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A prime location in Ramnagar, Ram Bagh Garden portray the rich lineage of the erstwhile Royal Hose of Banaras. Boasting a history of over 200 years, this serene location is a major venue of the famous 'Ramlila' festival. Rare flora adorn this beautiful site which was a favorite resting place of the Kings of Banaras. The seating area of the King, made of a rare stone, is still intact and is an interesting sight for tourists. Do include this historic garden part of the trip to Ramnagar. Right next to it is the Akshir Sagar Pond and the Durga Temple.
Following the ancient Buddhist tradition Theravada, Burmese Buddhist Temple is a marvelous sight in Sarnath. Established in 1910, this temple located near to the main Buddhist sites in Sarnath is visited by large number of pilgrims due to its peculiar stature. The architecture is unique and creates a characteristic environment with fine detailing and sensible color choices. Located on the west side of the Sarnath Deer Park, a visit will be definitely exhilarating.
The Mahabodhi Society of India was established by the Sri Lankan pilgrim Anagarika Dhammapala in May 1891, and has been accredited with spawning a new lease of life into Buddhism in India. He arrived in Bodhgaya and was astonished to find the ancient Mahabodhi Temple under the control of a Hindu Brahmin priest, and the Buddha's image replaced with a Hindu idol. Anagarika started a massive protest and even filed a lawsuit against the priests. Slowly but surely, his society emerged victorious and took on the responsibility of renovating ancient neglected Buddhist sites in Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar, all of which are crucial pilgrimage points for worshipers. Today this society has branches even in Kolkatta, Orissa, New Delhi, Chennai, Ajmer, Lucknow and Bangalore.
Located 13 kilometers (8 miles) away from the holy city of Varanasi, Sarnath is a major site of Buddhist pilgrimage. The deer park here is believed to be the location where Gautama Buddha gave his first lecture after attaining enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya. Also known as Isipatana, the major sight here are the ruins of historic Buddhist establishments mostly destructed by Muslim invasion. Dhamek Stupa, is another conspicuous sight inside this stunning archeological complex. The Archeological Museum and the base of the famous Ashoka Pillar are also things not to miss in Sarnath.The location is bestowed with a lot of Tibetan, Burmese and Chinese monasteries which interests visitors with their distinctive architecture and layout. A small number of guesthouses and restaurants are also available in the area.
Legend has it that the 11th Jain Tirthankara named Shreyanshnath was born here at the Shri Digambar Jain Mandir which lies right to the southwest of the Dhamek Stupa. This temple attracts not just Jains but also Buddhists from India and South East Asia, as well as Hindu pilgrims who make a day-trip from Varanasi. Built in 1824, the temple exudes a peaceful exuberance that matches the serenity of the ancient Sarnath precincts.
An arresting structure with an ascending dome and marvelous carvings on the wall, Durga Temple near Ramnagar Fort is a mystifying sight of Indian spirituality. Also known as Sumeru Temple, this temple has a history dating back to the early 19th Century. The wall carvings lure visitors with fine detailing and beautiful design. Chinnamastika Temple, another prominent site in the pilgrims' list, is located in the same compound. Akshir Sagar, a beautiful pond, is located right next to the temple's gate. A walk around the temple premises in the evening will be refreshing to the senses.