Buddhism is one of the oldest religions that originated in India and spread to most parts of the world. Its impression can be seen all over India, and it has been practiced by millions since ages. If one has to see the actual site where the seed of this religion was sown, then Sarnath is definitely the best place to visit. There are many Buddhist Temples in Sarnath, which is situated in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. As Buddha preached the Four Noble Truths and advocated the Eight Fold Path here, the city is also called as ‘The Land of Buddha.’
There were many Buddhist Temples in Sarnath during the rule of Emperor Ashoka. Most of them were built by the emperor himself. He built a stupa and erected a pillar (stambh) here to spread the message of Buddha. The stambh is famous as Ashoka Pillar. Things changed from the beginning of the 12th century. The Turkish Muslims invaded the city and converted all the temples and structures into a huge pile of debris. Everything lied buried in the earth for a few centuries. Luckily, the city was rediscovered in 1836 after an excavation work. What was found from the digging work have been preserved in the Sarnath Museum.
The excavation work infused a new life into the city, and Buddhist temples started sprouting up. These modern temples are as beautiful as they were built during the reign of Ashoka. Most of these temples have exquisite mural paintings depicting the life of Buddha. What makes these temples a structure of marvel is the architectural style of Tibet, Japan, Nepal, and China. The main Buddhist temple in Sarnath is Mulagandha Kuti Vihar built in 1930. This temple is built in the same place where Lord Buddha used to reside. The sandstone railing of the temple has exquisite carvings. It is 110 feet in height and has a golden statue of Lord Buddha. It is regarded as a pious and a pilgrimage site in Buddhism because the Buddhist relics are enshrined here. The walls of the temple are beautifully decorated with Japanese paintings.