Reflecting historical charm amidst a serene setting, Dhamek Stupa is one of the most popular place to visit in Sarnath. Also spelt as Dhamekha or Dhamekh, the original structure of this tourist attraction in Sarnath was built in 249 BCE and it was commissioned by Ashoka - the great Mauryan King. However, the present one dates back to 500 CE. Boasting religious significance, Dhamek Stupa said to mark the site where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon to his five apostles after attaining enlightenment in Bodh Gaya. One of the key attractions of this popular stupa in Sarnath is The Ashoka Pillar which marks the arrival of Ashoka to Sarnath.
After the demise of Lord Buddha, his remains were buried at 10 spots including 8 mounds and 2 other mounds where the ashes were buried in the urn and embers. At these 10 spots, monuments were built that consisted the relics of Buddha. Though due to lack of proper information, it has been difficult to identify all the ten original mounds. However, Sarnath along with Sanchi seems to be expansion of the early mounds. Later in 249 BCE, the Mauryan King Ashoka commissioned this stupa to preserve the calcined bones along with other relics of Buddha and his apostles. Not just this, he along with his disciples spread Buddhism in the region and also across India.
Dhamek Stupa is one of the renowned historical sites in Sarnath. Built with stones and red bricks, the structure of Dhamek Stupa is cylindrical in shape. The lower part is wholly adorned with stunning carved stones. Besides, the entire structure of this stupa stands comfortably at an imposing height of 43.6 m along with the base diameter of 28 m. Along with that, the complex includes a total of 8 niches each facing a different direction. Another main feature of this historical architecture are the inscriptions in the Brahmi Script. Magnificently carved humans and birds figures can also be seen at Dhamek Stupa.
Dhamekh Stupa Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221007, India.
Dhamek Stupa stays open all days a week. One can visit the place on any day from 6 in the morning to 6 in the evening.
The entry fee to Dhamek Stupa varies for both Indian as well as foreign tourists.
- For Indians: 5 INR per head
- For Foreigners: 100 INR per head
One has to pay separately to bring video cameras inside the stupa. The fee for a video camera is 25 INR.