Varanasi

Varanasi, popularly known as Benaras and mentioned as 'Kashi' in ancient scriptures, has a glittering historical past. Located on the banks of the holy river Ganges, it is a popular pilgrimage destination. It is believed that a dip in the Ganges holy water washes away one's sins and purifies the soul.

One of the most ancient cities of the world, Varanasi is visited by a large number of tourists every year. With over 800 temples, the city has the highest density of population anywhere in the world and follows a ritualistic life style.

The Ghats of Varanasi are a major attraction for visitors made by different rulers and communities around 18th century. The riverfront of Kashi has 84 Ghats, which are the flights of step on the bank. They form a chain of sacred places.

Enthralled by its mythological legacy and traditions, Mark Twain said “Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, even older than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.”

Sarnath

Sarnath, near Varanasi is a place sacred to Buddhists. Located 10 kms by road from the Varanasi railway station, Sarnath is a part of the triangular Indian Buddhist pilgrimage circuit for global tourists.

While Bodhgaya is the place where Buddha attained enlightenment, Sarnath is the place from where Buddhism spread worldwide and it is at Kushinagar that Buddha attained Nirvana.

Sarnath is world famous for its historical relics. The Sarnath museum houses some of the greatest treasures of Indian Buddhist art. For over 1500 years,Sarnath was a thrivingcentre of Buddhism. Archaeological excavations here have led to the discovery of numerous ancient artifacts.

The most famous is the remnant of the Ashoka pillar and its lion capital that is today the symbol of the Indian government.

The famous Deer Park, Dhamekh Stupa, and other ruins evoke images of important historical events of Buddha's life. Dhamekh Stupa is the place where Buddha delivered the Turning of the Wheel sermon to his first five disciples.

Chaukhandi Stupa – its significance

The Garden of Spiritual Wisdom in Sarnath, Varanasi is located right behind the Chaukhandi Stupa and appears seamlessly connected with this nationally protected monument.

It also happens to be the first impressive monument as one enters Sarnath. The high octagonal mound is globally famous. Lord Buddha met his first five disciples here after he came from Bodhgaya upon attaining enlightenment.

The tourists often like to go up and down the stupa's octagonal mound and enjoy the views of Sarnath and Benaras from the top. This excursion constitutes a small adventure by itself as there is no definite pathway and one is free to choose the path of ascent.

It is said that Emperor Ashoka built the Chaukhandi Stupa and that some of the remains of Lord Buddha lie buried here.

The Garden of Spiritual Wisdom

The garden is the newest attraction for tourists coming to Sarnath. Many tourists who visit Sarnath have a deep interest in Buddhism.

The garden uses a mix of exhibits and sculptures to convey the essentials of Buddhism. The exhibits convey the essence of Indian spirituality in an easy to understand language illustrated with graphics. The garden is beautifully made and the tourists love the heavenly experience of this sacred site.

With increasing complexity of modern life, knowledge for the purpose of earning a living alone is considered insufficient. The garden seeks to ignite an interest in the visitor to further explore the subject of spirituality.

In the garden is a section for herbal plants that constitute the basis of Ayurveda. Ayurveda teaches harmony with nature, simplicity and contentment as keys to well-being.

It is the five thousand year old Indian traditional natural healing system and is a part of its yogic system.

Today, Ayurveda is at the forefront of mind-body medicine. It has spread far beyond its traditional base and is gaining attention throughout the world.

The display of ayurvedic plants in the garden, collected from different parts of the country offers a glimpse of Ayurveda.

Visitor’s Comments

I feel like I am in a heaven. This garden is really wonderful and gives you nature's peace.

Teacher, SB Central School,Varanasi
4.3.14

The beauty of the Garden really gives me peace and the feel of heaven.

Tsewang Naboo
2.3.14

The design of Noble Eight Fold Path is very attractive.I like to sit here in peace. I am able to internally realize the Buddhist philosophy.

Dammacharya Uparaj, Pune
1.3.14

Many thanks for this noble work you have done. A visitor who comes here will become less greedy and jealous.

Dhammacharya Bodhisagar
1.3.14

Thank you for your work of creating and maintaining all this beauty.It is an OASISof paradise.

Tania, Belarus
28.2.14

This is a very peaceful place after seeing city of Varanasi. This garden gives us a welcome rest.

Michael Psiischick, USA
24.2.14

Enlightening experience introducing Buddha's wisdom in very simple yet beautifully and straightforward way.

Manidharma Buddhist Order, UK
24.2.14

It is a beautiful spiritual place with very nice description of spiritual values.

Dr. SP Samuol, Samuol Hospital, Himachal Pradesh
27.2.14

This garden represents the uncomparable ethos of Sarnath and Varanasi

Pankaj Upadhyay
21.2.14

When reading the powerful teachings of the Buddha, tears came to my eyes.

Philip
20.2.14

This is a garden that gives a feeling of no mind.

Dr. Anand Rafe, Osho Centre for Conscious living, Varanasi
20.2.14

We are Group of Monk's and nun's arrived this morning to visit the beautiful garden, we feel this garden is really for those people who wish to practice meditation & buddha's teachings.

Ms. Peima, Lahol Spiti
18.2.14

In this garden, I feel as if I am close to Shakyamuni Buddha. This place gives me immense peace.

Madhulika Das
18.2.14

It seems this is heaven. One gets so much peace and contentment as if one is one with nature.

Reena Gupta
18.2.14

Great initiative, serene place for meditation and retreat, The theme of teaching of Buddha is very effective.

Chaekyi, Kathmandu- Nepal
17.2.14

Very inspiring and represents the precious teachings of India's great spiritual masters.

Visitor
14.2.14

Saw the truth about suffering in life and how to overcome that suffering, explains the words of Buddha. It is just marvelous.

Visitor
13.2.14

People must visit this place at least once. This is a garden with a difference which will inspire you to see and understand the noble words of lord Buddha.

Konchhong Dodep, Leh
11.2.14

Mainly the sculptures are very meaningful and helpful to all human beings. And also helps to spread the Buddhist philosophy.

Visitor
1.2.14

Excellent art work and planting designs, wonderful planting design and maintenance, nice break from the busy outside!!

Dr. Amita Sinha, Prof. of Landscape Architecture, Illinois University, USA
10.1.14

I can't believe that this type of park exists in Varanasi. If there is any heaven on earth, it is here in Varanasi

Sushma Kumari
22.5.13

I think, it is one of the best things in Varanasi.

Ritu Singh

Serene wonderful design

Amy Sharmius, USA

Awesome place to feel and be at peace and learn about nature

Anuradha