ashok chakra, it is kept near the main entrance. Museum has five galleries & two verandahs to display the antiquities ranging in time from third century B.C. to 12th century A.D.
Chaukhandi Stupa –
Finally, I went to Chaukhandi stupa. It is the first place I saw from the road while entering Sarnath. It was built between 4th and 6th century to mark the place where Buddha first met his disciples. The place holds immense historical and religious importance due to this. This was the last monument, I visited in Sarnath.
There is nothing special about the food. It is easy to get less spicy and vegetarian food. Vaishali restaurant, Green hut, and Rangoli restaurants are some popular places.Things to Remember when visiting Sarnath Stupa –
- Nearest railway station and airport is in Varanasi.
- It is 13 km from Varanasi and all monuments can be easily seen in a day.
- Autorickshaw (Tuk-Tuk) is a most economical way to visit it from Varanasi. Taxis are also available.
- Monuments in Sarnath at walking distance, wear comfortable shoes.
- Wear cloths to expresses respect for the sacred nature of the city.
- Circumambulate all sacred places and stupa in a clock-wise direction.