Published on: July 5, 2021



What is in news : Kesaria Buddha stupa has been waterlogged

Where is it : Champaran, Bihar

What is the cause : Floods due to heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of river Gandak in neighbouring Nepal

About the stupa :

  • Regarded as the largest Buddhist stupa in the world
  • Circumference – 400 feet Height – 104 feet
  • Constructed – 3rd century BCE
  • Excavations on Stupa –
    • Colonel Mackenzie in 1814
    • General Cunningham in 1861-62
    • In 1998 an ASI team led by archaeologist K.K. Muhammad
  • Believed to be built by emperor Ashoka (circa 250 BCE) as the remains of an Ashokan pillar was discovered there. The local people call the stupa “devalaya,” meaning “house of gods”.
  • The ASI has declared it a protected monument.
  • However, a larger part of the stupa is yet to be developed as it remains under thick vegetation.
  • References in History –
    • Fah Hien(5th century A.D Chinese Buddhist monk), mentioned a stupa which was built over Buddha’s alms bowl by Licchavis of Vaishali, which is believed to be Kesaria buddha stupa
    • Hieun Tsang says Buddha lived at this site and told his followers he is on verge of attaining Nirvana
  • Buddha presented arguably his most revered discourse of Kalama Sutta, which revolves around the acceptance of his teachings only after observation, reflection and careful scrutiny from this place


ASI PROTECTED MONUMENT – Protected monument means an ancient monument which is declared to be of national importance by or under the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 (Central Act 24 of 1958)