The sightseeing tour of Varanasi includes four very famous temples: Tulsi Manas Temple, Durga Temple, New Vishwanath Temple (Lord Shiva Temple) located in the Banaras Hindu University (fondly known as BHU), Sankat Mochan Temple (dedicated to Hindu Monkey God- Lord Hanuman).
A major Buddhist centre, Sarnath lies 10 kilometres north east of Varanasi. It was here that Buddha preached his message of the ’middle way’ to nirvana after achieving enlightenment at Bodhgaya. In around 234 BC, Emperor Ashoka, a great follower of Buddhism, erected a stupa here. Between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, several Buddhist structures were built here in Sarnath.
Most of the Sarnath’s monuments are set in large gardens making it quite pleasant for a visitor to spend some time here. The Buddha Purnima festival is held here in May to celebrate the birth of Lord Buddha.