Recently, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) declared Chaukhandi Stupa as the site of national significance. It is one of the influential Buddhist Stupas situated at Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh.
It is a towering brick stack whose square structure remains encircled by an octagonal edifice. This magnificent structure was constructed in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, to commemorate the spot where Lord Buddha met his first follower as he toured from Bodhgaya to Sarnath. In this article, we will take you through all the significant details related to Chaukhandi Stupa that will assist you in better preparing for your upcoming UPSC examination.
Chaukhandi Stupa History
The Chaukhandi Stupa, situated in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, was constructed during the ancient Gupta dynasty. While the rulers of the Gupta Dynasty we orthodox Hinduism followers, they permitted and uplifted the Buddhist community to practice and spread their religion. The Chaukhandi Stupa holds significant cultural and spiritual value and is an inherent part of India’s architectural legacy.
It signifies India’s remarkable spiritual diversity and boasts a magnificent history. It is constructed in the 5th century AD, is now a well-known sightseeing place visited by tourists worldwide. The Stupa was built to celebrate the reunion of Lord Buddha with his five comrades, known as the Panchvargiya Bhikshus.
So this ancient monument in India is a sign of Buddhist nobility in Sarnath. Also, according to ancient tales, these five comrades of Lord Buddha had earlier left him at Rajgir only to come and reunite with him at this location. This religious and historical context makes this Stupa a remarkable place to visit.
Chaukhandi Stupa Architecture
The existing structure of the Chaukhandi Stupa resembles a tall earthen mound covered with brick standing on a rectangular terrace plinth. Also, during the excavation, many pictures of Lord Buddha in Dharmik Mudra were found that are rare examples of the ancient history of the Gupta Dynasty.
Connection Between Chaukhandi Stupa and Mughals
Even though constructed in the 5th century during the Gupta Dynasty, it still holds an in-depth connection with Mughal rulers as the actual construction of this place remains attributed to Govardhan. Govardhan was the son of the Finance Minister of Mughal Emperor Akbar, Raja Todar Mal. He constructed this Stupa to mark the visit of the Mughal ruler, Humayun, in Sarnath.
Also, while Akbar played a crucial part in constructing this famous monument, everything at the time of construction was taken care of by Govardhan. So we can say that this Chaukhandi Stupa in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, holds close ties with the Mughal era.
One of the distinctive characteristics of the Chaukhandi Stupa is its enormous rectangular form constructed on a terraced plinth. This bottom plinth holds a rectangular shape and the original tower features an octagonal structure. Also, this architectural design is highly unusual for the ancient period during which it got built. Also, the octagonal shape of this Stupa usually distinguishes it from other Buddhist Stupas as all others are usually dome-shaped, like the famous Sanchi Stupa.
In a nutshell, the Chaukhandi Stupa in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, is a famous monument of the ancient era that attracts Buddhists and tourists from all over the world, given its vibrant history and exceptional architectural wonder.
FAQs on Chaukhandi Stupa
Q.1. What is the historical significance of Chaukhandi Stupa?
The Chaukhandi Stupa, situated in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, is an inherent part of India’s architectural legacy and was built to celebrate the reunion of Lord Buddha with his five comrades, known as the Panchvargiya Bhikshus.
Q.2. Who declared the Chaukhandi stupa as a site of national significance?
The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) declared Chaukhandi Stupa as the site of national significance.
Q.3. What does the architectural structure of Chaukhandi Stupa look like?
The existing structure of the Chaukhandi Stupa resembles a tall earthen mound covered with brick standing on a rectangular terrace plinth.
Q.4 When was the Chaukhandi Stupa got constructed?
The Chaukhandi Stupa was constructed in the 5th century AD during the Gupta Dynasty.