Located just 13km from Varanasi, the ruins and temples of Sarnath represent one of the great pilgrimage places for Buddhists from around the world. It was at Sarnath that Buddha gave his first ever sermon, in 528 BC, and the site developed into a flourishing centre of Buddhist art and teaching. There are extensive archaeological excavations to be seen, surrounded by a beautifully maintained park. At the centre is the huge Dhamekh Stupa, which is believed to be built on the exact spot where Buddha preached his first sermon. There is a small but interesting museum with a renowned collection of Buddhist antiquities.