East Gateway and Railings of Bharhut Stupa

Buddhist Stupas – Preserving the sacred relics

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A is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics that is used as a place of meditation.

Table of Contents

Origin of the Buddhist Stupas

A related architectural term is a chaitya, which is a prayer hall or temple containing a stupa.

In Buddhism, circumambulation or pradakhshina has been an important ritual and devotional practice since the earliest times, and always have a pradakhshina path around them.

According to Buddhist tradition, Emperor Ashoka (rule: 273—232 BCE) recovered the relics of the Buddha from the earlier stupas (except from the Ramagrama stupa), and erected 84,000 stupas to distribute the relics across India.

In effect, many stupas are thought to date originally from the time of Ashoka, such as Sanchi or Kesariya, where he also erected pillars with his inscriptions, and possibly Bharhut, Amaravati or Dharmarajika in Gandhara.

Ashoka also established the Pillars of Ashoka throughout his realm, generally next to Buddhist stupas.

Stupas were soon to be richly decorated with sculptural reliefs, following the first attempts at Sanchi Stupa No.2 (125 BCE).

Evolution of the Buddhist Stupas

The stupa underwent major evolutions in the area of Gandhara.

Since Buddhism spread to Central Asia, China and ultimately Korea and Japan through Gandhara, the stylistic evolution of the Gandharan stupa was very influential in the later development of the stupa (and related artistic or architectural forms) in these areas.

The Gandhara stupa followed several steps, generally moving towards more and more elevation and addition of decorative element, leading eventually to the development of the tower.

Stupa architecture was adopted in Southeast and East Asia, where it became prominent as a Buddhist monument used for enshrining sacred relics.

The Indian gateway arches, the torana, reached East Asia with the spread of Buddhism.

Stupas were built in Sri Lanka soon after Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura converted to Buddhism.

The first stupa to be built was the Thuparamaya.

Later, many more were built over the years, some like the Jetavanaramaya in Anuradhapura, being one of the tallest ancient structures in the world.

Buddhist Stupas around the world

This is a list of famous Stupas from all around the world.


Early evolution of the stupa

The stupa is a Buddhist funerary mound made of stone, a metal or clay reliquary, and a ritual object symbolically representing the mind of complete enlightenment.


A pagoda is a tiered tower with multiple eaves, built in traditions originating as stupa in historic South Asia and further developed in East Asia or with respect to those traditions, common to Nepal, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka and other parts of Asia.

A pagoda is a tiered tower with multiple eaves, built in traditions originating as stupa in historic South Asia and further developed in East Asia or with respect to those traditions, common to Nepal, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka and other parts of Asia.


Swayambhunath is an ancient religious architecture atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley, west of Kathmandu city. The Tibetan name for the site means ‘Sublime Trees’, for the many varieties of trees found on the hill. Also known as the “Monkey Temple” among visitors from abroad, Swayambhunath sits atop its hill, overlooking most parts of the valley


Bouddha, also known as Boudhanath, Khasti Chaitya and Khāsa Chaitya is a stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal. Located about 11 km (6.8 mi) from the center and northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu, its massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal and the world.

Chandavaram Buddhist site

Buddha statue, now at the Hussain Sagar, Hyderabad.

Chandavaram Buddhist site is an ancient Buddhist site in Chandavaram village in Prakasam district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

In 1985, a project called the “Buddha Poornima Project” was proposed.

Under this project, the world’s tallest standing monolith statue of Buddha was to be erected on the site. Made out of granite, the statue was carved by 200 sculptors in two years and on completion it weighed 440 tonnes with an overall height of 17 metres (56 ft).

However, the Buddha statue was transported to city of Hyderabad in 1988 instead, where it was erected in 1992 in the Hussain sagar lake and stands today.


Bharhut is a village located in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh, central India. It is known for its famous relics from a Buddhist stupa.


Sanchi Stupa is a Buddhist complex, famous for its Great Stupa, on a hilltop at Sanchi Town in Raisen District of the State of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is located in 46 kilometres (29 mi) north-east of Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh. The Great Stupa at Sanchi is one of the oldest stone structures in India, and an important monument of Indian Architecture. It was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE. Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. It was crowned by the chhatri, a parasol-like structure symbolising high rank, which was intended to honour and shelter the relics. The original construction work of this stupa was overseen by Ashoka, whose wife Devi was the daughter of a merchant of nearby Vidisha. Sanchi was also her birthplace as well as the venue of her and Ashoka’s wedding. In the 1st century BCE, four elaborately carved toranas and a balustrade encircling the entire structure were added. The Sanchi Stupa built during Mauryan period was made of bricks. The composite flourished until the 11th century.

Charumati Stupa

Charumati Stupa (also known as Chabahil Stupa, and Dhan Dhoj Stupa) is a stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal.

It was built by Charumati, daughter of the Indian emperor Ashoka, in the 4th century.

In 2003, Charumati Stupa was restored by the locals as it was crumbling due to the “heavy vehicular traffic on the nearby road”.

During its restoration process countless artefacts, coins, and manuscripts were found possibly dating back to the Licchavi era.


Lenyadri, sometimes called Ganesa Lena, Ganesh Pahar Caves, or Suleman Caves, represents a series of about 30 rock-cut Buddhist caves, located about 5km north of Junnar in Pune district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Other caves surrounding the city of Junnar are: Manmodi Caves, Shivneri Caves and Tulja Caves.


Lalitagiri is a major Buddhist complex in the Indian state of Odisha comprising major stupas, ‘esoteric’ Buddha images, and monasteries (viharas), one of the oldest sites in the region. Together with the Ratnagiri and Udayagiri sites, Lalitagiri is part of Puspagiri University located on top of hills of the same names. The three complexes are known as the “Diamond Triangle”. Significant finds at this complex include Buddha’s relics. Tantric Buddhism was practiced at this site.

