Chaukhandi Stupa is an important Buddhist stupa in Sarnath, located 13 kilometres from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. Stupas are descendents of burial mounds and serve as a shrine for a relic of the Buddha.
The Chaukhandi Stupa is thought originally to have been 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 traveling from Bodh Gaya to Sarnath. Later Govardhan, the son of a Raja, modified the stupa to its present shape by building the octagonal tower to commemorate the visit of Humayun, the powerful Mughal ruler.
Today the stupa is a high earthen mound covered with a brickwork edifice topped by an octagonal tower. It is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.
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Various plinths at the Chaukhandi Stupa
Close up of Chaukhandi Stupa plinth