Kesariya Stupa is a Buddhist stupa in Kesariya, located at a distance of 110 kilometres (68 mi) from Patna, in the Champaran (east) district of Bihar, India. The first construction of the Stupa is dated to the 3rd century BCE. Kesaria Stupa has a circumference of almost 400 feet (120 m) and raises to a height of about 104 feet (32 m).
The site’s exploration reportedly started in the early 19th century, from its discovery led by Colonel Mackenzie in 1814 to General Cunningham’s proper excavation in 1861-62. An excavation was conducted by archaeologist KK Muhammed of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 1998. The original Kesaria stupa probably dates to the time of Ashoka (circa 250 BCE), as the remains of a capital of a Pillar of Ashoka were discovered there.
The stupa mound may even have been inaugurated during the Buddha's time, as it corresponds in many respects to the description of the stupa erected by the Licchavis of Vaishali to house the alms bowl the Buddha has given them.
The current stupa dates to the Gupta Dynasty between 200 AD and 750 AD, and may have been associated with the 4th century ruler Raja Chakravarti. The local people call this stupa "Devala", meaning "house of god". Before the excavation of this, they believed that inside it there is a temple of Shiva built by King Bhema.
The ASI has declared the stupa a protected monument of national importance. But despite being a popular tourist attraction, Kesariya is yet to be developed and a large part of the stupa still remained under vegetation.
|The Four Main Sites|
|Four Additional Sites|
- Le Huu Phuoc, Buddhist Architecture, Grafikol 2009, pp.169-171
- Buddhist Architecture, Lee Huu Phuoc, Grafikol 2009, p.140-174
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