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  • Address: Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221007, India
  • Admission: Indian citizens: Rs. 5, Int'l visitors: Rs. 100, Child 15 & Under Free

Varanasi ATTRACTIONS See all

Pillars of Ashoka Tours

The Pillars of Ashoka refer to a number of columns inscribed with edicts by the Mauryan king, Ashoka, during his reign in the mid-3rd century BC. The pillar at Sarnath near Varanasi bears the inscriptions: "No one shall cause division in the order of monks."

The original column at Sarnath was 50 meters tall and was carved out of a single block of polished sandstone. It features four images of lions known as the Lion Capital of Ashoka, which stand back to back and were originally mounted atop a cylindrical abacus. The abacus was built over a bell-shaped lotus, with the figures of four running animals – an elephant, a bull, a horse, and a lion – separated by 24-spoked Dharma wheels. These four mammals are believed to symbolize the four different phases of Gautama Buddha's life. 

However, the pillar at this site was broken in the midst of a past invasion, with the remains in three pieces now kept in a glass cage nearby. The lion figurehead can be found in the Sarnath Museum nearby.

Practical Info

The Pillar of Ashoka in Sarnath is located approximately a 20-minute drive from Varanasi. The easiest way to reach it is by taxi from the city.

Tours & Tickets

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Insight Varanasi Day Tour, Varanasi, null
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Insight Varanasi Day Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 1 Review

Do you believe that one's sins can be absolved by taking a dip in the holy Ganges in Varanasi? Local people believe that Varanasi is the place where liberates ...  Read more

Location: Varanasi, India
Duration: 14 hours (approx.)

From USD $90.00
3-Day Varanasi Exclusive Tour, Varanasi, Full-day Tours
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3-Day Varanasi Exclusive Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

Varanasi presents a unique combination of physical, metaphysical and supernatural elements. According to the Hindu mythology, Varanasi liberates soul from ...  Read more

Location: Varanasi, India
Duration: 3 days (approx.)

From USD $325.00
2-Day Varanasi Exclusive Tour, Varanasi, Overnight Tours
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2-Day Varanasi Exclusive Tour

3 star rating: Worth doing 1 Review

Boat ride in the Ganges at sunrise is one of the most romantic things you can do in Varanasi! You can also observe here the Hindu’s way of life on the bank of ...  Read more

Location: Varanasi, India
Duration: 2 days (approx.)

From USD $210.00
Half-Day Sarnath Tour from Varanasi, Varanasi, Multi-day Tours
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Half-Day Sarnath Tour from Varanasi

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Sarnath, the world-famous Buddhist site, is situated about 10 km (6 miles) northeast of Varanasi city. This was the place where the Buddha delivered his first ...  Read more

Location: Varanasi, India
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $35.00
Private Tour: Full-Day Varanasi Tour including Sarnath and Evening Ganga Arti, Varanasi, Day Trips
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Private Tour: Full-Day Varanasi Tour including Sarnath and Evening Ganga Arti

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 3 Reviews

Believed to be one of world’s oldest living cities, Varanasi is the spiritual capital of India. Located on the banks of Ganges River, the city boasts of its ...  Read more

Location: Varanasi, India
Duration: 8 to 9 hrs

From USD $36.00

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