Sarnath, formally Isipathana, is the deer park where Buddha
first taught the Dharma. It is about 10 km from Varanasi
Till the Sixth Century, Buddhism flourished in Sarnath and then came the Huns who wreaked a trail of devastation and this was followed by Mahmud of Ghazni and Qutub-ud-din Aibak who virtually razed to the ground whatever was left by the Huns. Till the 19th century, the site, which heard the path to enlightenment from Buddha, stayed hidden amidst ruins before being dug by British archeologists.
The sixth century Chaukhandi stupa, built to commemorate the spot where Buddha first met his disciples, Dhamekha stupa, Dharmachakra stupa, Dharmajika stupa, Site of the Asoka pillar, Mulagandhakuti temple are some of the most important sites here. Apart from this one can find ruins of monasteries, courtyards and verandahs. Sarnath Archeological Museum is another must see spot here.