One of the most revered Buddhist pilgrim centers in India, Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh state is famous as the site where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Sarnath is one of the four holiest sites of Buddhist pilgrimage in India, and hence, Tours to Sarnath Uttar Pradesh are a must for devout followers of the Buddha.
Buddhists from worldwide herald India as the Land of Buddha, and any visit to this country definitely means including tours to Sarnath and the other pilgrimage destinations sacred to the memory of the Enlightened One. Besides Sarnath, the other three sacred Buddhist centers in the Indian subcontinent are Lumbini in Nepal - the birthplace of Buddha, Bodhgaya in India - where he attained enlightenment, and Kushinagar in India - the site where he finally gave up his mortal self.
Located about 10 km to the north east of Varanasi - the cultural capital of India, Sarnath is also referred by names like Mrigadava, Migadaya, Rishipattana, Isipatana. It is believed that after attaining enlightenment, Gautama Buddha came to Sarnath to a cool and tranquil forest teeming with deer.
It is at this deer park of Sarnath where the Lord preached his first discourse. Thus wasnn set in motion the 'Wheel of the Dharma'. Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh also marks the site where the first Buddhist Sangha or order came into existence. History has it that Emperor Ashoka, who took several measures to spread the Buddha's message of love and compassion throughout his vast empire, had embarked on a tour to Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh around 234 B.C., and he erected a stupa here. While on tours to Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh you will see several stupas, excavated ruins of age old monasteries, the deer park besides various other interesting sites. Several Budhist structures were constructed at Sarnath between the 3rd century B.C. and 11th century A.D., and today the town showcases the most extensive ruins amongst holy sites on the Buddhist trail.
One of the must visit sites on your Sarnath Tour is the Dhamek Stupa - built during 5th -6th century to commemorate the spot where the Buddha preached his first sermon. Another ruined stupa worth visit while on Tours to Sarnath Uttar Pradesh is the Dharmarajika Stupa, believed to have been built by Emperor Ashoka during the 3rd century B.C. The Sarnath Museum exhibits a rich collection of Buddhist sculptures, heralded among the fines embodiments of Buddhist art.
Lying in close proximity to the much visited Hindu pilgrimage center Varanasi, Sarnath is easily accessible by air, rail and road from major destinations in Northern India as well as by flights from Kathmandu - Nepal's capital. While on Tours to Sarnath India, you can even embark on short excursion tours to Varanasi and other major tourist destinations in the vicinity of Sarnath. A large number of hotels and guesthouses have sprung up in Sarnath to cater to the accommodation needs of the hoards of tourists who pour in to visit one of the most important historical and religious towns in India.