Vidur’s Travel Diary – 14 : Sarnath


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 04 , 2012           01.05 A.M.

On the morning of June 17 , 2012 , I started for my native place Deoria from Varanasi . I decide to visit Sarnath , which is world-famous centre of Buddhist religion and is just 13 km. away from Varanasi on Varanasi – Gorakhpur national highway . This was my second visit of Sarnath . I had earlier visited this place almost 30 years back .

It is here in the Mrigadava [ deer park ] , Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment in Bodh Gaya . According to Buddhist folklore , Lumbini , Bodh Gaya , Sarnath and Kushinagar are the four most important places connected with the life of Gautam Buddha . Lumbini [ Place of his Birth ] , Bodh Gaya [ Place of his Enlightenment ] , Sarnath [ Place of his First Sermon or Dhammachakkappavattan ] and Kushinagar [ Place of his Nirvana ] are pilgrimage centre and visited by devout Buddhists .

Out of these 4 holy cities of Buddhist religion , I have visited 2 cities . Kushinagar was a tehsil headquarter in Deoria district and now it is a separate district . It is 34 km. away from Deoria . I have visited it many times . And this time it was my second visit to Sarnath .

Buddha gave his first sermon or Dhammachakkappavattan in Sarnath . He also spent his first rainy season at Mulagandha Kuti .

Two pillars at the two sides of the road indicate the starting of the boundary of Sarnath .

Main Entrance of Sarnath City

Main Entrance of Sarnath City

Main Road of Sarnath City

Main Road of Sarnath City

Mulagandhakuti Vihara is a modern monastery built in 1930 by king of Sri Lanka Anagarika Dharamapala . It has a golden statue of Gautam Buddha and beautiful murals on the inner walls .

Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple - Sarnath

Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple – Sarnath

My Wife at Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple - Sarnath

My Wife at Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple – Sarnath

Inside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple - Sarnath

Inside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple – Sarnath

Inside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple - Sarnath

Inside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple – Sarnath

Inside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple - Sarnath

Inside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple – Sarnath

Outside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple - Sarnath

Outside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple – Sarnath

My Wife Outside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple - Sarnath

My Wife Outside Mulagandhakuti Vihara Buddhist Temple – Sarnath

Statue of Anagarika Dharamapala , King of Sri Lanka , Who Built The Temple

Statue of Anagarika Dharamapala , King of Sri Lanka , Who Built The Temple

The Inscription

The Inscription

Dhamek Stupa is another important shrine . It is 128 feet high and 93 feet in diameter .

The Dhamekh Stupa - Sarnath

The Dhamekh Stupa – Sarnath

The Dhamekh Stupa - Sarnath

The Dhamekh Stupa – Sarnath

Me & My Wife At The Dhamekh Stupa - Sarnath

Me & My Wife At The Dhamekh Stupa – Sarnath

Me & My Wife At The Dhamekh Stupa - Sarnath

Me & My Wife At The Dhamekh Stupa – Sarnath

Very close to Dhamek Stupa , in Singhpur village , there is birthplace of Shreyansnatha , the 11th Tirthankara of Jainism . A temple is built on that holy place .

Birthplace of Shreyansnath , 11th Tirthankara of Jainism

Birthplace of Shreyansnath , 11th Tirthankara of Jainism

Birthplace of Shreyansnath , 11th Tirthankara of Jainism

Birthplace of Shreyansnath , 11th Tirthankara of Jainism

At Statue of Buddha Giving First Sermon to His Desciples

At Statue of Buddha Giving First Sermon to His Disciples

At Statue of Buddha Giving First Sermon to His Desciples

At Statue of Buddha Giving First Sermon to His Disciples

My Wife At Statue of Buddha Giving First Sermon to His Desciples

My Wife At Statue of Buddha Giving First Sermon to His Disciples

Bell , Donated by Dalai Lama

Bell , Donated by Dalai Lama

The latest in the list of temple is a Thai temple . It has a gigantic statue of Gautam Buddha .

Thai Temple - Sarnath

Thai Temple – Sarnath

Me & My Wife at Thai Temple - Sarnath

Me & My Wife at Thai Temple – Sarnath

Me & My Wife at Thai Temple - Sarnath

Me & My Wife at Thai Temple – Sarnath

Buddha Statue - Thai Temple - Sarnath

Buddha Statue – Thai Temple – Sarnath

Main Entrance of Sarnath City

Main Entrance of Sarnath City

Sarnath is a small town . I completed my visit within few hours and after visiting local museum proceeded for Markandeya Mahadev temple in Aundihar . I have written about that temple in my travel diary of Varanasi .

Like Varanasi , Sarnath is also not a remote place . I intend to visit it again in winters . But again the same feeling ; who knows ?

पार्श्व गिरि का नम्र चीड़ों में , डगर चढ़ती उमंगों सी ;

बिछी पैरों में नदी ज्यों दर्द की रेखा , विहग शिशु मौन नीड़ों में ; 

मैंने आँख भर देखा , दिया मन को दिलासा ; 
पुनः आऊँगा , भले ही बरस दिन , अनगिन युगों के बाद ;

क्षितिज ने पलक सी खोली , दमक कर दामिनी बोली ;
” अरे यायावर ! रहेगा याद ? “
………………………………………………..अज्ञेय 
[ Tenderness of mighty mountains reflected in pine trees ,
Upward moving pathways symbolizing my enthusiasm ,
River , flowing deep down like a line of pain ,
Tiny tots of birds sitting silently in their nest ,
I saw everything with contentment ,
Consoled myself , I would come again ,
After a year or may be after ages ……….
Horizon opened its eyes , lightning dazzled in the sky ,
As if saying ………………
O Wanderer ! Would you ever even remember ? ]
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