Legendary and real places

Sarnath is a place outside the city of Varanasi in northeast India. According to Buddhist tradition, it was here in a grove that Buddha Shakyamuni presented his teachings (dharma) for the first time after his awakening. In the Buddha legends this place is referred to as the deer park. Since this event marks the beginning of Buddhism, so to speak, the place ranks as an important Buddhist pilgrimage site. Buddhist sculptures often feature a wheel with two gazelles. The wheel is an important symbol of Buddhist teaching, while the gazelles stand for the first discourse in the deer park at Sarnath.