This is a shorter post because I’ve lost a bunch of photos and the Fort Museum was pants. It mostly was a restorative visit to soothe my fried nerves.

The Dhamekha stupa.

TREMBLING AND TRAUMATISED by the filthy Very Nasty I arrived at Sarnath and was completely refreshed and hopeful at this clean and wonderful place.

‘After attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya the Buddha went to Sarnath; and it was here that he preached his first discourse in the deer park to set in motion the ‘Wheel of the Dharma’. It is one of the most holy sites as in this place the stream of the Buddha’s teaching first flowed’

Giant Buddha nearby.

So this sacred site was tranquil, clean and beautifully maintained. It’s significance so great that you couldn’t help feeling in awe of it. The stupa is intact but most of the rest is just foundations of a large site.

Copy of the top of Ashokan Pillar

‘The Dhamekha stupa is considered to be the sacred place where the voice of Buddhism was first heard. Many dignitaries of Buddhist countries visit this place for circumambulation of this sacred stupa and to worship the Buddha. Tibetans Buddhist circumambulate it chanting the mantra ‘Om mani padme hum’. The first discourse of the Buddha was on the ‘Wheel of Law’. The wheel symbolises samsara (world), the eternal round of existence which goes on and on, life after life because of ceaseless cravings and desire.’

Origin of great names in Sarnath:‘ CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO TEXT BELOW

‘Mrigadava was named because of deer-park in sarnath. Isipatana was named because holy men have landed here. The devas rose into air and disappeared, only their sound fell on ground. It is believed that Pacceka Buddhas have spent their seven days in contemplation in the Gandhamādana and took bathe in the Anotatta Lake. After taking bathe in the lake he came to the habitations of men by the air. They came to earth at Isipatana through the air.’

‘The Deer Park in the Sarnath was forest and gifted by the king of Benares for the purpose where deer might wander unmolested. Sarnath originated from Saranganath known as the “Lord of the Deer”. This park is still exists there today.’

With gold leaf stuck by the faithful all over the base it glinted as I walked around it. This is something you see a lot on Buddhist sites, as I had seen all over in Thailand. The famous Ashokan Pillar survives there but the original four Asiatic lion statue is in their fine museum there. This famously is used as an insignia on money in modern day India and been in place since 1950.

The museum was well worth a visit but strangely I have lost the pics.

Dhamekha Stupa

There was a class of Buddhist novice monks there under a tree being taught, such a beautiful calm and peaceful scene that brought a tear to my eye. After Varanasi this truly felt spiritual to me. Sadly the only pic I have of me is the one where I look like a still traumatised raving loony that I will show you to have a good laugh at.

Old bird who lost the plot!

Around this area their were some more calming Buddhist temples so realistically it’s a place to go to after the horror down the road that is ‘Very Nasty’.

Buddha stuck with gold leaf offerings.

I alas bothered with the Fort Museum (don’t do it!) It was a rip off and terribly badly maintained. I got there for early doors just to be enveloped by a huge tidal wave of pushing and shoving Indian tourists. As they crammed to push to the front they used their sharp elbows in my ribs but I was taller and had been there first for fucks sake. I grimly held my ground to get my ticket and succeeded only to turn around to see that I now had to extricate myself. The beautiful bright saris were worn by a lot of determined beady eyed women who just saw me as a bloody nuisance. It was like a nightmare day at the sales.

Next time back in lovely Delhi, buying sandals for Indian black toe, Lodhi Park and farewell to India.