Travel Desk

Sightseeing in the city by Taxi and Auto-rickshaw.

Individually-arranged programs to the major cultural sites such as Hindus Temples and/or Sarnath.

About Sarnath Varanasi

Being the oldest city of the world and an important Hindu pilgrimage center, Varanasi attracts a large number of people from all over the world. For centuries, Varanasi is famous for spiritualism, mysticism, Indian philosophy and Hinduism. All these are reflected in numerous sects, temples, Ashrams and Ghats. Varanasi is associated not only with Hinduism but also with Buddhism and Jainism.

Top Varanasi & Sarnath Attractions

Dhamekh Stupa:

Built in 500 AD, the stupa marks the exact place where Buddha first taught Dharma after receiving Bodhisattva. The structure of the stupa was built in 500 AD and was commissioned to replace an earlier 249 BC structure by King Ashoka of the Mauryan Empire. The Dhamekh Stupa is a massive 43.6 meter tall cylindrical building with a diameter of 28 meters and is built with bricks and stone. The various stone carvings and sculptures in the building are exemplary of the Gupta artisans and the inscriptions are also amazing.

Chaukhandi Stupa:

The Chaukhandi Stupa is regarded as one of the most divine and important monuments of the Buddhist culture. This stupa has been built on the exact spot where the great Lord Buddha first met his five ascetics- to whom he later went on to preach his first teachings. The monument has been erected as a commemoration of this significant event that eventually became instrumental in the rise of the religion of Buddhism. The Chaukhandi Stupa is an evolution over burial mounds and serves as a shrine to the great Lord Buddha.
Sarnath is a very holy site for Buddhist pilgrimage in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The entire city is a testimony to the Buddhist culture because of the many historical Buddhist monuments that call this city their home. Temples, monasteries, museums, gardens - there are many attractions here that are dedicated to Buddhism and its history, and the Chaukhandi Stupa is one of the most prominent ones drawing many tourists every year. The Chaukhandi Stupa is the holiest and the most frequently visited attraction of all the sacred pilgrimage spots in the entire state of Uttar Pradesh.
The divinity of the monument is felt in the air that surrounds it. A tranquil vibe of piousness fills up the air, and you can feel each breath of this pure air cleansing your soul. Staring at this majestic structure leaves you in awe of its magnanimous stature and unmatched beauty.

Ashoka Pillar:

The national emblem of India and a mark of Emperor Ashoka's visit to Sarnath, the Ashoka Pillar crafted out of stone is an impressive structure with four lions at the top. This 50 m long pillar along with the Dhamek Stupa, are Ashoka's gift to Buddhism and the entire complex has a calm aura to it. A number of monks are spotted meditating around the compound. The entire complex is filled with lush green lawns, and along with the Stupa, they resemble a colony with the Ashoka Pillar being the main attraction. India's oldest archaeological museum has been built at the periphery of the complex.
Sarnath along with Lumbini, Bodhgaya, and Kushinagar are the four places that Lord Buddha suggested visiting to his followers. Erected in the thirteenth century, most of the structures in the area are in ruins, but the pillar stands high. Bull, a lion, an elephant and a horse are depicted on the base of the Ashoka Pillar which symbolizes the four different phases of Gautam Buddha's life. Dhamek Stupa is an important landmark for Buddhists where Lord Buddha preached his lessons for the very first time. He only had five disciples behind him then.
Sarnath is also mentioned as Rishipatana in the Buddhist literature since more than five hundred sages fell here after attaining Nirvana. There are also prayer wheels in the compound with beautiful carvings of 'Om Mani Padme Hum' in Sanskrit. The graphic representation of the Ashoka Pillar and the words 'Satyamev Jayate' written below in Devanagari have been adopted as the official Emblem of India.

Thai Temple:

A well known attraction in Sarnath, the Thai Temple displays the That style of architecture. The temple is set amongst beautiful gardens and is managed by Thai Buddhist Monks offering calm and peaceful surroundings.