Ratnagiri – Odisha

Ratnagiri was once the site of a mahavihara, or major Buddhist monastery, in the Brahmani and Birupa river valley in Jajpur district of Odisha, India. It is close to other Buddhist sites in the area, including Pushpagiri, Lalitagiri and Udayagiri.

Great Stupa of Universal Compassion

The is a sacred Buddhist monument being constructed in Australia near Bendigo in central Victoria. The basic idea for building this stupa came from Lama Yeshe, and after his passing Lama Zopa Rinpoche decided to model the stupa (Kumbum) on the Great Stupa of Gyantse, which is 600 years old. When completed, the Bendigo stupa’s exterior will be an exact replica of the Great Stupa of Gyantse. It will be 50m high and its four sides will each be 50m long, making it one of the largest Buddhist in the Western world. Buddhists say that viewing the stupa will help purify the mind.

Udayagiri – Odisha

Udayagiri (ଉଦୟଗିରି) is the largest Buddhist complex in the Indian state of Odisha. It is composed of major stupas and monasteries (viharas). Together with the nearby complexes of Lalitgiri and Ratnagiri, it is part of Puspagiri University. The heritage sites are also known collectively as the “Diamond Triangle” of the “Ratnagiri-Udayagiri-Lalitgiri” complex. Per epigraphical artifacts found at the site, its historical name was “Madhavapura Mahavihara.” This Buddhist complex, preceded by the Ratnagiri and Lalitgiri sites, with their monasteries, is believed to have been active between the 7th and the 12th centuries.


Pavurallakonda or Pavurallabodu is the local name of a hill, popularly known as Narasimhaswamy Konda, near Bheemunipatnam about 25 km towards north of Visakhapatnam, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is located at a height of about 150 meters above mean sea level.


Bojjannakonda and Lingalakonda are two Buddhist rock-cut caves on adjacent hillocks, situated near a village called Sankaram, which is a few kilometres away from Anakapalle, Vishakhapatnam in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The sites are believed to date between 4th and 9th Century A.D, when the 3 phases of Buddhism flourished at Sankaram. The real name of Bojjannakonda was actually Buddina Konda but the people can’t pronounce it properly by telling the name repeatedly so it was changed to Bojjannakonda

Guntupalli Group of Buddhist Monuments

The Guntupalle or Guntupalli Group of Buddhist Monuments is located near Kamavarapukota, West Godavari district, in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. It is around 40 km away from Eluru. The rock-cut part of the site has two Buddhist caves, a chaitya hall and a large group of stupas. The chaitya hall has a rare carved stone entrance replicating wooden architecture, a simpler version of that at the Lomas Rishi Cave.

Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen

Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen is a royal wat (‘temple’) located in Phasi Charoen district, Bangkok, at the Chao Phraya River. It is part of the Maha Nikaya fraternity and is the origin of the Dhammakaya Movement. It is a large and popular temple, supported by prosperous community members.

Saru Maru

Saru Maru stupa

Saru Maru is the archaeological site of an ancient monastic complex and Buddhist caves.

The site contains a number of stupas as well as natural caves for monks.

In the caves many Buddhist graffiti have been found (swastika, triratna, kalasa …).

In the main cave were found two inscriptions of Ashoka: a version of the Minor Rock Edict n°1, one of the Edicts of Ashoka, and another inscription mentioning the visit of Piyadasi (honorific name used by Ashoka in his inscriptions) as Maharahakumara (Prince).

Parinirvana Stupa

Parinirvana Stupa is a Buddhist temple in Kushinagar, India which is said to be the death place of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Alexander Cunningham gains the most attention for his work in the area, because he conclusively proved that Gautama Buddha had died in the area. The present temple was built by the Indian Government in 1956 as part of the commemoration of the 2,500th year of the Mahaparinivana or 2500 BE. Inside this temple, there is Reclinging Buddha image lying on its right side with the head to the north. The statue is 6.1 m long and rests on a stone couch.


Kushinagar is a pilgrimage town in the Kushinagar district of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Sonari Stupas

Sonari is the archaeological site of an ancient monastic complex of Buddhist stupas. The site, positioned on a hill, is located about 10 km southwest of Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India.

Kalachakra stupa

is a stupa located just outside Lagkadaiika village, in the Xylokastro area of the Corinthia region of southern Greece, overlooking the Gulf of Corinth. It is the largest stupa in Southeastern Europe.

Lahugala Kota Vehera

Lahugala Kota Vehera or Kota Vehara Raja Maha Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in Lahugala, Ampara District, Sri Lanka. The temple is located in Pansalgoda Grama Niladari division of Lahugala DS and lies on Colombo – Batticaloa main road about 10 km (6.2 mi) far from Pothuvil town. The temple has been formally recognised by the Government as an archaeological site in Sri Lanka. The designation was declared on 10 October 2014 under the government Gazette number 1884. The protected monuments include the ancient Dagaba, building sites with stone pillars, flight of steps carved on natural rock plain and drip ledged caves. The Stupa in the Vihara has been identified as one of four Kota Vehera Styled structures found around Sri Lanka.

Sikri stupa

The Sikri stupa is a work of Buddhist art dated to 3rd-4th century from the Kushan period in Gandahara, consisting of 13 narrative panels that tell the story of Buddha. Modern restoration accounts for their order in the Lahore Museum. The restoration began while Harold Arthur Deane was still assigned to the North-West Frontier Province in what was then British India. Three photos taken around 1890 show the order of the panels in the earliest restoration.

Sanchi Stupa No. 2

The Stupa No. 2 at Sanchi, also called Sanchi II, is one of the oldest existing Buddhist stupas in India, and part of the Buddhist complex of Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh. It is of particular interest since it has the earliest known important displays of decorative reliefs in India, probably anterior to the reliefs at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, or the reliefs of Bharhut. It displays what has been called “the oldest extensive stupa decoration in existence”. Stupa II at Sanchi is therefore considered as the birthplace of Jataka illustrations.


