Site of Buddha's first discourse, Sarnath, India, is as peaceful as nearby Varanasi is hectic. Buddha's teachings are studied in Sarnath, and its atmosphere is more like a campus than a city. It has lovely gardens, temples, a zoo, shrines, an archaeological museum and ruins.
Most people go to Sarnath on a pilgrimage to see the bodhi tree that is said to be a direct descendant of the tree Buddha was sitting under when he became enlightened. A visit there provides a good opportunity to meet Tibetan refugees and learn about their situation. Allow a half-day excursion from Sarnath to see Varanasi. Sarnath is located 15 mi/25 km north of Varanasi and 410 mi/660 km southeast of Delhi.