Sarnath Archeological Museum:

Maintained by the Archeological survey of India, the Sarnath Archeological Museum is one of the oldest sites of the organization. The museum houses the famous Lion Capital of Ashoka which is also India’s national emblem. The various antiquities stored at this museum date between the 3rd century BC and 12th century AD. Many of the artifacts and manuscripts housed here are important archeological findings that are related to Buddhism.

Sarnath being a small town has fairly lesser amounts of attractions for the tourists. Nevertheless, the site is the birthplace of the world religion Buddhism and is thus one of the most important pilgrim spots for the Buddhists in India. The town has been mentioned several times in the writings of the Chinese traveler Hsuan-tsang and is considered an important historical town in India.

Mulagandha Kuti Vihar:

Mulagandha Kuti Vihar Sarnath is situated amidst brick ruins of ancient Sarnath, and is well known for its magnificent murals and frescos. This Buddhist Temple is relatively new and therefore offers a sharp contrast to the ruins of Sarnath; this temple also stands out with its distinct architecture which is nowhere near the style followed by Buddhist architecture. The Mulagandha Kuti Vihar Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh is particularly famous for its frescos and murals.
Sarnath (also known as Mrigadava, Migadaya, Rishipattana, Isipatana) is the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma. This is also the place where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. Sarnath is located 13 kilometers north-east of Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Isipatana or Sarnath was mentioned by the Buddha as one of the four places of pilgrimage which his devout followers should visit.
The Mulagandha Kuti Vihar Sarnath in India been erected by the Maha Bodhi society in the year 1931. The frescos on the walls of this monastery were done by the famous Kosetsu Nosu who happens to be Japan's foremost painter.
Built around a large compound of lush well manicured lawns and gardens, the Mulagandha Kuti Vihar Sarnath resembles a Hindu temple as far as its structure is concerned. The Mulagandha Kuti Vihar In Sarnath In Uttar Pradesh boasts of some of the most magnificent and colorful Frescoes that have been made by the magical hands of. Kosetsu Nosu a famous Japanese painter.
The frescos at the Mulagandha Kuti Vihar Sarnath are rich repositories of Buddhist literature. The frescos depict scenes from the life of Buddha and stories from Jatakas; accounts of Buddha’s disciples, miracles shown by the Lord Buddha, etc. While Frescoes dominate the interiors of Mulagandha, Murals are mainly to be seen on the exteriors. They can be seen on walls and pillars along with the outer columns.
A huge bell dominates the entrance of the Mulagandha Kuti Vihar. The royal scions of Japan have gifted this mammoth bronze bell to the temple. However, the most striking aspect of this temple is the beautiful life-size golden idol of the Lord Buddha that is installed at the sanctum.
In the campus of the Vihar you can also see the Bodhi tree whose sapling was brought from a tree in Sri Lanka, which was in turn grown from a sapling of the original Maha Bodhi tree under which Buddha gained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, 2500 years ago. Mahendra and Sanghmitra, son and daughter of Ashoka the Great respectively, took the sapling from this original tree during their voyage to Sri Lanka.

New Vishwanath Temple:

Situated in the premises of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), New Vishwanath Temple is definitely a must visit in Varanasi. The temple was constructed by the famed Birla family and hence is also known as Birla Temple. In fact, it is a temple complex which consists of 7 temples. The Shiva temple is situated on the ground floor, whereas Durga temple and Lakshmi Narayan temple are located on the first floor. The architecture of the temple is inspired by the old Vishwanath Temple and the structure is made of white marbles. The walls of the temple are adorned with the text of Gita, which certainly catches the eyes of the visitors here.

Kathwala Temple:

This temple is famous for its exquisite architecture and wood work. It is believed that the temple was built by King of Nepal and thus, this shrine is also called Nepali Temple. It is situated in the Lalita Ghat and catches the attention of many visitors in Varanasi. The intricate wood carving is what attracts visitors the most; the temple reflects the refined taste for good architecture taste of the rulers of Nepal.