Kumashpur, also spelled Kumaspur and Kumaspura, is a village within Municipal Corporation of Sonipat in Sonipat district of Haryana. It is 11 km from Sonipat Junction railway station, 45 km from Maharana Pratap Inter State Bus Terminus at Kashmiri Gate, Delhi, and 190 km from Chandigarh on NH1 Grand Trunk Road.


Dhauli or Dhauligiri is a hill located on the banks of the river Daya, 8 km south of Bhubaneswar in Odisha. It’s known for “Dhauli Santi Stupa”, a monument which witnesses the great Kalinga War built by Japan Budhha Sangha and Kalinga Nippon Budhha Sangha.

Dhamek Stupa

Dhamek Stupa is a massive stupa located at Sarnath, 13 km away from Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.


Kesariya is a town in the district of East Champaran, in the Indian state of Bihar. It is the site of a stupa built by the Mauryan king Ashoka.

Sugh Ancient Mound

Sugh Ancient Mound, also known as the Ancient Site of Sugh, is located in the village of Amadalpur Dayalgarh, in the Yamunanagar district of Haryana, India. Suryamandir-Tirth in Amadalpur is nearby. Buddhist stupa here is identified with the Srughna.

Pushpagiri Vihara

Pushpagiri was an ancient Buddhist mahavihara located atop Langudi Hills in Jajpur district of Odisha, India. The complex contains ruins of stupas, rock-cut sculptures and other artifacts.


Assandh is a city and a municipal committee in Karnal district in the state of Haryana, India. Assandh is 45 km south-west of Karnal.


Nagarjunakonda is a historical town, now an island located near Nagarjuna Sagar in Guntur district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, near the state border with Telangana. It is 160 km west of another important historic site Amaravati Stupa.


Deekshabhoomi is a sacred monument of Navayana Buddhism located at Nagpur city in Maharashtra state of India, where B. R. Ambedkar, embraced Buddhism with approximately 600,000 of his followers mainly scheduled caste peoples on Ashoka Vijaya Dashami on 14 October 1956. Ambedkar revived Buddhism in India. Ambedkar’s conversion to Buddhism is deeply significant for millions of people in India. According to the 2011 India census, more than 87% of the total Buddhist population in India are Ambedkarite Buddhists.

Bodh Stupa

The Bodh Stupa is situated near the Fine Arts Department in the north-east region of Kurukshetra University, in Haryana, 160 km from Delhi, India.

Amaravati Stupa

The Amarāvati Stupa, popularly known as the great stūpa at Amarāvathi, is a ruined Buddhist monument, probably built in phases between the third century BCE and about 250 CE, at Amaravathi village, Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, India. The site is under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India. The campus includes the stūpa itself and the Archaeological Museum.

Chaneti Buddhist Stupa

Chaneti Buddhist Stupa is a 3rd century BC monument protected by the Government of India. The stupa is located in the Yamunanagar district of Haryana, three kilometers east of Jagadhri, and about three kilometers northwest of the archaeological site Sugh. The stupa has been referred by traveller Hiuen Tsang.

Kesaria stupa

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. Kesariya Stupa has a circumference of almost 400 feet (120 m) and raises to a height of about 104 feet (32 m).

Salugara Monastery

Salugara Monastery is among the most frequented revered places, located in the outskirts of Siliguri. Located 6 km from the city, the Buddhist shrine is visited by tourists for meditation. The ideal tranquil location for meditation was established by Tibetan monks and followers of religious leader the Dalai Lama.

Rankoth Vehera

Rankoth Vehera is a stupa located in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka. The stupa was built by Nissanka Malla of Polonnaruwa, who ruled the country from 1187 to 1196. The Rankoth Vehera has been built according to the tradition of the stupas of the Anuradhapura Maha Viharaya and bears a close resemblance to Ruwanwelisaya. In fact, a stone inscription situated close to the stupa even identifies it by the name “Ruwanweli”. However, it has later come to be known by the currently used name, Rankoth Vehera. In Sinhalese, ran means gold, kotha is the name given to the pinnacle of a stupa, and vehera means stupa or temple. Thus, the name Rankoth Vehera can be roughly translated to English as “Gold Pinnacled Stupa”. Along with the Kiri Vehera, it is one of the most revered stupas in Polonnaruwa.

Pusulpitiya Raja Maha Vihara

Pusulpitiya Raja Maha Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple which is located in Pusulpitiya village, Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka. It is situated in Kotmale about 3 miles from Morape on the banks of the Kotmale Oya. Currently this temple has been recognized as an archaeological protected site in Sri Lanka.

Phra That Si Song Rak

Phra That Si Song Rak is a Buddhist stupa built in c. 1560 by Laotian and Thai kings. It is located on the Man River in Dan Sai district, Loei province of modern-day Thailand, 30 kilometers from the modern Thailand-Laos border. The name means “Stupa of Love from the Two Nations”.

Phra Prathon Chedi

Phra Prathon Chedi is one of the oldest stupas in Thailand with the height of 50 metres (164 ft). The stupa is located in the Wat Phra Prathon Chedi Wora Viharn, a temple in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, 3 km east of Phra Pathommachedi.

Phra Pathommachedi

Phra Pathommachedi or Phra Pathom Chedi is a Buddhist stupa in Thailand. The stupa is located in the Wat Phra Pathommachedi Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan (Thai: วัดพระปฐมเจดีย์ราชวรมหาวิหาร), a temple in the town center of Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Pathom Province, Thailand. Phra Pathommachedi is the tallest stupa in Thailand. The top of its spire reaches 120.45 meters, with the base circumference of 235.50 meters.

