Sarnath, where Buddha preached his first sermon was once a radiating center of light throughout the Buddhist world for 1500 years, but it is now only a silent spectator of the past. The place is situated only 8 km away from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. In the 3rd century B.C., Asoka, the Great Maurya Emperor was the first to construct a number of monuments at Sarnath, which included the famous pillar with lion-capital, the stone-railing, the Dharmarajika Stupa and the Dhamekh Stupa. After Asoka, several other monuments sprang up at this holy site under the patronage of the kings of different dynasties from 2nd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D.

The Asokan pillar surmounted by the magnificent lion-capital now adopted as India's State emblem bears the edict of Asoka and two other inscriptions of the kushan and Gupta Kings. The Lion-capital (now housed in the Sarnath Museum) measures 2.3 m in height and has a bell-shaped base with lotus leaves, a round abacus with an elephant, a horse, a bull and a lion in relief and four seated lions emerging from one block of stone. Sir John Marshall, the famous Archaeologist observed:

"Both bell and lions are in an excellent state of preservation and masterpieces in front of both style and technique-the first carvings, indeed,that India has yet produced and unsurpassed, I venture to think, anything of their kind in the ancient world." 

Some of the Monuments of India are
Taj Mahal (Agra)
Konark Sun Temple (Orissa)  
Mahabalipuram Temples (Chennai)
Jaislmer Fort (Rajasthan)
Hemis Gompa (Ladakha)
Mehrangarh Fort (Jodhpur)
Victoria Memorial (Calcutta)
Sarnath (Varanasi U.P)
Qutab minar (Delhi)
Meenakshi Temple (Tamil Nadu)  
Jama- Masjid (Delhi) 
Ajanta Ellora (Maharshtra) 
Red Fort (Delhi) 
Udaipur Palace (Udaipur) 
Golden Temple (Amrtisar) 
Khajuraho Temple 
Sanchi Stupa (Bhopal) 
Charminar (Hyderabad) 
Nalanda (Bihar)