Kashi Vishwanath/Golden Temple:

Kashi Vishwanath Temple is the most important place to see in Varanasi. The history of this sacred shrine can be traced back to 3500 years. The temple is one of the 12th Jyotirlingas, which are considered the holiest Shiva temples. The Linga is the presiding deity here and the temple is quadrangle, surrounded by temples of other gods. The temple once had a golden spire and domes; hence it was also called the Golden Temple.

Tulsi Manas Temple:

This temple is yet another important shrine in Varanasi. Dedicated to Lord Rama, Tulsi Manas Temple is situated next to another famed shrine called Durga Temple. It is a white-marble temple that has its walls covered with the text from Tulsi Das written Ramcharitramanas. It is believed that the temple is located at a place where Tulsi Das wrote this famous Indian epic.

Durga Temple:

Durga Temple is yet another popular temple in Varanasi. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga but is recognized as a Monkey Temple, due to excessive population of monkeys around it. It is believed the presiding deity was not man-made but appeared on its own. The temple is built by a Bengali Maharani in a Nagara style of architecture. Non-Hindus are allowed to enter the courtyard of the shrine but not the inner sanctum.

Bharat Mata Temple:

This temple is one of its kinds as instead of being dedicated to any god or goddess, the temple is dedicated to Bharat Mata or India (assumed as Mother). The temple is situated in Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth Campus. Inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1936, the temple was an inspiration for those who were fighting the war of independence. The statue in the shrine denotes mountain, plain and ocean and the major highlight of the temple is the relief map of India carved on a marble.

Manikarnika Ghat:

Manikarnika Ghat is the main cremation Ghat of Varanasi. According to the Hindu mythology, being burned here provides an instant gateway to liberation from the cycle of births and rebirths.

Dashashwamedh Ghat:

Dasaswamedh Ghat is the oldest Ghats of Varanasi. Dasaswamedh provides a beautiful and colorful riverfront view. visiting the Dasaswamedh Ghat in the evening when after Aarti, thousands of earthen lamps are immersed in the waters of the holy Ganges and the floating lamps give a divine look to the river at dusk.

Sankat Mochan Temple (Monkey temple):

Sankat Mochan Temple is one of the sacred temples of Hindu god Hanuman in the city . The word Sankat Mochan means deliverer from troubles. The Sankat Mochan temple is also called Monkey temple because of the presence of large number of monkeys.

Assi Ghat:

According legends, Goddess Durga had thrown her sword after slaying the demon, Shumbha- Nishumbha. The place, where the sword had fallen resulted in a big stream, known as Assi River. Assi Ghat is located at the confluence of River Ganga and Assi River.

Bharat Kala Bhavan:

Bharat Kala Bhavan, located inside the BHU campus, is an art and architecture museum and houses a vast collection of paintings, Hindu and Buddhist sculptures and other materials of archeological importance. The Bharat Kala Bhavan was established in the year 1920 A.D.The museum has a great collection of clay and bronze sculpture, paintings, silks and embroidered textiles.

Banaras Hindu University:

The Banaras Hindu University or BHU is an internationally reputed University and is situated in Varanasi. The great nationalist leader, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, founded the Banaras Hindu University in the year 1916. The Banaras Hindu University has a sprawling campus, spanning across 1300 acres. It has well maintained roads (crossing each other at right angle), extensive greenery, a temple, an airstrip and buildings, which are an architectural delight. The BHU comprises of 3 Institutes, 14 Faculties, 124 Departments, 4 Interdisciplinary Centers and 3 Constituent Schools, spanning a vast rang of subjects pertaining to all branches of humanities, social sciences, science, technology, medicine, fine arts and performing arts.

Ramnagar Fort:

The Ramnagar fort lies about 14 km. from Varanasi and is situated on the opposite bank of river Ganga. It is the ancestral home of the Maharaja of Banaras.The Ramnagar fort houses a museum displaying the Royal collection which includes vintage Cars, Royal palkies, an armory of swords and old guns, ivory work and antique clocks.