Sandahiru Seya

Sandahiru Seya is a second largest hemispherical stupa in Sri Lanka located in Anuradhapura.

Phra Chedi Klang Nam

Phra Chedi Klang Nam is a chedi in Rayong Province. Phra Chedi Klang Nam was built approximately 2 kilometers away from Rayong city and it is located in the middle of the mouth of the Rayong River. Tourists can travel to Phra Chedi Klang Nam everyday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Tambon Pak Nam, Amphoe Muaeng, Rayong. The Chedi (pagoda) was constructed in 1873 by Kate Yomjinda, who was the Rayong provincial administrator at the time. The feature of pagoda looks like large white bell which stands 10 meters high and the ground is reddish-brown brick. Once the Chedi used to symbolise reaching Rayong for sailors. Now the people ofRayong esteem the Phra Chedi Klang Nam and it is a symbol of Rayong. The tourists should travel to Phra Chedi Klang Nam during the twelfth lunar month because at that time the annual celebration takes place. In November during the Loy Krathong festival, festival for paying respect to the Phra Mae Kong Ka, people can join the festival at Phra Chedi Klang Nam and there is Thai traditional boat racing as well. In mid-December every year, there is an offering robes to Buddhist monks and cover clothes for pagoda tradition. Two men cover the apex of pagoda by a 6 meter long red cloth. The area around Phra Chedi Klang Nam is covered by pine trees, so the weather is pretty good. People usually go there to relax and have a picnic.


Satdhara is the name of an archaeological site consisting of stupas and viharas, located 9 km west of Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India.


Salihundam, a historically important Buddhist monument and a major tourist attraction is a village lying on top of the hill on the south bank of the Vamsadhara River. It is about 9 miles from Srikakulam.


Adurru is a village and a 2nd-century CE Buddhist archaeological site in the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Konaseema district of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located in the Mamidikuduru Mandal, on the western bank of Vainateya, a distributary of the Godavari river, around 9.5 km from the Bay of Bengal.

Satmahal Prasada

The Satmahal Prasada is a 12th century step pyramid in the northeast corner of the archaeological complex of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka. It is believed to be a stupa because it is in a Buddhist environment. It is unique in the area, of unknown builder and purpose. It is often compared to the stupa at Wat Kukut in Lamphun in Thailand and to the Buddhist architecture of Cambodia.


Thotlakonda Buddhist Complex is situated on a hill near Bheemunipatnam about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, India. The hill is about 128 metres (420 ft) above sea level and overlooks the sea. The Telugu name Toṭlakoṇḍa derived from the presence of a number of rock-cut cisterns hewn into the bedrock of the hillock. In 2019, the stupa was partially damaged due to monsoons, but it was restored by 2021 at the cost of Rs 42 lakh.

Yatala Vehera

Yatala Vehera is an ancient Buddhist stupa dating back to the 3rd Century B.C, located in Deberawewa – Thissamaharama in Hambantota District of Sri Lanka. The stupa is built on a stage made of large flat granite stones and has a surrounding wall of sculpted elephant heads, a moat and a large moonstone. It is believed that the stupa was built 2300 years ago by regional king Yatala Thissa of Ruhuna to commemorate the place where he was born. However some believe that the stupa was built by regional king Mahanaga, father of Yatala Thissa to mark the birth of his son.

World Peace Pagoda – Lumbini

World Peace Pagoda, Lumbini

World Peace Pagoda, also called Nipponzan Peace Pagoda, is a Buddhist monument in Lumbini, Nepal.

It was designed and built by Japanese Buddhists. The Pagoda acts as the starting point on the central axis of the Lumbini Master Plan, the other end being the Mayadevi Temple. The distance from the pagoda to the temple is about 3.2 km.

The stairs in stupa lead to three different levels. The stupa is whitewashed and the floor is stone-paved. It has four large golden statues of Buddha facing four directions.

Wat Phra That Phanom

Wat Phra That Phanom is a temple in the That Phanom District in the southern part of Nakhon Phanom Province, northeastern Thailand. According to legend, the temple contains Phra Uranghathat / พระอุรังคธาตุ or Phra Ura / พระอุระ are enshrined, and as such, it is one of the most important Theravada Buddhist structures in the region. Each year, a festival is held at That Phanom to honor the temple. The week-long festival attracts thousands of people who make pilgrimages to honor the shrine.

Vishwa Shanti Stupa – Rajgir

Vishwa Shanti Stupa is a large white Peace Pagoda in Rajgir, Nalanda District, Bihar, near Gitai Mandir. Statues of the Buddha are mounted on the stupa in four directions. It also has a small Japanese Buddhist temple with a large park. There is a temple near the stupa where prayers are conducted for universal peace. The initial pagoda was completed in 1969. New initiatives in 1993 resulted in the present form. It is one of around 80 Peace Pagodas which have been built around the world by the neo-Buddhist organisation Nipponzan Myohoji. These were a dream of Nichidatsu Fujii, inspired by Mohandas K. Gandhi, as a reaction to the atomic bombing of Japan, the first, and more well known Vishwa Shanti stupa, being built on Ratnagiri Hill in Rajgir.

Velgam Vehera

Velgam Vehera is a historical Buddhist temple situated in Kanniya, Trincomalee District, Sri Lanka. It also known to Hindus as Natanar Kovil. Historically Velgam Vehera was one of important Buddhist temples in the country, worshiped by both Sinhala and Tamil Buddhists.


A vahalkada, known as a frontispiece in English, is a structure constructed joining a stupa at its four cardinal directions as a decorative flourish. Later, these frontispieces came to be decorated or embellished with designs such as the creeper design. Stone slabs erected for the purpose of offering flower at the stupa too have been added to these frontispieces.

