10 Things To Do In Sarnath That’ll Enhance Your Travel Experience

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Sarnath in Varanasi is considered to be the place of Gautama Buddha. His first discourse was held here in the city of Deer Park. Travelers of all kinds feel a beautiful spiritual connection on their journey to this city. Sarnath is located at the place where the holy Ganges and Gomti rivers meet. It has many names – Mrigdava, Migadya, Rishipatana and Isipatana, all with a spiritual significance. So much to find out, there can never be a shortage Things to do in Sarnath. By joining some of the best activities here, you will get a glimpse of not only the historicity of the city, but also its cultural aspects.

10 things to do in Sarnath

If you are visiting this holy city, keep this list of the top 10 things to do for a visit to Sarnath for a massively fun travel experience.

1. Witness the majestic Bodhi tree
2. Visit Chaukhandi Stupa
3. Get knowledge in Dhammek Stupa
4. Go to the place where Buddha rests in peace
5. Sakshi Buddha Purnima Ceremony
6. Travel back in time to the Archaeological Museum
7. Visit the Buddhist temple
8. Try Local Food
9. Visit the Thai temple and monastery
10. Relax in the Garden of Spiritual Wisdom

1. Witness the majestic Bodhi tree

Bodhi tree

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One of the best things to do in Sarnath is to visit Moolagandha Kuti Vihar, rich in mural art. The frescos on the walls of the structure depict significant events from the life of the Buddha. The murals are painted by the famous Japanese artist Kosetsu Nosu. Since it is a temple, you will find a golden statue of Lord Buddha sitting on a marble platform. Just behind this Buddha temple is Deer Park, the place of Buddha’s first sermon.

Apart from the temple and the surrounding ruins, the main attraction of this place is the Bodhi tree. It is said to be grown in Bodh Gaya from the bark of trees under which Buddha attained enlightenment. Do not leave this place before dusk. As the sun sets, the place changes with the quiet sounds of the monks chanting the Buddha’s first sermon.

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2. Visit Chaukhandi Stupa

Visit the Chaukhandi stupa

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Do you know, Buddha was once deserted by his five disciples in Rajgir as he traveled from Bodh Gaya to Sarnath? The Chaukhandi Stupa stands at the place where Buddha reunited with those Panchagavya bhikhus (5 disciples).

The stupa is as old as 5th century AD. The tower above the stupa was added to the structure in 16th century to visit the memorial of Emperor Humayun. The beautiful structure deserves to be amazing for a long time. After that, sit among the lush green environment and attain peace through meditation.

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3. Get knowledge in Dhammek Stupa

Dhamaka Stupa

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After listening to Buddha’s teachings at Moolagandha Kuti Vihar, he reached the place where he was actually saved. Dhammek Stupa is situated just behind Moolagandha Kuti Vihar. Dhamak Stupa is a collection of stupas, monasteries, ruins, temples, museums, gardens and more. Located inside Deer Park, the place offers tourists a memorable glimpse of Buddhist history and culture.

4. Go to the place where Buddha rests in peace

Buddha in peace

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Located close to Dharmake Stupa is Dharmarajika Stupa. This stupa is mostly ruins today. The mortal remains of Lord Buddha are believed to have been kept at this place. The remains were divided into 10 parts and the monuments built by the Mughals were buried at different places.

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5. Sakshi Buddha Purnima Ceremony

Buddha poornima ceremony

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Make sure that you plan your vacation in Sarnath around Buddha Purnima, which falls in the month of Vaisak which usually falls in the month of May. The city is something else on Buddha Purnima. Buddhists from all over the world come to the city to celebrate the joy. Massive processions displaying the relics of the Buddha to the public are held with grand celebrations.

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6. Travel back in time to the Archaeological Museum

Travel time back

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If you are a history buff, you simply cannot give a miss to the Archaeological Museum in Sarnath. This allows visitors to return to the time when Buddha roamed the land. These are Buddhist relics recovered from the place where Buddha gave his first sermon.
The museum, built using sandstone, is about 100 years old. Apart from the remains of the events of the life of the Buddha, the main attraction of this museum is the capital of the 3rd century BC from the Ashoka Pillar and a 2000 year old huge stone canopy featuring Buddhist symbols.

