Top things to do in Sarnath

Buddhist Site in Sarnath

Dhamekh Stupa & Monastery Ruins

Set in a peaceful park of monastery ruins is this impressive 34m stupa, marking the spot where the Buddha preached his first sermon. The floral and geometric carvings are 5th century AD, but some of the brickwork da…
Museum in Sarnath

Archaeological Museum

This fully modernised, 100-year-old sandstone museum houses wonderfully displayed ancient treasures, such as the very well-preserved, 3rd-century-BC lion capital from the Ashoka Pillar, which has been adopted as Ind…
Religious in Sarnath


Also known as Vesak, Buddha Jayanti or, informally, Buddha’s birthday, Purnima actually celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. Sarnath takes on a particularly festive air on this day, when Buddhist…
Buddhist Temple in Sarnath

Thai Temple & Monastery

With its unique, red-walled, white-roofed design, the temple is worth a look, but the real reason to visit are the peaceful gardens that surround it.
Buddhist Temple in Sarnath

Burmese Temple & Monastery

The Burmese Temple features a triple-pagoda roof and several statues of the Buddha, set in lush gardens.
Buddhist Temple in Sarnath

Mulgandha Kuti Vihar

This turreted temple was completed in 1931 by the Mahabodhi Society, and is noted for its unique wall frescoes, which look almost like animation stills. Buddha’s first sermon is chanted daily, starting between 6pm a…
Buddhist Site in Sarnath

Chaukhandi Stupa

This large, ruined stupa dates back to the 5th century AD, and marks the spot where Buddha met his first disciples. The incongruous tower on top of the stupa is Mughal and was constructed here in the 16th century to…
Buddhist Temple in Sarnath

Japanese Temple & Monastery

Somewhat simple on the outside, this temple features a reclining Buddha carved from sandalwood inside the main shrine.
Buddhist Temple in Sarnath

Chinese Temple & Monastery

One of the simpler temples in Sarnath. The entrance is between two red pillars.
Indian in Sarnath

Vaishali Restaurant

Large and modern 1st-floor restaurant serving mostly Indian dishes, but some Chinese too. It's the best in town.