Dhamek Stupa is located at Sarnath, 13 km away from Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.
Dhamek was built in 500 CE to replace an earlier structure commissioned by the great Mauryan king Ashoka in 249 BCE.
King Ashoka built stupas to enshrine small pieces of calcinated bone and other relics of the Buddha and his disciples.
The Fact says that the spot where Lord Buddha sat and delivered His first sermon to His first five disciples and where the Buddha preached his first message.
Dhamekh Stupa is cylindrical and about 34 m high and 28.3 m in diameter.
The lower portion of the Stupa is covered completely with beautifully carved stones.
The borders of Dhamekh Stupa have delicately carved geometrical and floral designs and figures of humans and birds.
Base of the Stupa is made of stone with the upper areas of brickwork which probably once had a carved stone fencing.
The lower part of the Dhamek Stupa has eight projecting faces. They are each twenty-one feet six inches in width.
There were statues on top of them but now they cannot be seen anymore.
Dhamekh Stupa is the most remarkable and massive structure at Sarnath.
The name Dhamekh proves that it certainly has some connection with Buddha’s Dharma.
The Emperor Ashoka who took several measures to spread the Buddha’s message of love and compassion throughout his vast empire, had embarked on a tour to Sarnath around 234 B.C. and thereupon he erected the Dhamek Stupa Sarnath. It was around that time that he built the Dhamek Stupa Sarnath and several other monuments to commemorate his pilgrimage at Sarnath.
Dhamekh Stupa holds an important place at Sarnath as it signifies the “seat of the holy Buddha.” Buddhist pilgrims of different countries visit this place for circumambulation of this sacred Stupa and to offer worship to Lord Buddha.
The Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath is a major tourist attraction.
There are many mini stupas that can be seen around the Dhamek Stupa and is believed to have been built by Emperor Ashoka as a mark of respect to Lord Buddha.
There is also a Buddhist monastery here that presently lies in ruins. Built by Ashoka, this monastery was the rest-house used by the Buddhist monks who came here.
There is a huge chamber within this monastery that is believed to have been the emperor’s hall. It is said that Ashoka himself stayed here at times in order to gain more knowledge from the monks.