Of the 4 major hallowed destinations of Buddhist pilgrims, Sarnath situates on the Deer Park where Buddha gave His first Sermon after attaining enlightenment in Bodh Gaya.
The religious site features rich remnants of Buddhist structures including temples and stupas on a tranquil and green setting, totally contrary to a vivacious Varanasi 13km apart. Amongst must-sees are Ashoka Pillar and Dhamekh Stupa, the exact position where Buddha lectured His first teaching. Despite being destroyed by Hindus who detached façade bricks for building Varanasi market centuries ago, Dhamekh Stupa still stays put lively and comes as a magnet unto cameramen.
Costing INR100 for auto rickshaw from Varanasi center to the archeological site, a getaway to Sarnath is simply a peaceful journey not only for Buddhist visitors. If possible, make it a one day trip and explore all nearby neighbors, comprising Deer Zoo, Japanese, Thailand and Tibetan monasteries.
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