Unagalawehera Rajamaha Viharaya – Hingurakgoda

The Unagalawehera Rajamaha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple in Hingurakgoda, Sri Lanka. It is 6 km (3.7 mi) south of Hingurakgoda and 7 km (4.3 mi) north of Polonnaruwa. It is an ancient site with temple complexes and ruins which are considered to belong to the early period of the Anuradhapura era.

Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara

The Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple in Tissamaharama, Southern Province of Sri Lanka. It was one of the four major Buddhist monasteries established in Sri Lanka, after the arrival of Arhant Mahinda Thera to the country. The site of the Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara was consecrated by Buddha himself, who spent some time in meditation there with 500 arhats, during his third visit to the island. Tissamaharama monastery had been recognized as a pre-eminent Buddhist educational center of the southern Sri Lanka from the 3rd century B.C. to the 11th century A.D. The Tissamaharama Dagoba which is situated in the premises of the monastery is one of the largest stupas in Sri Lanka. The present chief incumbent of Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara is Ven. Devalegama Dhammasena Nayaka Thera.

Thul Mir Rukan

The Thul Mir Rukan is a Buddhist stupa, built possibly between the 6th to 11th century CE, near the modern cities of Kazi Ahmed and Daulatpur in the Sindh province of Pakistan. This monument has domed ceiling and it is 60 feet high, constructed with baked bricks. Details indicate the site being a religious Buddhist center since antiquity. Many evidences were explored from this site are related to Gautama Buddha.

Thul Hairo Khan

The Thul Hairo Khan is a Buddhist Stupa, built possibly between the 5th to 7th century CE near the modern-day town of Johi, in Sindh, Pakistan. It is constructed with baked and unbaked bricks fixed with a material made from mud mixed water. The stupa is 50 feet high and 30 feet wide in size. The stair from the north side of stupa leads to its top. The stupa has an arched tunnel at ground level which crosses from north to south. It is believed that stupas like Hairo Khan were built in Sindh between 5th to 7th centuries CE. Thul of Hairo Khan appears to be series of discovered in other regions of Sindh.

That Dam

is a large stupa located in Vientiane, Laos. Many Laotians believe it is inhabited by a seven-headed nāga who tried to protect them from an invasion by the Siamese army in 1827.

Seruvila Mangala Raja Maha Vihara

Seruwawila Mangala Raja Maha Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple in Trincomalee district in Eastern Province, which is among the sixteen or seventeen holiest Buddhist shrines (Solosmasthana) in Sri Lanka.

Tarapur – Odisha

The town of Tarapur is located in the Indian state of Odisha, on the eastern coast of India. Three stupas (edicts), put up by Emperor Asoka, have been discovered at Tarapur recently.

Sujata Stupa

Sujata Stupa, also Sujata Kuti stupa or Sujata Garh, is a Buddhist stupa located in the village of Senanigrama (Bakraur) slightly east of Bodh Gaya in the state of Bihar, India. It lies directly across the Phalgu River from the town of Bodh Gaya, where Gautama Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. It is a walk of about 20 minutes, from Bodh Gaya to Sujata Stupa. It was initially built in the 2nd century BCE as confirmed by finds of Dark Grey polished wares and a punch-marked coin in the monastery nearby.


Sudheran-Jo-Thul is a Buddhist stupa which is situated near Tando Muhammad Khan city of Tando Muhammad Khan District, Sindh, Pakistan. The stupa is close to Badin city as well. This Buddhist monument in Sindh is located at the mound which shows the remains of an ancient big city. It is located towards South of Hyderabad city. Locally it is famous as Tower of Sudheran. According to some accounts this stupa is believed to be cinerary.


A is a small votive stupa. It is often accompanied by small votive tablets with Buddhist formulae, or small Buddhist images. The stupika can also be the topmost part of a building, particularly a Hindu temple.

Sphola Stupa

Sphola Stupa is a Buddhist monument located in the Khyber Pass, Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. The monument located about 25 kilometers from Jamrūd is on a high rocky ledge and consists of a stone mound supported by a tiered base. Large sections of the stone have fallen away, particularly to the right of the mound. A man is standing on the top of the mound, and another man is standing on a pile of rubble to the right. There is a valley beyond with steep mountains rising behind it.

Peace Pagoda – Darjeeling

Peace Pagoda, Darjeeling or Darjeeling Peace Pagoda is one of the Peace Pagodas designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds to help unite them in their search for world peace. It is located in the town of Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal. Like most of the other Peace Pagodas, it was built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii (1885–1985), a Buddhist monk from Japan and founder of the Nipponzan-Myōhōji Buddhist Order.

Sithulpawwa Rajamaha Viharaya

Sithulpawwa Rajamaha Viharaya is an ancient Buddhist monastery located in Hambantota District, South Eastern Sri Lanka. Situated 18 km east of the pilgrimage town Katharagama, it is believed to have been built in the 2nd century B.C by king Kavantissa. Sithulpawwa Vihara can be reached by travelling 18 miles along the Tissamaharama-Yodhakandiya road towards the Yala National Park. The name Sithulpawwa is derived from the word “Chiththala Pabbatha”, which means “the hill of the quiet mind”.

Shanti Stupa – Pokhara

Pokhara Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist pagoda

Pokhara Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist monument on Anadu Hill of the former Pumdi Bhumdi Village Development Committee, in the district of Kaski, Nepal.

Shanti Stupa – Ladakh

Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed stupa (chorten) on a hilltop in Chanspa, Leh district, Ladakh, in north India. It was built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu, Gyomyo Nakamura and part of the Peace Pagoda mission. The Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama. The stupa has become a tourist attraction not only due to its religious significance but also due to its location which provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.


Shaji-ki-Dheri is the site of an ancient Kanishka stupa about 6 kilometers from Peshawar, Pakistan.

