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Chaukhandi Stupa
Chaukhandi Stupa

Chaukhandi Stupa

Dagelijks van 06.00-17.00 uur
Rishpattan Road, Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, 221007

The basics

Built during the Gupta period (4th-6th centuries), the stupa’s octagonal top tower was said to be added much later by Govardhan, the son of Raja Todarmal, in 1588 during the Mughal era. He built the additional tower to commemorate the visit of Humayun, the great Mughal ruler. Today, the stupa is a major stop on most tours to Sarnath and is frequently visited in tandem with the Sarnath Museum and Dhamekh Stupa nearby.

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Things to know before you go

  • The Chaukhandi Stupa is a must-visit for anyone interested in history and Buddhism.
  • Wear sunscreen or a hat and bring plenty of water; this part of India gets very hot.
  • The stupa is not wheelchair-accessible.
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How to get there

The Chaukhandi Stupa is located in the Buddhist pilgrimage town of Sarnath, about a half-hour drive north of Varanasi. It's fairly easy to get an autorickshaw or taxi from town, but many visitors prefer to go as part of a guided tour, most of which also hit up other hotspots such as the Sarnath Museum and the Dhamekh Stupa.

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When to get there

The Chaukhandi Stupa is open daily from sunrise to sunset; if you want to beat the crowds and the heat of the day, it’s a good idea to visit right around sunrise. If you’re coming closer to sunset, you can get great photos of the stupa from the adjacent Garden of Spiritual Wisdom.

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What is a stupa?

Stupas are mound-shaped structures that traditionally hold holy relics and have long been used as places of meditation and reflection for Buddhists. Many of India's stupas were created under the Buddhist Emperor Ashoka, who is believed to have set up around 84,000 such stupas holding relics of the Buddha across the subcontinent.

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