Stupas are found in Chaitanya’s. These are mounds where part of the mortal remains of Buddha or some things he used is buried. They have been made with bricks or stones. They have a lot of story value.
1. Even before the coming of Buddhism, the practice of making stupas was in existence. Later it became attached to Buddhism.
2. Since they are built over the remains of Buddha or the things he used, they are worshipped as a sign of Buddha and Buddhism.
Followers of Buddha built many stupas in different. parts of India. The Buddhist Book “Asokavadana Sishta” says that Emperor Asoka sent the mortal remains of Buddha to all the important towns of his empire and ordered stupas to be built over them. By the 2nd century BC, many stupas were built. The most famous stupas are in Bharhut, Sanchi, and Saranath. Stupa is a Sanskrit word meaning a heap or mound. In the early times, stupas were in semi-circles.
Later they were known as ‘anda’. Gradually, the structure of the stupas became complex. They now acquired circular and rectangular shapes. Over the andas, they built some kind of balcony. It was called harmika which means ‘sreekovil’. It represents the abode of god. From harmika rose a flag-post, called ‘yashti’. Around this, there were chhatris (umbrellas). Around the mound, a stone wall was constructed separating it from the material world around.
The early stupas in Sanchi and Bharhut were simple. The gates and the fences were looking as if they were made of bamboos or wood. There were four entrance arches to the stupas. These arches were decorated with sculptures. The worshippers entered the stupa from the eastern archway and went round the mound, Later these stupas were adorned with various sculptures and inscriptions. Such decorated stupas can be seen in Amaravati and Shahji-ki-dheri in Peshawar in Pakistan.