Buddhist Monuments

Top choice in Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh

Emperor Ashoka's 3rd-century BC Great Stupa, and many other stupas, temples, pillars, gateways and monasteries built in succeeding centuries, stand at the top of Monuments Rd, with the ticket office near the beginning of the road.

Autorickshaws will take you up to the monuments for ₹30 if you don't want to walk. If you're interested in a guide, licensed government guides mill about outside the entrance to the monuments and charge ₹475/750 for four/eight people for three or four hours. If you’re going up to the stupas for sunrise, buy a ticket the day before. Remember, it’s auspicious to walk clockwise around Buddhist monuments.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh attractions

1. Stupa 4

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The 2nd-century BC Stupa 4 stands behind Stupa 3, but only its base is left.

2. Chetiyagiri Vihara

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The vihara (literally 'resting place'), just outside the monuments compound, was built to house relics of the Buddha's disciples Sariputta and Moggallana,…

3. Stupa 3

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Stupa 3 is northeast of the Great Stupa and similar in design, though smaller, with a single, rather fine gateway. It dates from the 2nd century BC and…

4. Temple 31

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The rectangular Temple 31 was built in the 6th or 7th century, but reconstructed during the 10th or 11th century. It contains a well-executed image of…

5. Stupa 5

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Between the Great Stupa and Stupa 3 is the small Stupa 5, unusual in that it once contained a statue of Buddha, now displayed in the Archaeological Museum.

6. Northern Gateway

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The Northern Gateway, topped by a broken wheel of law, is the best preserved of the toranas. Elephants support the architraves above the columns, while…

7. Pillar 35

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Pillar 35 (northwest of the Great Stupa) dates from the 5th century AD. Its capital, with a figure of the Bodhisattva Vajrapani, is in the Archaeological…

8. Pillar 26

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The 5th-century AD Pillar 26 is an inferior imitation of Pillar 10. Its lion capital can be seen in the Archaeological Museum.