Somawathiya Chaitya

The Somawathiya Chaitya is a Buddhist Stupa situated in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. Chaitya premises is called the Somawathiya Rajamaha Viharaya.

Mankiala stupa

The Mankiala Stupa is a 2nd-century Buddhist stupa near the village of Tope Mankiala, in Pakistan’s Punjab province. The stupa was built by the Kushans and is said to commemorate the spot, where according to the Jataka tales, an incarnation of the Buddha called Prince Sattva sacrificed himself to feed seven hungry tiger cubs.

Peace Pagoda – Ampara

Ampara Peace Pagoda is one of a number of Peace Pagodas in the world, built since World War II and designed to promote the non-violence in the community and unite them in their search for world peace. It is located in Ampara, a small town located in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka and is one of the Ampara’s most prominent landmarks.

Butkara Stupa

The Butkara Stupa is an important Buddhist stupa near Mingora, in the area of Swat, Pakistan. It may have been built by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka, but it is generally dated slightly later to the 2nd century BCE.

Do-drul Chorten

Do-drul Chorten is a stupa in Gangtok in the Indian state of Sikkim. The stupa was built by Trulshik Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism in 1945. Inside this stupa is a complete set of Dorjee Phurba, Kangyur and other religious objects. Around the stupa are 108 Mani Lhakor or prayer wheels. The stupa is surrounded by Chorten Lakahang and Guru Lakhang, where two statues of Guru Rinpoche are present.

Dharmarajika Stupa

The Dharmarajika Stupa, also referred to as the Great Stupa of Taxila, is a Buddhist stupa near Taxila, Pakistan. It dates from the 2nd century CE, and was built by the Kushans to house small bone fragments of the Buddha. The stupa, along with the large monastic complex that later developed around it, forms part of the Ruins of Taxila – which were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.

Devni Mori

Devnimori, or Devni Mori, is a Buddhist archaeological site in northern Gujarat, about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the city of Shamlaji, in the Aravalli District of northern Gujarat, India. The site is variously dated to the 3rd century or 4th century CE, or circa 400 CE. Its location was associated with trade routes and caravans in the area of Gujarat. Site excavations have yielded Buddhist artifacts dated prior to 8th-century in the lowest layer, mixed Buddhist and Hindu artwork from the Gurjara-Pratihara period in the middle, topped by Muslim glazed ware attributed to the 14th century. The site was excavated between 1960 and 1963. The site became flooded by the Meswo reservoir, a project started in 1959 and completed over 1971-1972 over the nearby Meshwo River.

Deur Kothar

Deorkothar is a location of archaeological importance in Madhya Pradesh, Central India. It is known for its Buddhist stupas and was discovered in 1982.These stupas are credited to the Mauryan emperor, Ashoka.


Deeghawapi is a Buddhist sacred shrine and an archaeological site in the Ampara District of Sri Lanka, boasting of historical records dating back to the 3rd century BCE. Water reservoirs, called “tanks”, were an important feature of the hydraulic civilization of ancient Sri Lanka, and temples and cities were built around them. The importance of Dighavapi is connected with legends about visits to this site by the Buddha himself, and many allusions to Deeghawapi in the ancient chronicles as well as in the Pali literature. It has also played a role in the political history of the region. In more recent (medieval) times, the Sinhalese kings have settled Moor and Dutch settlers in the neighbouring areas. The construction is expected to be finished by the end 2023.

Clement Town

Clement Town is a cantonment town in Dehradun, Dehradun district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Clement Town is seven kilometres (4.3 mi) from the clock tower in main city of Dehradun. Saharanpur and Haridwar are 65 and 54 km respectively. It also borders Rajaji National Park and is home to several renowned institutions. Schools such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy Academy and St. Mary’s are in the neighbourhood. Country singer Bobby Cash resides in Clement Town.

Chedi Doi Trimoorati

Chedi Doi Trimoorati is a Chedi in Chiang Rai, set in a countryside location surrounded by ricefields, woodland and mountain views. It is maintained by its designer Luang Phra Wichai Chotivaro and a small group of fellow monks. The Chedi is a few kilometers out of the city in the Bandu area; turn off the main road on soi 6 and follow the road a few kilometers until the tarmac ends and a dirt road starts, then take a right fork through a gate and up a slight incline.

Chaukhandi Stupa

Chaukhandi Stupa is a Buddhist stupa in Sarnath located 8 kilometres from Cantt Railway Station in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. Stupas have evolved from burial mounds and serve as a shrine for a relic of the Buddha. The site was declared to be a monument of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India in June 2019.

Chaitya Bhoomi

Chaitya Bhoomi is a Buddhist chaitya and the cremation place of B. R. Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. It is situated besides Dadar Chowpatty (beach), Mumbai. Chaitya Bhoomi is a revered place of pilgrimage for Ambedkar’s followers, who visit in millions annually on his death anniversary on 6 December.

Buddha Vihar – Kalaburagi

Buddha Vihara is a Buddhist temple and spiritual center in Kalaburagi, Karnataka, India.

Gudiwada Dibba – Vizianagaram

Gudiwada Dibba is a small hillock at Gudiwada village in Bhogapuram mandal, Vizianagaram district, Andhra Pradesh. It located on the banks of River Gosthani.

Buddha Smriti Park

Buddha Smriti Park also known as Buddha Memorial Park is an urban park located on Frazer Road near Patna Junction in Patna, India. This park has been designed by Vikram Lall and developed by the Bihar Government to commemorate the 2554th birth anniversary of the Buddha. This park was inaugurated by the 14th Dalai Lama.

