Sarnath Tours

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About Sarnath, Varanasi

An old Buddhist story tells us the Bodhisattva is a deer and offers his life to the king. The king was planning to kill the doe for his feast. He was so moved that he created a park as a sanctuary for deer. Sarnath from Saranganath means “lord of the Deer”. Sarnath is a city located 13 kilometres north-east of Varanasi. It is near the confluence of the Ganges and the Gomati rivers in Uttar Pradesh, India. The deer park in Sarnath is where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma. This is where the Buddhist Sangha (society) came into existence.

Sarnath is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage centres in India. It is also an important place for the followers of Jainism. In the 3rd century BC, Emperor Ashoka had elegant stupas and monasteries built here.  In AD 640, Sarnath had a 100m-high stupa and 1500 monks living within the monasteries. But Buddhism went into decline and when Muslim invaders attacked the city, Sarnath sank into oblivion. British archaeologists brought back the glory of Sarnath in 1835.

Sarnath is a place of pilgrimage, both for Buddhists from India and abroad. Buddhism is a major religion in Thailand, Tibet, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. They have established monasteries in Sarnath in their typical style. Pilgrims and visitors get an overview of Buddhist architecture for various cultures. Sarnath became a prominent centre of Buddhism in the Gupta period. There was an abundance of carved sculptural art and this gave rise to the Sarnath School of Art. This school is known for its simplicity of forms and sublimity. Chaukhandi is the first monument one encounters in Sarnath. It is a lofty mound of brick work whose square edifice is surrounded by an octagonal tower. The most remarkable structure at Sarnath is the cylindrical Dhamek stupa. This is built part stone and part brick. The stone facing the lower part is adorned with delicate floral carvings of the Gupta origin.

Sarnath attracts visitors and followers especially on Purnima, informally Buddha's birthday. On this occasion Buddha's life, death and enlightenment are celebrated, usually in April or May.

Love this? Explore the entire list of things to do in Varanasi before you plan your trip.

Fancy a good night's sleep after a tiring day? Check out where to stay in Varanasi and book an accommodation of your choice.

Sarnath Information

  • It was serene and peaceful.
  • History and religion was created here.
  • There will be beggars on the street, don’t encourage them by paying.
  • Visit the museum, it has old sculptures and well explained artefacts.
  • Visit the Japanese museum, it’s very clean and neat with manicured gardens.
  • Hire a guide and make the trip more educational. 

Restaurants Near Sarnath

  • Vaishali Restaurant: Indian
  • Sarnath Café: Indian
  • Blue Lassi: Indian
  • The place Ngo Outlet café: Café, Indian, Contemporary

Address: Dharmpal Rd, 10 Km North of Varanasi, Varanasi, India

Phone: +91-9891241399

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Timings: 24-hrs Details

Religious Site, Observatory, Statue, Family And Kids

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Book Sarnath Tickets And Tours

Half-Day Sarnath Tour from Varanasi
View Deal Half-Day Sarnath Tour from Varanasi 1 Reviews | Duration: 3 hours From USD 35/person

Sarnath, the world-famous Buddhist site, is situated about 10 km (6 miles) northeast of Varanasi city. This was the place where the Buddha delivered his first sermon in the Deer Park in 528 B.C that is also known as Dhamma Chakra Pravartan, meaning "The Wheel of Law turns".

Private Day Trip to Sarnath from Varnasi
View Deal Private Day Trip to Sarnath from Varnasi New on TripHobo Duration: 4 hours From USD 5.96/person

Sarnath is located about 15 km from the center of Varanasi. It is also the center of the Buddhist pilgrimage and the most important after Bodhgaya.

Full-Day Private Varanasi and Sarnath Tour including Ganges Boat Cruise
View Deal Full-Day Private Varanasi and Sarnath Tour includi... 1 Reviews | Duration: 12 hours From USD 96.82/person

Visit the sacred city of Varanasi with the comfort of a private tour on a full day trip. On this tour, you will see the ancient, spectacular city of Varnasi full of history, visit the Sarnath, the city where the Lord Buddha gave his first sermon, and witness the Aarti ceremony at the Ghats of the city. Then, take a boat cruise on the Ganges river.

Half-Day Private Tour of Varanasi
View Deal Half-Day Private Tour of Varanasi New on TripHobo Duration: 4 hours From USD 25.14/person

Enjoy this 4-hour private tour of Varanasi, a cultural and spiritual hub. Explore the local streets dotted with famous market places, witness the spectacular evening Ganga Aarti ceremony, and immerse yourself in the local cuisine during a rooftop dinner. This tour includes a professional guide and hotel pickup and drop-off.

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