Stupas, evolved from burial grounds, are basically a shrine for a relic of the Buddha. They are many in number in India and one of them - Chaukhandi Stupa – is one the holy town of Sarnath, 13 km from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The structure is supposed to have been built between 4th to 6thcenturies during the Gupta period. Built as a terraced temple, it’s one of most popular structures for Buddhist.
The Chaukhandi Stupa was built to mark the site where Lord Buddha is supposed to have met his first disciples after he travelled from Bodhgaya. Later, an octagonal tower was added to the structure to remember the visit of Mughal ruler, Humayun. In present time, the stupa is managed by the ASI (the Archaeological Survey of India). A lofty mound of brick, it remains a popular attraction for tourists from all parts of the world.
For the followers of Buddhism, a visit to Sarnath is a must as it has a number of monuments and structures of utmost religious and spiritual significance. Chaukhandi Stupa is one of those monuments standing neatly in lush green lawns and attracting tourists from all parts of the world. It’s a monument that exudes serenity and mystery, and also history. Righty so, it remains a gateway to the Buddhist city of Sarnath.