Dhamek Stupa

At one time there were many small stupas at Sarnath but today this is the only one that is standing. Made of brick with a facing in red sandstone, the name probably derives from the Sanskrit word dharmeksha, or ‘pondering on the law’. The stupa marks the spot where the Buddha gave his first sermon to the five disciples. It was built in the sixth century during the early Gupta period and unlike the egg like shape of most stupas, this is an elongated cylindrical shape.

The stupa is 42 metres in height with panels of carvings around the base with delicate floral and geometric patterns and with scrolls and medallions. With a base in stone, the top is made of brick and in the centre there are eight niches that probably once held images of the Buddha.