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7. Visit the Buddhist temple

Visit Buddhist Temple

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Tinted with soft and deep shades of yellow and red, this lovely and serene temple is a sightseeing spot in Sarnath. If you are troubled by your tour or suffering from heat (if visiting during summer), this temple and its surroundings will give you instant peace.
The temple is decorated with beautiful Chinese designs and heart-winning Chinese lanterns. Outside, there is a small garden where you can relax and see the tasteful pigeon after visiting the temple.

8. Try Local Food

Local food tasting

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After a soothing trip to the Chinese Buddhist Temple, enjoy a sumptuous and delicious meal at Vaishali Restaurant. It is one of the best restaurants in the city offering delicious local cuisine. It is located close to the temple. The colorful restaurant is on the first floor and serves Indian and Chinese cuisine.

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9. Visit the Thai temple and monastery

Visit to thai temple

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Although you will have to do some walking around the Thai temple to see all the sculptures, it will not be strange. The place has a beautiful view brought by its beautiful form, serene surroundings and enchanted and Buddha statues.

Also known as Wat Thai, it is full of attractive Buddha statues, with Laughing Buddha and Buddha teaching their disciples. Outside the temple, there is a beautiful fountain with blooming lotus and lots of greenery which serves as a good resting place.

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10. Relax in the Garden of Spiritual Wisdom

Relax in the garden

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With its best colors and beauty, nature comes together in the garden of spiritual enlightenment. It is a place to relax after a long and tiring journey in the city. Situated just behind the Chaukhandi Stupa, this garden offers visitors the enjoyment of mind, body and soul. The place is alive with beautiful plants and flowers, spread across a vast, well-kept landscape.

This place is undoubtedly a paradise for nature lovers. They will be pleased to see many Ayurvedic herbal plants here. Visitors can also enjoy education imparting knowledge about Buddha, spirituality and various plants and herbs in the garden.

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These were some of the best and unique things in Sarnath. No matter whether you are going for the first time or tenth place, it never fails to surprise your tourists. This sacred place has a lot to offer to its visitors in terms of rich history, spiritualism and lots of calm. Visit your Varanasi Yatra today with Triangle and get ready for a real, enjoyable and memorable experience in the holy city of Sarnath.

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Frequently asked questions to do in Sarnath

Q. Why is Sarnath a famous tourist destination?

a. Sarnath, a city in Varanasi, is a place of great importance. This is the place chosen by the revered Buddha to awaken his disciples. Places like Dhamek Stupa, Moolagandha Kuti Vihar and Chaukhandi Stupa are the main attractions of the city and attract tourists from all over the world due to its association with Buddha.

Q. Why is Sarnath important for Buddhist followers?

a. Apart from the fact that Lord Buddha had meditated and given his first sermon here, and was even buried here, Sarnath holds significance for Buddhist followers as the original Buddhist Sangha was formed here . The world famous mantra ‘Buddha Sharanam Gachhami’ originated in Sarnath. Taking his last breath, the Buddha asked his followers to consider Sarnath, Lumbini, Bodh Gaya and Kushinagar as sacred places.

Q. Is Sarnath known to a non-believer?

a. Though Sarnath is a spiritual land, non-believers should not miss this place for this reason. Believe it or not, this city has a lot to offer you. Peace, calm, tranquility, joy, history and weight of beauty. And the city is also a paradise for food lovers with its offerings of rich, North Indian and Chinese cuisine!

Q. What can I buy in Sarnath?

a. Sarnath being a holy city does not offer all the usual fancy things a visitor wants to take home. Here, you will find beautiful statues and statues of Lord Buddha. The most popular is the Ashtadhatu sculptures, which are made of eight sacred metals. You can also buy smaller versions of stupas, temples etc. and saffron robes.

Q. What are the top 5 things to do in Sarnath in 3 days?

a. 3 days is also sufficient to cover important sites in the city. The top 5 things to do in Sarnath are-
1. Meditate on the Chaukhandi Stupa
2. Visit the Bodhi tree and listen to the monks chanting the Buddha’s first sermon at Mulagandha Kuti Vihar
3. Feel the spiritual energy at Dhamek Stupa in Deer Park, the place where Buddha gave his first sermon
4. Get a dose of Buddhist culture and history at the Archaeological Museum
5. Visit Thai or Wat Temple

Q. Who built the Dharmarajika Stupa?

a. This ruins wonder at Sarnath was originally built by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. The place has mortal remains of Lord Buddha and is counted among the holy pilgrimage sites of Sarnath.

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