Sarnath

- Where Buddha after enlightenment delivered his first sermon

Sarnath is the place where Lord Buddha after enlightenment turned the wheel of Dharma and preached the teachings of Middle Path, Eightfold Path and Four Noble Truths to his first five followers. With these five followers, Lord Buddha established Sangha at Deer Park, Sarnath. The middle path stated by Buddha avoids extremes. The Four Noble Truths stated at Sarnath are as follows. There is suffering. Suffering has a cause. The cause is removable, and there are ways to remove the causes. To remove the causes, Lord Buddha prescribed an Eight-fold Path: Right speech, Right action, Right livelihood, Right effort, Right mindfulness, Right concentration, Right attitude and Right view. Famous Buddhist heritage sites at Sarnath include –

Dhamekha Stupa- Dhamekha or Dharma Chakra Stupa in the Deer Park, Sarnath commemorates the site where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon. Built by Emperor Ashoka, the stupa is based on Mauryan bricks and represents the turning of Dharma Chakra or Wheel. The base of the stupa is exquisitely carved with Swastika carved in different geometrical patterns and intricately chiseled lotus motifs running over and below the swastikas.

Chaukhandi Stupa - Chaukhandi Stupa is an important Buddhist stupa enshrining the relic of the Lord Buddha. This octagonal brickwork stupa marks the site where Lord Buddha met his first disciples after his enlightenment.

Mulagandha Kuti Vihara- Mulagandha Kuti Vihara is a temple erected by the Mahabodhi Society, on the older temple that lies in its ruins today.

Sarnath Museum: Sarnath Museum houses many of the finest specimens of Buddhist art excavated adjacent to the site.

Ashoka Pillar: the most celebrated pillar attributed to Emperor Ashoka, this pillar showcases the four lions seated back to back on a platform. This Lion Capital of Ashoka has immensely contributed to the Indian identity. The same symbol serves as National Emblem of India.

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