“Buddham Sharnam Gachaami” this chanting echo’s in your mind when you are in Sarnath. Just 13 km away from the holy city of Varanasi, Sarnath is one of the most significant Buddhist pilgrimages. If you are looking for Day tours from Varanasi this place is a must visit. It is said that this is where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon to his disciples after enlightenment. Travelers who love history and culture can even take a half day excursion to Sarnath from Varanasi and visit the various Stupas, Historical monuments, Deer Park, and museums.
Check out these 6 places to visit in a day tour to Sarnath:
- Chaukhandi Stupa- If you are on a one day tour from Varanasi to Sarnath, this Stupa will be the first to give you a glimpse of Buddhist monuments. Chaukhandi Stupa was built to commemorate the meeting of Lord Buddha with his disciples. Later in 1588, an octagonal tower was added to the structure to mark the arrival of Mughal Empire.
- Dhameka Stupa- This Stupa is very impressive and one of the most visited Buddhist structure in Sarnath. Dhameka Stupa lies inside the Deer Park where Lord Buddha preached his first message. Take a stroll in Deer Park and if you are lucky can get a glimpse of deer.
- Ashoka Pillar- If you are even taking half day excursions to Sarnath from Varanasi don’t miss out the opportunity to visit Ashoka pillar. The national emblem of India is a prized possession of Sarnath. This pillar represents the Ashoka’s visit to Sarnath who was deeply moved by this peaceful place.
- Digambar Jain Temple- Associated to Shreyanshnath, a Jain Tirthankara, this temple is famous among Jain Community. Do go inside the temple to witness the beautiful frescos, depicting the life of Lord Mahavir.
- Sarnath Museum- A rich collection of Buddhist sculpture and paintings are kept here for public display. It consists of five galleries so if you are here for a one-day tour from Varanasi then do visit the museum. Timing- 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Museum remains closed on Friday.
- Thai Temple – Since the site’s restoration, many Asian countries like Japan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Tibet have built their temples or monasteries here. Among these, several Thai temples are famous as it is set amongst beautiful garden offering calm and peaceful surroundings. Don’t forget to take a photo of 80 feet tall standing Buddha monument. If you are here for a day then you will have ample time to visit all the other beautiful Temples.
So next time when you are in Varanasi enjoy the boat ride at Varanasi Ghats in the early morning and take a day tour to Sarnath. There are many luxury Bus services and taxis available for day tours from Varanasi. And if you don’t want to miss the Sandhya Aarti at River Ganga take a half day excursion to Sarnath from Varanasi.