Weather :

Timings : 6:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : Indians: INR 5,
Foreign Nationals: INR 100,
Children (Below 15 years): Free

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Chaukhandi Stupa, Sarnath Overview

The Chaukhandi Stupa is regarded as one of the most divine and important monuments of the Buddhist culture. This stupa has been built on the exact spot where the great Lord Buddha first met his five ascetics- to whom he later went on to preach his first teachings. The monument has been erected as a commemoration of this significant event that eventually became instrumental in the rise of the religion of Buddhism. The Chaukhandi Stupa is an evolution over burial mounds and serves as a shrine to the great Lord Buddha.

Sarnath is a very holy site for Buddhist pilgrimage in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The entire city is a testimony to the Buddhist culture because of the many historical Buddhist monuments that call this city their home. Temples, monasteries, museums, gardens - there are many attractions here that are dedicated to Buddhism and its history, and the Chaukhandi Stupa is one of the most prominent ones drawing many tourists every year. The Chaukhandi Stupa is the holiest and the most frequently visited attraction of all the sacred pilgrimage spots in the entire state of Uttar Pradesh.

The divinity of the monument is felt in the air that surrounds it. A tranquil vibe of piousness fills up the air, and you can feel each breath of this pure air cleansing your soul. Staring at this majestic structure leaves you in awe of its magnanimous stature and unmatched beauty.

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History of Chaukhandi Stupa

The history of the Chaukhandi Stupa is quite an interesting one. In fact, its historical significance is one of the primary reasons why this attraction is popular among tourists. It is widely believed that during the Gupta Period between the 4th century and the 6th century, the Chaukhandi Stupa was actually built as a terraced temple and not as the structure it is as of now. Most historians are of the belief that the renowned Emperor Ashoka built this square edifice.

Later, Prince Govardhan- son of the then reigning king, erected an octagonal Mughal tower surrounding the square edifice of the stupa and brought the structure to its present form. This was done in honour of the visit of Emperor Humayun- a mighty Mughal Emperor. However, few historians argue it was, in fact, Emperor Akbar who built the octagonal tower in 1585 to commemorate Emperor Humayun's visit to the shrine.

The city of Sarnath and the Chaukhandi Stupa play a significant role in the life of Lord Buddha. After the great Lord Buddha attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, he travelled to Sarnath. When he arrived at Sarnath, and precisely at the location where the Chaukhandi Stupa stands now, he met his five disciples who had gotten estranged before he went to Bodh Gaya.

Lord Gautam Buddha then went on to preach his first sermons after enlightenment to these companions at the Deer Park in Sarnath, setting in motion the Wheel of Dharma. The importance and historical significance are such that it never fails to evoke emotion and pure devotion among the Buddhist pilgrims that visit it every year.

Architecture of Chaukhandi Stupa

The structure of the Chaukhandi Stupa is mainly built of bricks and hence is quite fragile. This has led to the Archaeological Survey of India to take the matter into their hands and have taken over the responsibility of the care and maintenance of this majestic structure.

Named after its shape, the Chaukhandi Stupa is a square edifice which stands on a basement that consists of three terraces, each 12 feet broad and 12 feet high. The overall height of the structure is about 200 feet. The core of the structure is made of solid brickwork in clay mortar, and the terraces are supported on rows of hollow cells. Standing on a rectangular plinth and surrounded by a mighty octagonal tower on all sides, the Chuakhandi Stupa is undoubtedly a beautiful piece of work.

Tips For Visiting Chaukhandi Stupa

1. Can be crowded during weekends. 
2. Try your best to keep this place clean.

How To Reach Chaukhandi Stupa

Sarnath is a very popular destination for pilgrims and tourists alike. Hence, the facilities for commuting to Sarnath are also convenient and comfortable. At a distance of 13 km from Varanasi, it is a 20-minute drive by road. You can hire a taxi or an autorickshaw from any part of the city to reach Sarnath. You can opt for a 15-minute walk to Chaukhandi Stupa through the colourful city of Sarnath. 

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