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The Ghats The Temples Other Universities Excursions

Excursions around Varanasi

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ll  Sarnath  ll

Main Shrine

To see...

Chaukhandi

Stupas

Main Shrine

Ashoka Pillar

Mulgandh Kuti

Monasteries

Archaeological Museum

The Main Shrine, Mulagandhakuti, where Buddha used to sit in meditation, is a vast building which extends, in a series of ruined shrines and miniature stupas, from about 18 m north of the Dharmarajika Stupa right up to the Dhamekh Stupa, the eastern-most monument of Sarnath proper. Hiuen Tsang, who visited Sarnath in the 7th century AD., recorded that the Mulagandhakuti was 61 m high. Much of this brick and plaster temple has crumbled, but the existing thick walls are testimony to the lofty structure that Hiuen Tsang wrote about.

A Gupta-style Standing Buddha image found in the chapel on the southern side is indicative that the temple was built by the Guptas.

A concrete pavement laid around the shrine and brick walls raised inside the main chamber to prevent the roof from collapsing are later additions.

The entrance to the shrine is on the east. In front ofthis is the lengthy courtyard, with shrines and stupas of varying sizes stretching from the entrance of the shrine to the Dhamekh Stupa, further east.