My travel experience in Sarnath and top places to visit in Sarnath
Hey, people! I am Nikhil Singh Shaurya and here in this article of SAIKISITE, I am sharing my sole travelling experience to Sarnath, Varanasi.
Sarnath is one of the four major pilgrimage spots (rest three being Bodh Gaya, Kushinagar & Lumbini) for Buddhist and is also a major tourist attraction. It is situated nearly 15 km far from Varanasi.
How to reach Sarnath?
Sarnath is very well connected with railways and roadways from Varanasi city. Buses, Auto rickshaws, and OLA cabs services are the easy find to reach Sarnath.
Why is Sarnath famous?
Sarnath is famous because it is the place where Buddha preached his followers for the first time after his enlightenment under the ‘Peepal‘ tree in Bodh Gaya Bihar. The monuments of Sarnath which we see today and which are actually the point of attraction was rebuilt by the emperor Ashoka after he opted Buddhism.
Followers of Buddhism are in many countries like China, Japan, Sri Lanka, India etc.. The Bodh Gaya society in India, originally made in Gaya city of Bihar, has a trust in which donation from many Buddhist countries are received and these donations are utilised to build new temples. There are separate temples made by donations from different countries.
My Travelling experience in Sarnath
Firstly, I visited the Japanese temple. Japanese temple obviously had a Japanese touch in the architecture of the temple. Though it was cemented but the outlook was like the one we all see in some movies depicting the Samurai’s school. Two identical Buddha statue were there in this temple in sitting position.
There was a Sri Lankan temple named Mulagandha Kuti Vihar. It is a beautiful temple with a gallery and then huge entrance hall. There are many beautiful paintings depicting Buddha’s travel and other incidents and at the end, a golden statue is installed.
Pic Credits: www.mouthshut.com
The same compound also has several other attractions like a queue of drums with imprints on them. On enquiring about them, I came to know that those drums are actually the Tibetan way of chanting mantras which are similar to the beads in the thread of Hindus.
Top Places in Sarnath: A big bell
There is also a huge bell donated by the German worshippers which when rings, produces a frequency which reaches more than 4kms.
Top Places in Sarnath: Stupa
Pic Credits: www.junglekey.com
There is a Stupa known as the Dhamek stupa. It is 128ft tall and 93ft wide. The Stupa is originally built by the emperor Ashoka. It has been made almost similar to the Stupa that was made in the Buddha’s time.
Top Places in Sarnath: Ruins of the Ashokan pillars
Near the Dhamek stupa, there are also the ruins of the original Ashoka pillar which was brought down by the Turks at the time of their plundering. It was a sarcasm that even after the falling of the upper part, it didn’t destroy and thus it symbolises the Indian power and that’s why it is used in the national emblem. The upper part of it is now installed in the Sarnath museum while the base is still there now covered in a glass jar to protect from further damage. There is an inscription in Brahmin language on the body of the pillar.
Top Places in Sarnath: Banarasi saree handlooms
Among all these temples, I saw a slab with an attractive design. I thought it could be a remain from any temple or bridge. But those slabs were for such a reason which was beyond my imagination. The design of those slabs was used to make the Banarasi saree during the Buddha period. On further enquiry, I made my way to small scale industry situated right there with 7000 handlooms. There, I saw the real handloom machines and also met the real ‘Bunkars‘ who are always highlighted at the times of elections and polls. They demonstrated and showed me the way they manufacture the Saree. The whole process of Saree making requires a lot of hard work and I realised this after I saw and understood each and every step carefully and observed their work.
After that, now, I can easily tell which is a good saree and which one is the bad.
The conditions of those Bunkars instigated my soul to pay a little bounty for their hard work.
So I bought one saree and hit two targets by one bullet:
- For promoting a social cause
- To please my mom (because obviously, they are the one who helps with your credit from dad’s account.)
Top Places in Sarnath: Sarnath archaeology museum
Pic Credits: www.journeymart.com
This was something really amazing, especially for an archaeology lover like me. Unfortunately, no picture capturing or videography was allowed at any cost. Even your handbags and mobiles will be submitted in the safe locker and keys will be given back to you.
So even after spending hours inside the museum, I could not capture a single picture there and won’t be able to share that with you all. The main entrance had the big lobby with the Ashoka pillar representing the four lion heads and other animals on the emblem of chakra. All those animals were considered as the symbol of prosperity. A huge statue of Buddha in the standing position was beside it. Also, a huge circular structure was kept at the back which was named Umbrella. There are more attractive statues all constituting the past within them.
The main lobby was divided into 2 verandahs:
- North verandah and
- South verandah
North verandah was further divided into 5 galleries:
- Statue of Buddha and Vajrapan
- Manjushri- goddess of wisdom
- Lion capital
- Brahmanical deities- Shiva, Ganesha etc..
South was divided into two galleries:
- Devotee attitude
- Buddha in Dharma chakra in Parivartan attitude.
At last, I wish to bring this in the kind notice of all the readers that our Indian art and art men are ignored anyways. Though, I personally failed in ignoring the beautiful sculptures made by small craftsmen who sits in a whole of the street, sitting on small carts struggling to sell their beautiful creations. These beautiful sculptures are 5 rupees and 10 rupees each. I was dumbstruck after listening to the price of this beautiful small statue.
I gift you some of my Sarnath travel images
And also request you to visit Sarnath once to enjoy the beauty and sculptures of this great City.
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