Sarnath Tourism

Sarnath Tourism

Rank 26
Ranked 26 of 45
Uttar Pradesh Tourism Destinations
Destination Rating
5.7 / 7
30 Ratings & 75 Reviews

Sarnath Info

  • State: Uttar Pradesh
  • Famous for/as: Heritage
  • District: Varanasi
Sarnath, renowned as a Buddhist shrine, is a city located about 13 kilometres north-east of Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The place is known for being among the four major Buddhist pilgrimage destinations.

Every year Sarnath is visited by tourists for its famous Buddhist sites and stupas along with Deer Park. Buddhism is a major part of Sarnath for several years as this is the place, where Buddha, preached his first sermon.

Sarnath, formally Isipathana, is among one of the four holiest places. The name of this place was derived from the name of Saranganatha (God of Deer). It is believed that this deer was born in the Deer Park, which is also a place where Buddha preached the Dharma for the first time. Every year a number of tourists and historians come here to visit Buddhist sites in Sarnath.

The history of Sarnath dates back to 528 B.C, when Lord Buddha came to this place 5 weeks after attaining salvation in Bodhgaya. As per the memoirs of Huien Tsang, Deer park was constructed by the Jataka king of Benaras.

In 1026 AD, the invasion of Muhammad Ghazni had affected the monuments of the city. The British archaeologists dug out the site and now this place has significant importance in terms of culture and religious heritage for many people.

In Sarnath, there are several tourist places including Deer Park, Tibetan Temple, Archaeological and Excavation Area, Archaeological Museum, The Japanese and Chinese Temple, Ashoka Pillar, Chaukhandi and Dhamekh Stupa.  

Chaukhandi, constructed in the Gupta Period, was made in the memory of the spot where Lord Buddha met his first disciples.  Dhamek stupa at Sarnath, built in 500 AD, is the site where the Buddha first preached his sermon. There is also a stone slab, dating back to the 6th century BC, with Buddhist inscriptions on it.

The Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath is a 50-metre tall pillar, which is carved out of stone. The pillar was made by Emperor Asoka and marks his visit to this place. It represents four lions on the top in standing posture and a wheel at the bottom known as Ashoka Chakra. The bull, lion, elephant, and horse symbolise the four different phases of Gautama Buddha’s life.

Varanasi Airport at Babatpur, 30 kilometres away from Sarnath, is the nearest airport to the destination. The nearest railhead to this place is Sarnath railway station, which is connected to Gorakhpur and Varanasi. The other station is Varanasi Cantonment railway station, which is around 10 kilometres away. The ideal time to visit this place is between the months of October to March.

Explore Sarnath through video reviews

Chaukhandi Stupa, Sarnath

First Stupa we saw in Sarnath,...
Overall Rating

Tibetan Temple, Sarnath

Maha Bodhi Society, Sarnath #V...
Overall Rating

Chaukhandi Stupa, Sarnath

terraced buddhist stupa, chauk...
Overall Rating
View More Video Reviews

Most preferred by...

Travellers from Ghazipur, Satna

Best time to visit Sarnath in the next six months

  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
  • January

Sarnath Traveller Reviews

Read 11 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.7/7,
out of 75 Sarnath reviews
Sort by:
Abhinav Kumar

  • Scout
  • Abhinav Kumar
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 290 photos
  • 171 Reviews
  •  154 helpful votes
  •  95831 readers

"The Buddha's Capital"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Sep 28, 2016
Sarnath is one of the most recommended historical destination of India. The legacy of Buddhism and glimpses of Mauryan will leave you amazed. The small village is some acres of campus dedicated to few temples, stupas, museum and excavation area. Temples from all Buddhism origin like China and Tibet present their own way of following. India has a lot to show about Buddhism so the Sarnath is one of three places to experience Buddha's life closely. The untouched peace of spirituality and green natural environment will rejoice and rejuvenate you. This is just 10km from Varanasi so visiting here is very comfortable and easy.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Swapnil Shukla

  • Tourist
  • Swapnil Shukla
  • Lives in Lucknow
  • 29 photos
  • 7 Reviews
  •  7 helpful votes
  •  10698 readers

"Sarnath - Buddha Ji"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Aug 26, 2016
A beautiful place.. Full of saints all across the world.. And the place where everyone is smiling.. And also contain ancient tombs and pillars.. Various activities are performed there.. And also a zoo is there of many deers.. Market is outside and eatables are available.. A person must visit here if he visit Banaras :)
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 1 vote

Manu mansheet

  • Tourist
  • Manu mansheet
  • 5 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  1145 readers

"Religious place"

