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Welcome To Archaeological Museum Sarnath

Welcome to Sarnath Museum

Amid natural surroundings,lies the Archaeological Museum; which exhibits the Buddhist Cultural wealth, recovered from the site of Lord Buddha's first sermon at deer park Mrigadava in Sarnath. As the findings are mostly from Buddhist monasteries or vihar, the plan of building was designed by James Ransome on the pattern of a Sangharam or a vihar. The noble idea was conceived by Sir John Marshal, the then Director General of Archaeology in view of Buddhist character of antiquities. The construction of museum building began in 1904 & was completed in 1910. The Central hall is as main chapel, galleries as monastic cells and verandah occurring as in front of cells in a monastery. The whole building is made of sandstone with flat roof.


Sarnath is one of the four most important Buddhist Pilgrimage centers. According to Mahaparinibbna Sutta, Buddha himself told his disciples to visit four places- Lumbini, BodhaGaya, Sarnath and Kusinagara which were connected with his birth, enlightenment, first preaching and decease ( nirvana) respectively. In ancient Buddhist literature the places finds mention as Rishipatana Mirgadava or Mirgadaya. The Place was called Rishipatana, as it was here the bodies of five hundred Pratyaka Buddhas Or Rishis (sages) fell after their attainment of nirvana ( salvation). The inscriptions of early medieval period found Sarnath referred to this place as Dharmacharkra or Saddharmachakrapravarttanavihara ( Convent of the Turning of the Wheel of the law). The Modern name Sarnath seems to be a contraction of Saraganatha (Lord of deer) still borne by the Lord Shivaenshrined in a temple nearby. Sarnath is also sacred to the Jainas because they look upon it as the site of asceticism and death of Sreyansantha the eleventh Trithankara .

Buddha the great sage after attaining enlightenment at BodhGaya came to Sarnath and delivered his first sermon to five monks (i.e. Kaundinya, Vappa, Bhadriya, Mahanaman and Asvajit) for redeeming humanity. It is this place where foundation of new order of monks (Sangha) and new order of religious doctrine (Dhamma) was laid.


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