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Top 5 Buddhist Architecture in India

India’s architectural marvels cannot be talked about, without the inclusion of Buddhism. The period between the 5th to 14th Century saw the development of Buddhism. In fact, some of the sites like Ellora find Buddhist monuments, along with the Hindu monuments.

Some of the most prominent Buddhist sites include Bodhgaya, Amravati, Bahrut Stupa, Nalanda University, etc.

1. Mahabodhi Temple

  • A Buddhist pilgrimage site located in the Gaya district of Bihar, Bodh Gaya has the famous Mahabodhi Temple.
  • Gautam Buddha attained his salvation and enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree located in this temple complex. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • King Ashoka constructed the first shrine at the base of the Bodhi Tree.
  • The Mahabodhi Temple seems to be a mix of both Nagara & Dravida Style of Temple Architecture.

Interesting Fact – Earlier, Bodhgaya was known as Uruwela.

Credits – tourism.bihar.gov.in

2. Chudamani Vihara

Credits – Alchetron

  • It is a famous Buddhist Vihara located in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu.
  • It was constructed by Sri Vijayan King Sri Maya Vijayattunga Varma.
  • It was completed in 1006 CE.
  • King Raja Raja Chola helped Sri Maya to construct the Vihara.
  • Naganadu (Nagapattinam) & Kasiba Thera renovated the Vihara in the 6th Century AD.

3. Ajanta Caves

  • It is located in Aurangabad.
  • It is a cluster of 32 Buddhist Caves.
  • It is a protected monument under the care of the Archeological Survey of India.
  • It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The caves were developed in the period between 200 B.C. to 650 A.D.
  • Buddhist Monks inscribed the Ajanta caves with the help of the Vakataka King, including Harisena.

Credits – Ajantacaves.com

4. Sanchi Stupa

Credits – visitworldheritage.com

  • Sanchi is one of the most well-preserved Stupa.
  • It was laid down by Ashoka.
  • Sungas helped Sanchi enlarge
  • Further, Satavahanas added Toranas to the Sanchi Stupa.
  • Jataka Tales are depicted in the railings
  • It is made out of the local quarried sandstone

5. Amravati Stupa

Credits – thehindu.com

  • The construction of the Amravati Stupa was completed in 200 AD.
  • Buddha’s life stories are depicted in the carved panels.
  • Bharut Style of Architecture is used for the construction of the Amravati Stupa
  • Some features of Gandhara and Mathura are also depicted in the Stupa.
  • A use of white marble limestone can be seen in the Stupa.

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