Sarnath – A Buddhist Pilgrim Spots
By Smitakshi Guha
Located at a distance of around 13 Km from the city of Varanasi in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Sarnath is a prominent Buddhist religious spot, where people take keen interest in pilgrimage since a lot of history and culture in Buddhism is associated with the place. The Deer Park located in this place is the same spot from where the lord, Gautam Buddha, started his very first teaching of Dharma, and also, Sarnath marks the spot for the first existence of the Buddhist Sangha.
It is believed that Buddha had come to Sarnath in search of five of his close companions, who had left him in the town of Rajgir—the one that as on today happens to be the most popular Buddhist pilgrim place. The companions had deviated from the path of self mortification and the lord wanted to find them.
In Jainism too, the place holds a lot of religious significance, since only 1 KM away from Sarnath, there’s a village called Singhpur, where the 11th Tirthankara of the Jains, Shreyansanath was born. In fact, this event led to the construction of a popular Jain temple in this place that has made Sarnath a very popular pilgrim spot of even the Jains.
The major tourist spots here include the Asokan Pillar, the Dhamekha Stupa, the Chaukhandi, the Digambar Jain Temple, as well as a list of monasteries.
Featured Image Source: en.wikipedia.org