Buddha Samyak Darshan Museum and Memorial Stupa

Buddha Samyak Darshan Museum and Memorial Stupa is a proposed museum and stupa to house the Buddha relic, which was found in archeological excavation in Vaishali. The Bihar state cabinet gave nod for its construction on 9 February 2013, but construction was commenced onnly on 20 February 2019, inaugurated by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. The museum will be built over 72 acres of land with a budget of ₹315 crore. The entire structure will be built of stone and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi is providing technical support for its construction.

Bhojpur Stupas

The Bhojpur Stupas, also called Murelkhurd Stupas or Morel Khurd Stupas by the Archaeological Survey of India to avoid confusion with the village and archaeological site of Bhojpur, Madhya Pradesh about 45 km to the southwest, are a group of about thirty stupas located southeast of Sanchi, about at about 11 km.

Benalmádena Stupa is a stupa in Benalmádena, Málaga in the Andalusian region of southern Spain, overlooking the Costa del Sol. It is 33 m (108 ft) high and is the largest stupa in Europe. It was inaugurated on 5 October 2003, and was the final project of Buddhist master Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche.

Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya

Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Bellanwila, Colombo District, Sri Lanka. Located around 12 km south to the Colombo city, near Dehiwala – Maharagama road, the temple attracts hundreds of devotees daily and is famous for its annual Esala Perehera festival which usually takes place in the month of August or September. One of the most venerated Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka, many devotees flock to worship the sacred Bo tree of Bellanwila Rajamaha Vihara, which is considered to be one of the first offshoots of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. The present chief incumbent of Bellanwila Rajamaha Vihara is Ven. Dr. Bellanwila Dhammaratana Nayaka Thera.


Bavikonda Buddhist Complex lies about 16 km from Visakhapatnam, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, on a hill about 130 metres above mean sea level. The term Bavikonda in Telugu means a hill of wells. As per its name, Bavikonda is a hill which has wells for the collection of rainwater. Bavikonda Monastic ruins dates back to the 3rd century BCE.


Barikot is a town located in the middle course of the Swat River in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It is located about 20 km (12 mi) away from Mingora and the Butkara Stupa. It is the entrance town to the central Swat Valley with a population of approximately 25,000 people. Barikot is the location of an ancient citadel captured by Alexander the Great, with Chalcolithic remains dating back to c. 1700 BCE, and an early-historic period town dating back to c. 500 BCE. The Italian Archaeological Mission founded by Giuseppe Tucci has been excavating ruins of the ancient town of Bazira under Barikot since 1984.

Andher Stupas

The Andher Stupas are a group of three stupa located 19 km south-east of Sanchi, Raisen District, Madhya Pradesh, India. Located high enough, they overlook the Bhojpur Stupas, beyond which are visible the stupas of Sanchi.

Ancient Kadurugoda Viharaya

Ancient Kadurugoda Viharaya with some remains of Stupas is situated in Kandarodai village in Chunnakam, Sri Lanka. The temple is considered one of the ancient Buddhist remains in existence today in Jaffna Peninsula.

Amluk-Dara stupa

Amluk-Dara stupa is located in Swat valley of Pakistan. It is a part of Gandhara civilization at Amluk-Dara. The stupa is believed to have been built in the third century. The stupa was first discovered by a Hungarian-British archaeologist Sir Aurel Stein in 1926. It was later studied by Domenico Faccena in the 60s and 70s.

Girihandu Seya

Girihandu Seya is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in Thiriyai, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. The temple is supposed to be the first Buddhist Stupa in Sri Lanka, believed to be constructed by two seafaring merchants Trapusa and Bahalika. The names of the two merchants are recorded in a rock inscription found in the Vihara premises. According to the inscription, Girihandu Seya was built by the guilds of merchants named Trapassuka and Vallika where the names are written as Tapassu and Bhalluka in later Sinhala chronicles. Some scholars also hold the view that Mahayana influenced seafaring merchants from the Pallava Kingdom were responsible for the construction of this temple.

Gumbat Stupa

Gumbat Stupa is a 2nd-century Buddhist stupa located in Swat valley in Pakistan. It is situated about 9 kilometres south of Birkot in the Kandag Valley of Gandhara.

Peace Pagoda

A Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa; a monument to inspire peace, designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds, and to help unite them in their search for world peace. Most peace pagodas built since World War II have been built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii (1885–1985), a Buddhist monk from Japan and founder of the Nipponzan-Myōhōji Buddhist Order. Fujii was greatly inspired by his meeting with Mahatma Gandhi in 1931 and decided to devote his life to promoting non-violence. In 1947, he began constructing Peace Pagodas as shrines to world peace. The first was inaugurated at Kumamoto in 1954.

Magul Maha Viharaya

Magul Maha Viharaya is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in Lahugala, Ampara District of Sri Lanka. The temple lies on the northern edge of the Lahugala National Park, about 22 km off from Siyambalanduwa town and about 11 km off Pottuvil town. Lahugala has been part of the Kingdom of Ruhuna in ancient Sri Lanka. The ruins of Magul Maha Vihara are one of the major tourist attractions of the Eastern province. This temple is also an archaeologically protected monument of the country.


Ovagiriya is one of archaeological sites in Polwatta, Ampara District, Sri Lanka. It is situated on Ampara-Inginiyagala road, about 19 km (12 mi) away from Ampara town.

Norbugang Chorten

The is a stupa situated in the Geyzing subdivision of West Sikkim district in the Indian State of Sikkim. It was erected following the crowning of the first Chogyal of Sikkim in 1642 at Narbugong Coronation Throne near Yuksom. A holy lake known as Kuthok Lake, a serene lake, is also linked to the historicity of the place. The Chorten was the place where Lama Lhutsun Chempo created the time capsule by burying all the gifts to mark the occasion.

Nemogram Stupa

Nemogram stupa is located 45 km west of Saidu Sharif and 22 km from Birkot, on the right bank of Swat river in Pakistan.This site was discovered in 1966 and excavated in 1967–68.Swat is rich in historical landmarks as well as natural beauty. In every direction, these are tangled in the wide valley. Aurel Stein, a British archaeologist, and Tucci, who was followed by other Italians, worked tirelessly to document and preserve these monuments.