  • 2.0/7
  • Posted Mar 17, 2016
Over rated, too far, time wasted. Its a sweet little Buddha temple with a Bodhi tree. Maybe I have seen many in Thailand and Sri Lanka. This one did not fascinate me too much. The museum is crying for help, its just so badly designed and displayed and depressing.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Rahul Singh

  • Tourist
  • Rahul Singh
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 18 photos
  • 12 Reviews
  •  3 helpful votes
  •  3433 readers

"Superb Historical Spot"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Feb 19, 2016
I went Sarnath in the month of October with my friends. Entry ticket worth Rs. 15 only. But we have lot of fun in Sarnath. It's a perfect history of lord Buddha life. There was a Tibetien type market outside the gate. I suggest travellers who come Varanasi must visit Sarnath once.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Prem Anand

  • Scout
  • Prem Anand
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 2 photos
  • 32 Reviews
  •  34 helpful votes
  •  4205 readers

"Must not to miss if you are heading to Varanasi"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Jan 26, 2016
Sarnath Archaeological Excavation Area and Dhammek Stupa are the two point must not to miss if you are heading to Varanasi. The Buddhist pilgrimage, Sarnath lies 10 km from Varanasi, and is yet another attraction that appeals to people from all around the world. This is the place where Gautum Buddha first gave his sermons on Dharma.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 1 vote

Pradeep Singh

  • Scout
  • Pradeep Singh
  • 1 Review
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  293 readers

"Beautiful Place-Sarnath!"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Dec 25, 2015
Sarnath is a city located 13 kilometres north-east of Varanasi near the confluence of the Ganges and the Gomati rivers in Uttar Pradesh. The deer park in Sarnath is where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. If you want a relaxed outing away from the madding crowd, give a quiet visit to Sarnath and you will feel in a completely whole new world! In sarnath many temples, fort, and beautiful gardens are present for visiting. There is a garden outside that tell stories of the old era of Buddhists, you will also spot monks meditating and worshipping. And the museum inside has a collection of many different statues that carries hundreds of different tales from across time and history. All you have to do is step in and explore the stories. Sarnath is a important Buddhist destination of India, it's a place where Gautam Buddha was preached dharma to his first five disciples. The person who want to reach this place, they can reach this place by road. All the visitors should came with camera for capturing the beautiful sights of this place for making her life special. They can also stay here. Here many good hotels are also present.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 1 vote

Basab Ray chaudhuri

  • Guru
  • Basab Ray chaudhuri
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 150 photos
  • 118 Reviews
  •  90 helpful votes
  •  97492 readers

"Its a nice Buddhist pilgrimage"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Dec 18, 2015
Situated 13 kms away from Varanasi, Sarnath is one of the sacred destination for the Buddhists in India. Here, Gautam Buddha, after enlightenment, taught the Dharma. Dhamek Stupa, Chaukhandi Stupa and Museum are important places to visit. There are many Buddhist temples of different countries, where you should pay visit.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Yoginder Gulaiya

  • Expert
  • Yoginder Gulaiya
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 150 photos
  • 56 Reviews
  •  167 helpful votes
  •  59079 readers

"Spiritual beauty-Sarnath"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Oct 21, 2015
We some friends last year visited Varanasi and Sarnath. Very spiritual and beautiful place where lord Buddha give Dikshaa to their good student, neat and clean. Beautiful holy place. Sarnath is the centre for follower of lord Buddha. From Varanasi to Sarnath distance is 14Kms.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Surabhi Nigam

  • Scout
  • Surabhi Nigam
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 14 photos
  • 5 Reviews
  •  607 readers

"Peace of mind"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Sep 27, 2015
If you plan on visiting Varanasi, do make a note to visit Sarnath which is 10-15 kms far, the rich culture and history of the city is mesmerizing. A few segments that were studied in history can be seen with our eyes. The Dhamekh Stupa is something that mostly all have read about or seen in their history books. There is a museum nearby, within a range of 1km are all the basic sights to be seen.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Akash Baranwal

  • Tourist
  • Akash Baranwal
  • Lives in Varanasi
  • 17 photos
  • 3 Reviews
  •  6 helpful votes
  •  2376 readers

"Awesome place to know Buddhism"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Sep 16, 2015
You can be yourself there and possibly can invade your soul. The best holy and spiritual place to know about Buddhism. Go Sarnath in the month if midwinters specially from October to December. Museum is must watch but hang your digital camera aside because it is not allowed there.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Yoginder Abrar Bunty Thrivikramarao Yoginder, Abrar, Bunty and 16 other people have been to Sarnath.
View their ratings...

Sarnath Sightseeing

View all 12 Sightseeing options in Sarnath »

Sarnath Blogs

Best time to visit Sarnath with family

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Sarnath Information