Dhamek Stupa is the most noticeable structure in Sarnath, near Varanasi. It is one of the most prominent Buddhist structures in India. The Dhamek Stupa was built in 500 CE to replace an earlier structure commissioned by the great Mauryan king Ashoka in 249 BCE.
The Dhamek Stupa represents the deer park (Rishipattana). This park is said to be of great importance as Buddha gave his first sermon here after attaining enlightenment, to his disciples that revealed his “Eightfold Path“.
The Stupa is 28 meters in diameter at the base and 43.6 meters in height, built partly of stone and partly of brick. The stone facing the lower part is adorned with delicate floral carvings of Gupta origin.
The stupa was enlarged on six occasions but the upper part is still unfinished. The wall is covered with exquisitely carved figures of humans and birds, as well as inscriptions in the Brahmi script.