Buddha Purnima

The biggest annual festival at Sarnath takes place on Buddha Purnima – the full moon day in April – May to mark the birth and death anniversary of Lord Buddha. A big fair springs up on the occasion and the relics of Lord Buddha are taken out on well-decorated elephants for public display. A piece of Lord Buddha’s bone which is preserved in a silver box behind the altar of the Mulagandha Kuti Vihar Temple is taken out on this day for darshan. Devotees from around the world pour in, during this occasion.

Deer Park

The forest area gifted by the King of Varanasi holds pride for being the place where Lord Buddha taught the laws of Dharma to the world. He taught Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta and the Anattalakhana Sutta to his disciples so they can propagate the same. A large number of deer inhabited the area during those times.

Sarangnath Temple

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the ancient temple houses two Shivalingas in a single Argha. It is known for its vibrant fair during Shravan (July-August) which continues for one full month. Nearby is the huge Sarangnath Kund. 

Mulagandha Kuti Vihar

It is worth mentioning that Shri Angarika Dharmpal, a Sri Lankan Buddhist saint revived almost all Buddhist sites at Sarnath and established the Maha Bodhi Society of India. The society built the new Mulagandha Kuti Vihar Temple to commemorate the original Mulagandha Kuti Vihar whose ruins can be seen in ASI's excavated site. Lord Buddha’s golden statue, in the pose of preaching the first sermon is worshipped here as the deity. Relic of Lord Buddha is kept here which is taken out every year on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. The inner walls of the temple are adorned with beautiful frescoes created by the Japanese artist Kosetsu Nosu; displaying his life from birth to the attainment of Mahaparinirvana. One can also behold a Bodhi Tree here, planted by a branch of the Bodhi Tree of Anuradhapuram (Sri Lanka).

Archaeological Museum

In the archaeological museum visitor can witness the era between 3rd century BC and 12th century BC through the rare findings displayed here. The museum preserves a large number of sculptures, artefacts, statues of Goddess Tara, Bodhisattva and the iconic Ashoka's Lion Capital, which is the national emblem of India.

Dhamek Stupa

Dhamek Stupa, in Archaeological excavated site, is the most remarkable structure at Sarnath. 28 metres in diameter at the base and 43.6 metres in height this cylindrical structure is built partly of stone and partly of brick. The stone facing the lower part is adorned with delicate floral carvings of Gupta origin. Dhamek Stupa is one of the most frequented attractions of the town as it was built to commemorate Lord Buddha's first sermon to five of his disciples.

Chaukhandi Stupa

Chaukhandi Stupa is huge mound of brick –work whose square edifice is surrounded by an octagonal tower. The Stupa was bulit during Gupta Period between 4th to 6th century A.D. The site has great significance for the Buddhists devotees as this is the place where Lord Buddha met his first five disciples after attaining enlightenment. 

Excavated Archaeological Site

The Archaeological site showcases the grandeur of the ancient times. An open exhibition of structures, Ashokan Column, monuments, relics, monasteries existing here since the Mauryan period is showcased.

Thai temple

Set amidst lush green gardens, the magnificent Hinayana Buddha temple was built by Thai dignitaries in 1993 who visited Sarnath. The statue of Lord Buddha here is in Bhumisparsha mudra, where he touches the ground to summon the mortal spirits from the nether world.

Tibetan Temple

The Tibetan Temple is famous for its Thangka paintings and the beautiful statue of Shakyamuni Buddha.

Lord Buddha’s statue

This statue of Lord Buddha is in his first sermon preaching posture (Dharma Chakra Pravartan Mudra), which was found at Sarnath during the archaeological excavation. The statue is kept in the museum and is considered highly sacred by the devotees.