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The deer park where the Buddha preached his first sermon is now called Sarnath. It lay forgotten ... until a British amateur archaeologist excavated the site in the nineteenth century. He found stupas and a pillar originally erected by emperor Ashoka in the third century BC. The biggest stupa, called Dhamekh, was on the site where the Buddha supposedly gave his first sermon, sitting with the Brahmins from Kapilavastu. Later archaeologists discovered the shrine where the Buddha apparently had sheltered from the rains; they also found monasteries, which seemed to have been destroyed by a great fire. A temple built by the Sri Lankan Buddhist Anagarika Dharmapala now stands in place of the shrine. The ruins of the monasteries lie amid vast green lawns. The grounds also include a deer park and a zoo.
[- From An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World by Pankaj Mishra, pp 201-2]
Mulgandha Kuty Vihara
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