(From Deccan Herald)
Everything was exciting in Varanasi — the magnificent Ganges, the people, the roadside shops, the monuments, and of course, not to forget — the lavish north Indian food. I set out on the first leg of my trip to Sarnath, one of the major Buddhist centres in the sacred pilgrim city of Varanasi.
According to legends, after achieving enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, Lord Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his message. Later, Emperor Ashoka erected magnificent stupas and mansions at Sarnath to honour the religion. The splendid attractions here are Dhamekh stupa, Ashoka Pillar, the Archaeological Museum and the Bodhi Tree.
The Dhamekh stupa dates back to AD 500. The geometrical and floral patterns on the stupa are typical of the Gupta period but excavations reveal brickwork of Mauryan period around 200 BC. The 20-meter-high Ashoka Pillar has representations of lion, elephant, horse and bull at the lower portion, while the upper portion of four lions has been broken down and kept in the museum. Read More