This map plots the settings and references in Siddhartha

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Sarnath, India
Creative Commons AttributionSarnath - Credit: snikrap, Flickr
The deer park where the Buddha preached his first sermon after enlightenment, to his five disciples, is now called Sarnath, near the modern city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. This event is referred to as "the turning of the wheel of the Dharma" and also marks the founding of the Sangha, or the community of monks.



The celebrated Mantra, 'Buddham Sharanam Gachhami', originated at Sarnath. On the day before his death Buddha included Sarnath along with Lumbini, Bodh Gaya and Kushinagar as the four places he thought to be sacred to his followers. It makes Sarnath one of the most venerated Buddhist places. Besides Buddhism, Sarnath is also connected with Jainism.



The stupas and pillars erected by Emperor Asoka, in the third century BC, were excavated by a British amateur archaeologist in the nineteenth century. Later archaeologists discovered the shrine where the Buddha apparently had sheltered from the rains. A temple built by the Sri Lankan Buddhist Anagarika Dharmapala now stands in place of the shrine. The ruins of the monasteries lie amid vast green lawns, and include a deer park and a zoo.