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Sarnath

Less than eight miles from the Hindu holy city of Varanasi is Sarnath, the site of the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma after his enlightenment. The deer park is one of four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by the Buddha himself for pilgrimage. The other three sites are Lumbini (birth); Bodh Gaya (enlightenment); and Kushinagar (death).

Sarnath has previously been known as Mrigadava ("deer park") and Isipatana (the place where holy men fell to earth). The current name Sarnath, from Saranganath, means "Lord of the Deer" and relates to an old Buddhist story in which the Bodhisattva is a deer and offers his life to a king instead of the doe he is planning to kill. The king is so moved that he creates the park as a sanctuary for deer. The ancient buildings and structures at Sarnath were damaged or destroyed by the Turks, but amongst the ruins is the Dharmekh Stupa, an impressive structure 128 feet (39 metres) high, and 93 feet (28 metres) in diameter. This dates from around 200 BC and is the spot where the Buddha is said to have preached his first sermon.

1 result matching: Escorted Rail Tours to Sarnath

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Grand Tour of India & Nepal
Flexible Booking
4.4 stars(18 reviews)
2021OctNov
2022JanFebMarAprOctNov
19 days from
£3,545 pp
View Details
Flexible Booking
19 days from
£3,545
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationIndia, Nepal
  • Starts / EndsLondon Heathrow
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportFlight, Rail, Coach
Map and accommodation
Our customers love our Sarnath tours
Grand Tour of India, Nepal and the Himalayas
24 Apr 2019
Mr D Wakeling
4 stars
“It was a superb trip - India is a fabulous country could never disappoint, Nepal is also a great place to visit. However, a crammed itinerary with long coach journeys, long train journeys and many internal flights - not much time to catch your breath! I think the Itinerary needs to cut down on coach time in Nepal - an internal flight would help. Also, the long dirty train journey into Varanasi was unnecessary when there's a high speed alternative! Travellers to Kathmandu need to be aware how dusty the city is and the need for nose and mouth masks. Loved the extension to Kerala for a much needed rest! All in all a brilliant trip.
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