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Dhamekh Stupa

Sarnath Tourism

It massive Buddhist stupa, located in Sarnath. It is located at a distance of 10 kms from Varanasi city and can be seen prominently during Sarnath sightseeing. Dhamekh stupa is located in a site which was originally developed during rule of great Mauryan dynasty ruler Ashoka who adopted Buddhism in later years of his life. Original stupa was built in 249BCE which is not visible now. Currently visible Dhamekh stupa was developed in 500 CE on the same located as replacement of previous stupa. Here stupa was developed to mark the place where Gautama Buddha delivered his first sermon, after attaining enlightenment, and thus Buddha doctrine was first introduced to world.

Stupa
Sarnath site was developed by Ashoka The Great to commemorate the activities of lord Buddha. These stupas are semi-spherical structures, encircled by large stone. Here bones of Lord Buddha & his disciples were kept along with Buddhist relics. Here Dhamekh stupa is standing at the spot where Buddha gave its first sermon. In that time, it was a deer park. The whole structure is made up of stones and bricks. Its height is about 46.50 meters including the foundation base and 33.35 meters in actual height (excluding base). Its diameter at base is 28.5 meters. Dhamekh stupa structure consists of a circular stone clyinder till height of 11.20 meters from ground. Above this structure, a cylindrical mass of brick structure has been erected of 6 meters. It consists of 8 niches in 8 directions with probably Buddha images. It seems to be representing eight-fold path leading to nirvana. According to inscription, recovered from this site, dated 1026 A.D., its old name was "Dharam Chakra Stupa". In search of the relic casket, Alexander Cunnigham, bored a vertical shaft, through its center and at a depth of 91.4 cms, found a slab with inscription written in Brahmi script of 6-7th century AD. At further depth, Mauryan era bricks were discovered.

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