The Dhamek Stupa was constructed in 500 CE to replace an earlier structure, and has been enlarged on several occasions over the years. It measures 28 meters in diameter at its base and almost 44 meters in height. It sits on beautifully manicured gardens, and the immediate vicinity is home to a number of half-ruined monasteries and the remains of much smaller stupas along with a museum and a number of temples.
Things to know before you go
*The stupa is a must-visit for Buddhists and anyone interested in spirituality or history. *As this is a sacred spot, it’s important to dress modestly: men and women alike should avoid shorts and tank tops. *Wear sunscreen and a hat, even during the winter months, as the sun here can be quite powerful.
How to get there
The Dhammek Stupa is situated in Sarnath, a Buddhist pilgrimage site located about a half-hour drive from Varanasi. The easiest way to get here is by auto-rickshaw or taxi or as part of a guided tour; most tours include visits to other nearby attractions, notably the adjacent Sarnath Museum and the nearby Chaukhandi Stupa.
When to get there
The Dhammek Stupa is a year-round attraction, but like much of northern India, it’s best visited in the cooler dryer months, from around October through March. It’s open daily from sunrise to sunset, and crowds are fewest and the heat is less oppressive early in the morning.