Dhamek Stupa- First Stupas originated as pre-Buddhist tumuli
Dhamek Stupa also called Dhamek and Dhamekha. Dhamek Stupa is traced to Sanskrit version Dharmarajika Stupa, which can be translated as the Stupa of the reign of Dharma. Dhamek Stupa is a massive stupa which is located at Sarnath and Sarnath 13 kilometer away from Varanasi.
The Dhamek Stupa features in the 2014 Indian mystery thriller novel The Emperor’s Riddles by Satyarth Nayak.
The current shape of the stupa is a solid cylinder of bricks and stone reaching a height of 43.6 meters and having a diameter of 28 meters. Dhamek Stupa is the most massive structure in Sarnath. The basement seems to have survived from Ashoka’s structure: the stone facing is chiseled and displays delicate floral carvings of Gupta origin. The wall is covered with exquisitely carved figures of humans and birds, as well as inscriptions in the Brahmi script.
Stupas originated as pre-Buddhist tumuli, in which ascetics were buried in a seated position, called chaitya. After the Parinirvana of the Buddha, his remains were cremated and the ashes divided and buried under eight mounds with two further Mounds encasing the urn and the embers. The Dhamek Stupa is said to mark the spot of a deer park where the Buddha gave the first sermon to his five disciples after attaining enlightenment, revealing his Eightfold Path leading to nirvana. Little is known about these early stupas, particularly since it has not been possible to identify the real ten monuments. However, some later stupas, such as at Sarnath and Sanchi, appear to be embellishments of earlier mounds. The Dhamek Stupa was built in 500 CE to change an earlier structure commissioned by the great Mauryan king Ashoka in 249 BCE, along with many other monuments, to commemorate the Buddha’s activities in this location. Stupas originated as circular mounds encircled by big stones. King Ashoka made stupas to enshrine small pieces of calcinated bone and other relics of the Buddha and his disciples. An Ashoka pillar with an edict engraved on it stands near the site.
This is nothing but this is a great place to visit in Varanasi. Anyone who is planning to visit Varanasi, he should surely be going out there. The Dhamek Stupa is said to mark the spot (Rishipattana which can be said another word “where the Rishi arrived“) where the Buddha gave the first sermon to his five disciples after attaining enlightenment, “revealing his Eightfold Path leading to nirvana”. In several of the ancient sources, the site of the first sermon is mentioned to have been at a?Mriga-dayaa-vanam? or a sanctuary for animals. (In Sanskrit Mriga is used in the sense of game animals, deer being the most common). The last royal endowment at the site is dated to about 12th c. CE, after which the location of the Mrigadayavanam seems to have been lost even to the devout. The stupa was enlarged on six occasions but the upper part is still unfinished. While visiting Sarnath in 640 CE, Xuanzang recorded that the colony had over 1,500 priests and the main stupa was nearly 300 feet (91 m) high.