Tuesday, March 22, 2011
India 2011 - Day 13+14 - Varanasi
After this we drive to The Gateway Hotel Ganges.
The Deer Park where the Buddha preached his first sermon is now called Sarnath. It lay forgotten until a British amateur archaeologist excavated the site in the nineteenth century. He found stupas and a pillar originally erected by emperor Ashoka in the third century BC. The biggest stupa, called Dhamekh, was on the site where the Buddha supposedly gave his first sermon, sitting with the Brahmins from Kapilavastu. Later archaeologists discovered the shrine where the Buddha apparently had sheltered from the rains; they also found monasteries, which seemed to have been destroyed by a great fire. 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. The grounds also include a deer park and a zoo.
Sorry about the many rickshaw videos. They are only short clips but I could not decide which one was relevant and which one was not. Each one seems to have something unique. As I said it was quite a long ride and it changed closer to the river. (feed-back encouraged)
On to the airport now to fly to Kathmandu. Only 6 of us are going on to that. We have to say good-bye to 18 and the guide. We had two wonderful weeks together. It is kind of sad.