Historical | Pilgrimage
#1 of 12 Places to Visit in Sarnath
Distance (From Sarnath Railway Station): 2 Kms
Trip Duration (Including Travel): 30 Mins
Place Location: In The Heart Of Sarnath
Transportation Options: Cab / Auto
Travel Tips: None
At a distance of 2 km from Sarnath Railway Station, and 8 km from Varanasi Junction, Chaukhandi Stupa is an ancient monument located in the heart of Sarnath. It is one of the notable monuments of the Buddhist culture, and among the must include places in Sarnath Tour Packages.
Chaukhandi Stupa is the first monument to encounters as one enters Sarnath. This ancient Buddhist site has evolved from burial mounds and served as a shrine for a relic of Buddha. Originally, the Chaukhandi Stupa has been built as a terraced temple during the Gupta period between the 4th and 6th centuries to mark the site where Lord Buddha first met a group of five ascetics to whom he later went on to preach his first teachings. Later Govardhan, the son of a Raja Todar Mal, the governor under Emperor Akbar, modified the stupa to its present shape in the year 1588 CE to commemorate the visit of Emperor Humayun to Sarnath.
It is a lofty mound of brickwork whose square edifice is surrounded by an octagonal tower. The Stupa is known as 'Chaukhandi' because of its four-armed plan. Some images of Buddha, such as the image of Lord Buddha in dharmachakra pravartana mudra and other statues found during excavations at this Stupa are believed to be rare artifacts and classic examples of art from the Gupta period. The site was declared to be a monument of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India in 2019.
The surreal setting around this place includes impeccable serenity and verdant greenery. On the whole, Chaukhandi Stupa is a perfect place to meditate and to attain peace of mind. In the vicinity of this popular Buddhist stupa, one can also see the ruins of centuries-old monasteries, which also include verandas and courtyards. Some of the best views of Chaukhandi Stupa can be had from the Garden of Spiritual Wisdom at the time of sunset when the light comes from behind and imparts a beautiful hue to the stupa.
Timings: 6 AM - 5 PM
Entry: Rs. 5 for Indians & Rs. 100 for Foreigners