Neelagiriseya is an ancient colossal Stupa situated in Lahugala, Ampara District, Sri Lanka. It is the largest Buddhist Stupa in the Eastern Province of the country. It has a circumference of 182 m (597 ft) and 22 m (72 ft) height in the current status. In the recent history the Stupa and its monastery site had been neglected and abandoned over three decades as the rise of activities of military organization LTTE in the area.

Nagadeepa Purana Vihara

Nagadeepa Purana Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in Jaffna district of Northern Province, Sri Lanka. It is among the country’s sixteen holiest Buddhist shrines (Solosmasthana). According to contemporary history, the Gautama Buddha visited the site after five years of attaining Enlightenment to settle the dispute between two warring Naga kings, Chulodara and Mahodara.

Muthiyangana Raja Maha Vihara

Muthiyangana Raja Maha Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple located in the middle of Badulla town in the Badulla District of Uva Province in Sri Lanka.

Mohra Muradu

Mohra Muradu is the place of an ancient Buddhist stupa and monastery near the ruins of Taxila built by the Kushans. The ancient monastery is located in a valley and has views of the surrounding mountains. The monks could meditate in all stillness at this place but were near enough to the city of Sirsukh to go for begging as it is only around 1.5 km away.


Mankiala is a village in the Potohar plateau, Punjab near Rawalpindi, Pakistan, known for the nearby Mankiala stupa – a Buddhist stupa located at the site where, according to legend, Buddha sacrificed some of his body parts to feed seven hungry tiger cubs.

Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara

Mahiyangana Raja Maha Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple in Mahiyangana, Sri Lanka. It is believed to be the site of Gautama Buddha’s first visit to the country, and is one of the Solosmasthana, the 16 sacred religious locations in Sri Lanka. Currently this temple has been declared as one of archaeological site in Sri Lanka.

Lahugala Kiri Vehera

Lahugala Kiri Vehera or Kiri Vehera Viharaya is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in Lahugala, Ampara District, Sri Lanka. The temple is located in Perani Lahugala Grama Niladari division of Lahugala DS. It is believed that this temple is belonged to the reign of king Dappula I (661-664). The temple has been formally recognised by the Government as an archaeological site in Sri Lanka. The designation was declared on 10 October 2014 under the government Gazette number 1884.

Kaathe Swyambhu

Kaathe Swayambhu, 1650AD, a miniature replica of Swayambhunath stupa

Kaathe Swayambhu Shree Gha Chaitya is a miniature replica of Swayambhunath. It was built around 1650AD and is one of the popular Tibetan pilgrimage site in Kathmandu, Nepal. The stupa is also called Shree Gha-Shanti Ghat Bhajradhatu Mahachaitya or Kathesimbhu stupa or Kashi Swayambhu.

Kunala Stupa

Kunala Stupa is a Kushan-era Buddhist stupa and monastery complex to the south-east of Taxila, on a hill about 200 meters just south of Sirkap, Punjab, Pakistan, thought to date to the 2nd century CE. It is located on a hill overlooking the ancient Indo-Greek city of Sirkap.

Kotturu Dhanadibbalu

Kotturu Dhanadibbalu & Pandavula Guha is an ancient Buddhist site near Kotturu village of Rambilli mandal Visakhapatnam District of Andhra Pradesh. A post office is located at Kotturu Village with Pincode 531061

Kotmale Mahaweli Maha Seya

Kotmale Mahaweli Maha Seya is a stupa located in Kotmale, Sri Lanka.

Kiri Vehera

Kiri Vehera is an ancient stupa situated in Kataragama, Sri Lanka. This stupa probably dates back to the 3rd century BC and is believed to have been built by King Mahasena, a regional ruler of Kataragama area. One of the most popular Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the country, Kiri Vehera is among the Solosmasthana, the 16 most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites of ancient Sri Lanka. This stupa which is 95 ft. in height with a circumference of 280 ft. is located 800 m North to the famous Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya. Venerable Kobawaka Dhamminda Thera is the present Chief Prelate of Kirivehera Rajamaha Viharaya.

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara

The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara or Kelaniya Temple is a Buddhist temple in Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. It is located 11 km (6.8 mi) north-east of Colombo. The current chief incumbent is Venerable Professor Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkhitha Thera.

Kanishka Stupa

The Kanishka Stupa was a monumental stupa established by the Kushan king Kanishka during the 2nd century CE in today’s Shaji-ki-Dheri on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan.


Kanaganahalli is about 3 km from Sannati. An important Buddhist site, the place where an ancient Buddhist Mahastupa site found. It is on the left bank of the Bhima river in Chitapur taluk, Gulbarga District in Karnataka, India. Nalwar is the nearest Railway station about 19 km from Kanaganahalli. The Buddhist site about 2.5 km from Chandrala Parameshwari temple of Sannati.

Kalutara Chaitya

The Kalutara Chaitya is a Stupa located immediately south of the Kalutara Bridge in the Kalutara District of Sri Lanka.


Kalawan is the name of an archaeological site in the area of Taxila in Pakistan, where it is one of the largest Buddhist establishment. It is located about 2 km from the Dharmarajika stupa.

Kalachakra Stupa (Greece)

Kalachakra Stupa is a stupa located just outside Lagkadaiika village, in the Xylokastro area of the Corinthia region of southern Greece, overlooking the Gulf of Corinth. It is the largest stupa in Southeastern Europe.

Zurmala Stupa

is a remnant of the largest Buddhist stupa located in Termez district in Uzbekistan. It is considered to be the oldest construction still standing in Uzbekistan. It was built in the first or second century CE.

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