Dear Soul Mates,
On my final day of Kashi Yatra I went to Sarnath in the morning.Sarnath is the place where great religion Buddhism took its course. Gautam Buddha delivered his first sermon ’Wheel of the Dharma‘ here in Saranth at deer park to his five companions after attaining Nirvana. Buddhists look India as land of Buddha and visit India as a sight of pilgrimage. Sarnath is one of the foremost and most important places in the pilgrimage. Not only buddhism but people from all religions and sects visit Sarnath on their visit to Varanasi .
Mulagandha Kuti Vihar
Mulagandha Kuti Vihar Temple is one of the very well known attractions of Sarnath. This modern temple has been erected by the Mahabodhi Society. It is exactly located in the centre of the huge site covered with garderns and lawns on both the sides. It has excellent frescoes made by Kosetsu Nosu, Japan’s foremost painter and is a rich repository of Buddhist art & literature. The ancient Mulagandha Kuti Temple is among the brick ruins of Sarnath excursions. This is one of the most beautiful temples I have seen. Apart from frescoes there is a golden idol of Lord Buddha which is mesmerizing.
Please have a look at some of the pictures of this temple, statutes and frescoes.
Gautama Buddha Pipal Tree
On the right hand side of the Mulagandha Kuti Vihar Temple , there is a pipal tree below which Buddha delivered his first sermon to his devotees. The pipal tree is well protected with cemented stage with small beautifully carved statutes of Lord Buddha on its periphery.
Below the pipal tree, there are statues of Lord Buddha and his first disciples.
We moved forward on the backside of the Mulagandha Kuti Vihar Temple where there is a deer park some large garderns, open spaces and some rides for children to play and pass some time.
Then we enjoyed some rides with my daughter in the park .
The Deer Park of Sarnath is one of the revered Buddhist sites of Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh. It is believed to be the spot where Sangha was originated and where Buddha proclaimed Buddhism Dharma. It is also here that he taught Dhammacakkhapavattana Sutta and the Anattalakhana Sutta to his shishyas (disciples).
Now in the memory of that zoo has been made where there are few animals kept like different types of deers, crocodiles, alligators, rabits, snakes and lot of species of birds. We went to zoo.
Then we headed to wards the excursions on the right side of the deer park and Mulagandha Kuti Vihar temple . Here we found
Then we headed to wards the excursions on the back side of the deer park and Mulagandha Kuti Vihar temple . Here we found
The Dhamek Stupa is one of the major attractions and most conspicuous structure of Sarnath of Uttar Pradesh. This stupa which is built in bricks and stones during the Maurya Dynasty, is about 43.6 m in height and 28 m in diameter, at the base. The lower part of the Dhamek Stupa is built of stone and is noteworthy for its intricate floral carvings. This structure can be seen from anywhere when you are roaming in the excursions of Sarnath.The stupa was enlarged on previosu six occasions but the upper part is still unfinished. It is the marked as the place where Buddha delivered his first sermon
The Chaukhandi Stupa was built in the 5th century by the Gupta Dynasty to commemorate the visit of Lord Buddha and also his meeting with his first disciples delivering the first sermon.
It is believed that the Chaukhandi Stupa was originally a Buddhist temple in the 4th century AD. The stupa stands on a rectangular platform with an octagonal tower which was a later addition constructed to mark the visit of Humayun the great Mughal Emperor. Today the Chaukhandi Stupa is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. The original structure is said to be raised by Emperor Ashoka in the beginning.
Archaeological Museum, Sarnath
This is the oldest site museum of the Archaeological Survey of India. In order to preserve the antiquities found from this excursion site a decision was taken in 1904 by the Government to construct a site museum adjacent to the excavated site at Sarnath.The antiquities and artifacts in the museum are datable from 3rd century BC to 12th century AD.
The galleries have been christened on the basis of their contents, the northern most gallery is Tathagata while next one is Triratna. The main hall is known as Shakyasimha gallery and adjacent to it on south is named as Trimurti. The southern most is Ashutosh gallery, the verandahs on northern and southern side are named as Vastumandana and Shilparatna respectively.The Shakyasimha gallery displays the most prized collections of the museum. In the centre of this gallery is the Lion Capital of the Mauryan Pillar which has become the National Emblem of India.
This is the famous original sandstone sculpted Lion Capital of Ashoka preserved at Sarnath Museum which was originally erected around 250 BCE atop an Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath. The angle from which this picture has been taken, minus the inverted bell-shaped lotus flower, has been adopted as the National Emblem of India showing the Horse on the left and the Bull on the right of the Ashoka Chakra in the circular base on which the four Indian lions are standing back to back. On the far side there is an Elephant and a Lion instead. The wheel “Ashoka Chakra” from its base has been placed onto the center of the National Flag of India.
About Tibetan Temple
The Tibetan Temple is one of the Buddist pilgrim destinations at Sarnath. The temple, built in the traditional Tibetan architectural style, houses the statue of Shakyamuni, the Buddha.
The Tibetan Temple is famous for its Thangksa (Tibetan Buddhist paintings) and frescoes, which are found on the walls and ceilings. Prayer wheels are yet another attraction of this temple, which release paper scrolls marked with chants when rotated clockwise.
This is the most beautiful monastry among six different monastries around Sarnath and a must watch.
There are more monastries and lot of ashrams and other spiritual destinationsto see in Sarnath. But due to lack of time I managed to look only these. I hope you have enjoyed both antique as well as modern monuments of Sarnath. Thanks for going through. In next post I will take you to a Shaktipeeth near Varanasi called and Vindhyavasini and Sitamarhi where Sita Mata goes underground. Till then