The Thai monastery in Sarnath consists of around eight acres (3.5 hectares). The Lord Abbot is very supportive of our annual retreat. He provides the meditation hall, kitchen and sleeping accommodation. The Abbot also makes available 20 tents for those who wish to sleep outdoors during the retreat.

The meditation centre is self-enclosed. It has undergone much modernisation in the past two years to the meditation cells, toilets and grounds.

The mediation centre in the monastery is located at the very back on the far right hand side. It is a very private section with large meditation hall, cells, toilets and kitchen and gate to enter.

We will be staying in the very locality of the Buddha's first teachings 2600 years. It is regarded as one of the great events of human history. We are still following in the footsteps of the Buddha. The Thai Monastery is a few minutes walk from the Buddha's first discourse on the Middle Way.

It is  easy to travel to Varanasi from other stations in India. Cost of taxi from Varanasi station to Thai Temple, Sarnath is about 350 rupees ( 5 Euros) and 800 rupees (11 Euros) from Varanasi airport. 

Many people with a love of the Buddha's teachings, spirituality, inquiry and meditation make a once a in a lifetime trip to the land of the Buddha. provide an excellent train and plane reservation service. Pay online within India or overseas in Indian currency with email tickets available.

Do come.

Annual Pilgrimage and retreat in India
Pilgrimage leader, Ellen van Lersel

Join the 18-day journey in India, incl 7-day vipassana retreat guided by Christopher Titmuss

Always wanted to go to India but not on your own? Go with us and meet the real India while travelling by local transport, staying in small guesthouses and visiting some rural villages around Bodhgaya.

This pilgrimage is an outer as well as an inner journey. Being in India gives you the opportunity to see life from a whole new perspective, during the morning meditations, sharing circles and the retreat we will take time to reflect on our inner experiences.


We will spend time in the holy city of Varanasi, witnessing life on the Ganga ghats. And we will stay in two of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage places. Bodhgaya, where Buddha reached enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, and Sarnath the place where he gave his first teachings.


n Sarnath we will take part in the 7-day vipassana retreat led by Christopher and Zohar. The retreat forms the heart of this journey. Your motivation to take part is essential for joining this adventure.

The journey will be organized and guided by mindfulness trainer Ellen van Iersel based in Holland. She has travelled and lived in India for almost 2 years.

For more detailed information, itinerary, photo impression, costs and registration please go to

Meditation Centre, Thai Monastery, Sarnath