The history of the Indian subcontinent consists of many events and significance related to Buddhism and all the facts associated with it.
Each stupa here holds prominent and true tales of Gautama Buddha, his preaching, disciples, and paths.
In this article, you will get to know about the following stupas in India,
- Sanchi Stupa
- Dhauli Shanti Stupa
- Dhamek Stupa
- Mahabodhi Stupa
- Chaukhandi Stupa
- Anathapindika Stupa
- Ramabhar Stupa
- Bavikonda Stupa
Let’s see each of these sites and go on an adventure of exploring the past.
Famous stupas to visit in India
1. Sanchi Stupa
|3rd century BCE
|6:30 AM – 6:30 PM*
|Rs. 40 for Indians,
Rs. 600 for foreigners*
The Great stupa, or the Sanchi stupa, is located in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh. It is amongst the oldest stone Architectural structure in the Indian subcontinent.
This is also considered one of the prime historical monuments in Madhya Pradesh.
Situated at the hilltop, the Great stupa was constructed in the 3rd century BCE by Ashoka, the Maurya Emperor. A chhatri was crowned to provide privileged to the relics of Buddha, on top of which the whole structure was developed.
Later on, after the great emperor Ashoka’s death, the stupa was made bigger using sandstones. The Indian architecture and the Buddhist carvings are magnificent.
The prime structure is a symbol of the cosmic mountain, and the ‘Chhatraveli’ on top of it is considered the three jewels of Buddhism. The Gateways wrap the stupa and are placed at the four fundamental points, and the sculptures on them represent a lot of history.
It is an incredible monument that speaks a ton about the past days and the works and importance of Buddhism. You can visit the Sanchi stupa anytime between sunrise and sunset, unfold the gone-by era and enjoy the environment.
2. Dhauli Shanti Stupa
|6:00 AM – 6:00 PM*
|Free (Rs.25 for Light and Sound show)*
The Shanti Stupa, also known as the Peace Pagoda at Dhauligiri, is located 7 kilometers from Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
Emperor Ashoka laid the foundation of the stupa after the Kalinga war ended. This was one of the deadliest wars in India, and after that, the emperor followed the path of Buddhism.
The Chaityas, pillars, and stupas, all go back to the time of Ashoka, and the numerous decrees display the peace, joy, and fulfillment the emperor learned and promoted after the brutality.
When you visit the Shanti stupa, you will notice the carvings of the Bodhi tree along with Lord Buddha’s footprints on a stone panel. There is also the rock-cut sculpture of an elephant, the oldest Buddhist structure in the state.
The place of devotion holds the engravings telling all the stories of the great emperor’s life and transformation. The serene place imparts old beauty and calmness all at once.
Near the Shanti Stupa is a monastery, Sadharma Vihar monastery, where you can visit and learn more about Buddhism.
3. Dhamek Stupa
|7:00 AM – 5:00 PM*
|Rs. 5 for Indian Citizens,
Rs. 100 for Foreigners*
In Uttar Pradesh, at Sarnath, the Dhamekh stupa is sited and dates back to 249 BCE. It was rebuilt in 500 CE to replace the older one.
The site where the Dhamekh Stupa is built is where the first five disciples of Lord Buddha received their sermons about attaining nirvana and enlightenment from the Lord himself. From this event, the sangha formation was initiated.
The structure we see today is cylindrical and made out of stones and bricks, and the walls are wrapped in beautiful cravings of different figures and scriptures in Brahmi.
The stupa holds massive cultural significance and therefore was visited by numerous national and international tourists in the past times, including scholars, travelers, Buddhist monks, and translators.
4. Mahabodhi Stupa
|6:00 AM – 5:00 PM*
Located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, the Mahabodhi Stupa was where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment alongside the Bodhi tree.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is also known as the Mahabodhi site and was named Mahabodhi Vihara.
Around the 3rd century CE, the shrine was erected and devoted to Buddha by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. The temple was believed to be two-storied after studies done by scholars and surrounded the bodhi tree with the support of pillars.
The temple structure that stands today is crowned with a charming bell-shaped stupa. Inside the temple, you will find the Shakyamuni Buddha statue. It is in the earth-touching position.
There are also many carvings and structures in the stupa complex that creates interest in knowing, learning, and exploring more.
5. Chaukhandi Stupa
|5th century CE
|6:00 AM – 5:00 PM*
|Rs. 5 for Indian Citizens,
Rs. 100 for Foreigners*
During the Gupta dynasty, the Chaukhandi stupa was constructed to indicate the site’s significance. This was the site where, while itinerating from Bodh Gaya towards Sarnath, Lord Buddha, and his first five disciples met.
Sited at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, the terraced temple was converted into a stupa that we see today by Todar Mal’s son Govardhan. The shrine holds Buddha’s relics and is believed to be a blessing to walk around the stupa to get done with the kora.
Excavations were done at the stupa, and many portraits of Buddha and other carvings were found along with rare and extraordinary artifacts of the times of the Gupta dynasty.
Devotees and tourists chant their prayers at the lovely garden abutting the stupa.
You can spend some time at the Garden of Spiritual Wisdom and admire the scene when the sunset imparts its orange-red hues from behind the stupa.
6. Anathapindika Stupa
|2nd century CE
|9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
|Rs. 25 for Indian Citizens,
Rs. 300 for Foreigners*
Holding remains of so many different periods, the Anathapindika stupa was built by Sudatta, the then-rich person and later a believer of Buddha during Lord Buddha’s time.
Also known as Kachchi Kuti, it is located in Mahet, Sravasti, Uttar Pradesh. From the excavated sites, inscriptions were found on the lower part of a Bodhisatva image.
The traditionally designed Buddhist Stupa possesses a lot of history and different eras on top of the original structure. The sculptures, art, and works disclose numerous pieces of information and therefore attract historians towards themselves.
Tourists adore the magnificence of the place and the brilliant architecture and environment. It’s a whole new feeling to imagine it to be the shelter of Buddha when he was in Shravasti.
7. Ramabhar Stupa
|6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Built by the Malla Kings in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, the Ramabhar Stupa is where the ashes of Gautama Buddha were cremated after his demise in 483 BC.
Since the old times, the emperors of different dynasties have shown their devotion by building and inscribing marks of the important eves of the Buddha’s life.
The stupa has great significance throughout the world, as it is where Lord Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana. Mukut Bandhan Bihar is the name that is mentioned in ancient Buddhist writings.
Devotees, followers, and tourists from around the globe visit the stupa and try to teach more about Buddhism. Look into the place and explore the beauty and events that occurred there.
8. Bavikonda Stupa
|3rd century BCE
|9:00 AM – 5:00 PM*
About 16 kilometers away from Vizag, in the State of Andhra Pradesh, lies the Bavikonda Monument Complex, and inside of that is the Bavikonda Stupa. The runes at this site go way back to the 3rd century BCE.
The ancient site has a monastery, stupa, and wells as well. The old premises stretches over an area and has a Buddha statue in one of the caves. You might also visit the spot where the priceless remains were recovered.
Buddhism is reflected throughout the campus, and beauty is observed in each corner. There is also the historic Dagoba, which is a stupa related to the earthly remains of the Lord.
At this large complex, many excavations are done. These include inscriptions, tiles, coins, pottery, relic caskets, bricks, a bone fragment in an urn, and many more remnants.
These are some of the famous stupas in India that you must visit.
The stupas built in those ancient eras are unique and brimming with the rich knowledge of Buddhism. People from different fields of work, including history buffs, get intrigued by these places.
So, plan an exciting trip, visit these places, and absorb all the fun and holiness hidden in them.
*Timings and Entry Fees may vary.
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