Sarnath is one of the many sacred sites of Buddhism and a tourist spot in Uttar Pradesh, India. A lot of tourists visit Sarnath every year but only a handful of them get to see the most of it. If you’re someone who likes to explore the unexplored alleys then here is the list of top 10 offbeat places to visit in Sarnath.
Sivali Vietnamese Buddha Temple
This beautiful sitting statue of Buddha is located off the main circuit of Sarnath. Built by Doan Lam Tan the construction of the temple took 5 years to complete. Doan who sold all his property and car to build this temple still lives here.
Locals also call it Gulabi/pink temple because of the colour of the statue.
Korean Temple (Nokyawon)
Korean temple is located just a few meters away from the Pink temple. The temple houses many scriptures and also an Indo-Korean friendship pillar.
Korean temple is one of the oldest monasteries in Sarnath and yet one of the best kept secrets.
Cambodian Monastery is located just a few meters away from the Tibet monastery. The beautiful small temple at the center of the monastery houses a 4.5feet statue of lord buddha.
Horinji Temple (Japanese Temple)
Managed by Dharmachakra Indo-Japan Buddhist Cultural Society, Horinji Temple is located near the main market of Sarnath. The architecture of the temple resembles the temples of Kyoto and is often called the Japanese temple by locals.
Tibetan Buddhist Monastery
Built in 1955 the Tibetan Buddhist Monastery is located near Chinese temple/Monastery, Sarnath. The gate of the monastery is decorated with the two guarding lions and there’s also a pink stupa right behind the main compound.
The monastery has a lot of rooms available for the tourists and pilgrims. One can stay here by making a small donation.
Vajra Vidya Temple (Golden Temple)
Vajra Vidya Temple or the Institute of “Indestructible Knowledge” is located right behind the deer park of Sarnath. The institute is a monastic college which provides training in higher Buddhist philosophy.
Vajra Vidya Temple houses 1000 Buddha statues in its upper balcony and 35 statues in the lower sanctum.
Built-in 1939, Chinese monastery boasts beautiful Tibetian colours and architecture. Adorned with 2 small lawns this small temple remains extremely peaceful throughout the year.
Turtle Breeding Centre
This centre breeds turtle for the sanctuary located between Raj Ghat to Ramnagar(Now moved to Prayagraj). There are four small ponds with different varieties of turtles which are kept here for three years before being released into the Ganges.
If cute little turtles are your thing then it’s recommended that you visit this place near pink temple.
Chaukhandi Stupa which is also falsely claimed as “Kitchen of Sita” is one of the first sites you will see when you will approach Sarnath from Varanasi. Ignored by most of the tourists it holds importance for the followers of Buddhism.
The Chaukhandi Stupa marks the site where Gautam Buddha was reunited with his disciples before giving them the first Sermon.
Garden of Spiritual Wisdom
The Garden of spiritual wisdom is located right at the backside of Chaukhandi Stupa. It’s a breath of fresh air for anyone who’s looking for an escape from the chaos of Varanasi.
It also has a dedicated space for the medicinal/Ayurvedic plants collected from different part of the country.
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Also, check out these top ten unexplored places in Varanasi which every traveller must visit.