Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Pilgrimage Special: A Different Kind of Stupa


Stupas are as most people know, burial mounds and serve as a shrine for a relic of the Buddha. Just before entering Varanasi, we have visited the Chaukhandi Stupa which is originally built as a terraced temple during the Gupta period between the 4th to 6th Century to mark the site where Lord Buddha and his first disciples met while traveling from Bodh Gaya to Sarnath. This is therefore an important stupa in Sarnath and to Buddhists. The Chaukhandi Stupa however is a stupa with a difference. Ancient stupas from the time of Lord Buddha usually look like a mound but this one has an octagonal tower at the top, very unlike a candle on a cake! The octagonal tower was actually built very much later to commemorate the visit of Humayun, the powerful Muslim Mughal ruler...

4 comments:

Liudmila said...

Interesting: why practically all nations came to the idea to make mounds over the graves? If it is for mongols, for example, it's clear: you go through the steppe and from far see the place. But if there are mountains all round or forests...

footiam said...

I guess it is easier to make mounds. Ants do that too!

Justin said...

I love all of your pictures. Your posts are great too: short and concise.

footiam said...

Thanks. Do enjoy yourself!

Have another serving of Travel Pangs!