Sariputra Stupa / Great Stupa, Nalanda - Timings, History, Best Time to Visit

Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Nalanda Railway Station): 3 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 30 Mins

Place Location: Inside Nalanda University Ruins Complex

Transportation Options: Walk/Trek

Travel Tips: Nalanda University Ruins entrance ticket is enough to enter the stupa as it is inside the ruins complex.

At a distance of 3 km from Nalanda Railway Station, and 14 km from Rajgir, Sariputra Stupa is an ancient Buddhist stupa located inside the Nalanda University Ruins complex in Nalanda, Bihar. Also known as Great Stupa, it is one of the must-visit places in Nalanda.

Sariputra Stupa, also known as the Nalanda Stupa is one of the remarkable excavations present amongst the ruins of Nalanda University. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the most important monument in Nalanda and stands as a testament to its rich cultural heritage. Built-in the 3rd century BC by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka, in the honor of Buddha's follower Sariputra. Sariputra became a celebrated Arhat after he was able to attain salvation following Buddha's footsteps.

The Stupa contains the bones of Sariputra, one of the two chief disciples of Gautam Buddha. The stupa is shaped like a pyramid at the top. The multiple flights of stairs surrounding the stupa, lead to its top. Seven layers of construction explain its colossal size, making it a sight to behold. Beautiful sculptures and votive stupas flank the structure. These votive stupas have been built with bricks and passages from sacred Buddhist texts have been inscribed on them. It is believed that these stupas were constructed over the ashes of Lord Buddha. The most striking of all the votive stupas is the fifth one, which has been preserved well along with its corner towers. These towers are adorned with exquisite panels of Gupta-era art that include stucco figures of Lord Buddha and scenes from the Jataka tales. The top portion of the stupa features a shrine chamber that houses a pedestal, which must have been originally used to place a large Lord Buddha statue. The Gwe Bin Tet Kon stupa in Myanmar is said to be influenced by the Nalanda Stupa.

Timings: 9 AM - 5 PM

Entry Fee: Rs. 15 for Indians & Rs. 200 for Foreigners