Close view of mouldings on face of the Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath
Photographer: Beglar, Joseph David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of mouldings on face of the Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath taken by Joseph David Beglar in the 1870s. Sarnath is one of the four most important places of pilgrimage for Buddhists in India. It was the site of the Buddha's first sermon often referred to as the 'turning of the wheel of law'. The site incorporates a large number of different shrines however the most visually impressive is the Damekh Stupa. Parts of this stupa date as far back as the 5th-6th century. The foundation date of the stupa is unknown as the earliest sections are entirely enclosed by later additions. The stupa consists of a cylindrical tower more than 30 metres high, a solid structure with a drum of stonework decorated in the upper part with designs from the Gupta period such as luxuriant foliation with stalks, leaves and flowers, birds and geometric patterns.