The stupa, Sarnath (U.P.). Copy after a sketch made in 1814
Artist: 'Abdullah, Shaikh (fl. 1818-1819)
Water-colour drawing by 'Abdullah, Shaikh of the stupa at Sarnath (U.P.), dated January 1814. Inscribed on front in ink: 'The Samaudh of Rajah Booth-Sain at Sara-Naat near Benares, January 1814. Copied by Sheik Abdulla. April 1819. It is said that a Door opened formerly into this Samaudh by which the Votaries entered to deposit their offerings of Victuals, etc in Vases, Pots, & Dishes, but the offerings being frequently stolen the Natives in their simplicity believe that the Door closed up of its own accord.'
Sarnath, situated 10 kilometres north of Varanasi, is sacred to Buddhists as it is in that place that Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightement; known as the 'Turning of the Wheel of the Law'. The Damekh Stupa is the most visually impressive monument at Sarnath. It consists of a solid structure with a cilindrical tower more than 30 metres high. The drum is decorated with floral and geometric motifs typical of the Gupta style and ha eight arched niches now empty. The upper part is made of brick. The construction of the stupa dates mostly to the fifth-sixth centuries but underwent successive enlargements until the 12th century.