The world-famous Kesaria Buddha stupa in east Champaran district of Bihar is waterlogged following floods in some parts of the district after heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of river Gandak in neighbouring Nepal.
About Kesaria Buddha stupa
- The stupa, located about 110 km from the State capital Patna, has a circumference of almost 400 feet and stands at a height of about 104 feet.
- The first construction of the nationally protected stupa is dated to the 3rd century BCE.
- It is regarded as the largest Buddhist stupa in the world and has been drawing tourists from across several Buddhist countries.
- The sputa’s exploration had started in the early 19th century after its discovery led by Colonel Mackenzie in 1814.
- Later, it was excavated by General Cunningham in 1861-62 and in 1998 an ASI team led by archaeologist K.K. Muhammad had excavated the site properly.
- The original Kesaria stupa is said to date back to the time of emperor Ashoka (circa 250 BCE) as the remains of an Ashokan pillar was discovered there.
- The local call the stupa “devalaya” meaning “house of gods”.
- The ASI has declared it a protected monument of national importance.
- 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.
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