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Pillars of Ashoka Tours and Activities

Pillars of Ashoka
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.
Address: Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221007, India
Admission: Indian citizens: Rs. 5, Int'l visitors: Rs. 100, Child 15 & Under Free
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7 Tours and Activities to Experience Pillars of Ashoka

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Insight Varanasi Day Tour

Insight Varanasi Day Tour

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This unique tour of Varanasi offers visitors an insider's look at local customs and traditions in one of the world's oldest living cities. Tour the Hindu and Buddhist sites with an expert guide, including the Ganga Ghats, where pilgrims come to absolve their sins and the Sarnath, where Buddha delivered his very first sermon.
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  • 14 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$117.34
From
$117.34
Taking safety measures

Sarnath Tour from Varanasi

Sarnath Tour from Varanasi

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This half-day tour transports travelers to the site where Buddha gave his very first sermon back in 528 BC. Venture outside the city and spend some time at Sarnath, one of the religion's most important landmarks.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$48.00
From
$48.00
Taking safety measures

Full Day Varanasi and Sarnath Tour for Solo Female Traveler

Full Day Varanasi and Sarnath Tour for Solo Female Traveler

This full-day tour is tailor made for solo female travelers and group female travelers. Varanasi is one of the most important places for Hindu culture. Varanasi offers visitors an insider's look at local customs and traditions in one of the world's oldest living cities. Tour the Hindu and Buddhist sites with an expert guide, including the Ganges Ghats, where pilgrims come to absolve their sins and the Sarnath, where Buddha delivered his very first sermon.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$36.00
From
$36.00

Private Custom Tour: Varanasi Sightseeing & Excursion to Sarnath with Guide

Private Custom Tour: Varanasi Sightseeing & Excursion to Sarnath with Guide

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Spend a day exploring Varanasi with time left over to visit the holy Buddhist site of Sarnath with this full-day tour. You’ll begin at Sarnath where you'll see the Ashokan Pillar, dating back to the 3rd century, along with various stupas and a Bodhi tree that is believed to be a descendant of the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment. Then it's back to Varanasi to visit a handful of the city's most beautiful temples before returning to your hotel.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$81.07
Price varies by group size
From
$81.07
Price varies by group size

One Day Varanasi Private Tour - Heritage City with Sarnath

One Day Varanasi Private Tour - Heritage City with Sarnath

Embark on a culturally-rich tour of Varanasi with your private guide. See important locations such as Vishwanath temple, Bharat Mata temple, and Sankat Mochan temple, also known as monkey temple. Have lunch (own expense) before driving to Sarnath where you will learn about Buddha himself, then observe local Ghats with your Private Guide.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$75.55
Price varies by group size
From
$75.55
Price varies by group size

Full Day Varanasi and Sarnath Tour

Full Day Varanasi and Sarnath Tour

Varanasi is one of the most important places for Hindu culture. Varanasi offers visitors an insider's look at local customs and traditions in one of the world's oldest living cities. Tour the Hindu and Buddhist sites with an expert guide, including the Ganges Ghats, where pilgrims come to absolve their sins and the Sarnath, where Buddha delivered his very first sermon. The tour is tailor made for all kinds of travelers. • Money-back Guarantee. • 100% Guest Satisfaction Assured. • Includes All Entrance Tickets. • Rush free and Comfortable Tour Itinerary. • All tour carried out by Government Approved Guide with In-depth knowledge of History. • Traditional Indian Souvenir at Departure.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$36.00
From
$36.00

Varanasi Full Day Private Tours- Best Tour Operator In Varanasi

Varanasi Full Day Private Tours- Best Tour Operator In Varanasi

Varanasi is one of the most important places for Hindu culture. Varanasi offers visitors an insider's look at local customs and traditions in one of the world's oldest living cities. Tour the Hindu and Buddhist sites with an expert guide, including the Ganges Ghats, where pilgrims come to absolve their sins and the Sarnath, where Buddha delivered his very first sermon. The tour is tailor made for all kinds of travelers. • Money-back Guarantee. • 100% Guest Satisfaction Assured. • Includes All Entrance Tickets. • Rush free and Comfortable Tour Itinerary. • All tour carried out by Government Approved Guide with In-depth knowledge of History. • Traditional Indian Souvenir at Departure.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$36.00
From
$36.00

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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What's the best way to experience Pillars of Ashoka?