Closed On: Friday
The most important pilgrimage centre for the Buddhists, Saranath is hardly 10 km from Varanasi. It is here that Lord Buddha preached his first sermon unfolding the four noble truths of life giving the eight fold path to Nirvana or enlightenment in 530 B.C. It was at Saranath that Lord Buddha preached the middle path which became the corner stone of the Buddhist religion. Saranath was called as Sarangnath earlier another name of Buddha in his previous births as the king of Antelopes. Sarangnath later came to be known as Saranath. Another reason is may be that the place where Buddha gave his first sermon was in a deer Park and hence the name of the lord of the deer, Sarangnath.
Saranath was made into one of the major Buddhist religious destinations after the great Mauryan emperor Ashok realized its historic importance. He built the magnificent Stupas and buildings patronizing the place. But today what we see of this place is just the ruins of which was described as the Turning of Wheel of Law, by the Chinese traveler Xian Zhuang in the 7th century.
The Dhamekh Stupa built in the 6th century is the only proper monument that stands today. It commemorates the spot where Buddha gave his first sermon to five disciples. Hardly anything of the magnificent Ashok pillar remains. But the inscription on it tells the monks to lead the path of religion without breaking the Sangha. The Archaeological Museum of Saranath however is probably one of the best and outstanding archaeological museums in the country. It displays the artifacts that were excavated from the ruins of Saranath. The most notable being the Lion Capital which once surmounted the Huge Ashok pillar with four back to back lions.
The Lion Capital, carved from one single block of rock, has been adopted as the national emblem by free India. The four back to back Lions have a four panel band which features Lion, Elephant, Horse and Bull. The Capital stands on an inverted Lotus flower which is symbolic to the seven lotus flowers which bloomed after Buddha's death. The Museums contains many other relics built during the Mauryan period dating back to the 3rd century B.C.
The other important place in Saranath is the temple built by the Mahabodhi society in 1931 which has the original relics of Lord Buddha in a silver casket. The interior of the temple are decorated with beautiful frescoes depicting the life of Buddha and also has a replica of 5th century statue of Buddha in Gold.

Need Help Booking?

Call our customer services team on the number below to speak to one of our advisors who will help you with all of your holiday needs.


Why Book with us?

Low rates

Get the best rates, or get a refund.
No booking fees. Save money!

We're Always Here

Call or email us, anytime
Get 24-hour support before, during, and after your trip

Travelling in India is essentially about this fulfilling freedom. And we at Prakriti Inbound celebrate this face of travel. Explore India with Prakriti Inbound - a travel agency that understands India, and your urge to discover. Explore India Travel Packages or contact us for creating your unique India travel experience
Blue City, Jodhpur
Royal Palaces Of Rajasthan (15 Days / 14 Nights)

Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - Samode - Mandawa - Khimsar - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Udaipur - Delhi

Sunset at Kumarakom
Best of Kerala (9 Days / 8 Nights)

Mumbai - Kochi - Thekkady - Kumarakom - Alappuzha - Mararikulam - Kochi - Mumbai

Flavour of Himalayas
Flavour of Himalayas (10 Days / 9 Nights)

Delhi - Srinagar - Gulmarg - Srinagar - Sonmarg - Kargil - Leh - Khardongla Pass - Leh - Delhi