Top things to do

Buddhist Site in Sarnath

Dhamekh Stupa & Monastery Ruins

Set in a peaceful park of monastery ruins is the impressive 34m Dhamekh Stupa, which marks the spot where the Buddha preached his first sermon. The floral and geometric carvings are 5th century AD, but some of the b…
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

Mulgandha Kuti Vihar

This modern temple was completed in 1931 by the Mahabodhi Society. Buddha’s first sermon is chanted daily, starting between 6pm and 7pm depending on the season. A bodhi tree growing outside was transplanted in 1931 …
in Sarnath

Deer Park

Behind the Mulgandha Kuti Vihar temple is a large deer park together with some aviaries and a crocodile pool.
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 India…
Indian in Sarnath

Green Hut

A breezy open-sided cafe-restaurant offering snacks, thalis (₹90 to ₹140) and Chinese dishes.
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, just outside Varanasi, takes on a particularly festive air on…
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.
Buddhist Temple in Sarnath

Thai Temple & Monastery

Thai Temple & Monastery in Sarnath.
Buddhist Temple in Sarnath

Japanese Temple & Monastery

Japanese Temple & Monastery in Sarnath.