Rajpath Marg (Road) in Sarnath, at a distance of 9 km from Varanasi city, U.P., India
Sunrise-Sunset, opens on all daysHow to reach
By taxi, auto rickshaw from Varanasi/cycle rickshaw/on foot from any part of the town
The first monument that one encounters while entering Sarnath is Chaukhandi Stupa. It is a square edifice with an octagonal tower at the top. This site makes the actual spot where Buddha, after enlightenment re-met the five ascetics (who had left him earlier in disgust) and who went on to become his first five disciples. It is actually a lofty mound of brick work. During Gupta period (4th-6thcentury) this was in form of terraced temple. In 1567, Mughal emperor Akbar raised an octagonal tower above the stupa to commemorate the visit of his father Humayun in 1532 here. This site was excavated by Alexender Cunningham (1934-36) and Daya Ram Sahni (1927-32).