15 Aug 2007


a few minutes away from banaras
is sarnath
where buddha is supposed to have given
his first sermon

the stupa built here over two thousand years ago
had been in a state of neglect
till a Sri Lankan monk
decided to revive it
and built a modern temple

there are modern buddhist temples
built by tibetans, burmese and chinese (complete with the swastik sign !!)

the stupa is the most imposing site here
but among the ruins
are parks with
well preserved group of animals
deer, crocodile (although he refused to move for us)
exotic birds and fish

i cannot fathom who thought
of developing this place
into a fifteen minute tourist walk

most of the gardens
have groups of pilgrims
listening to sermons
a couple of kawarias also decided to pay respects to the temples here !!!!

everyone wants to leave a mark
the pilgrims tie pieces of cloth
near the tree
(actually it is a graft of the original tree)
where the Sermon had taken place

but the Thai pilgrims have a unique technique
they rub gold leaves onto the outer walls
of the stupa

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