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GS 1: Art & Culture

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Chaukhandi Stupa, an ancient Buddhist site located in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, has been declared as a Monument and Protected Area of National Importance by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Chaukhandi Stupa:

  • Chaukhandi Stupa is a lofty mound of brick whose square edifice is surrounded by an octagonal tower.
  • It was built to mark the place where Lord Buddha met his first disciples as he traveled from Bodhgaya to Sarnath.
  • The Chaukhandi Stupa is said to be originally a terraced temple during the Gupta period, that was from 4th to 6th Century.
  • Govardhan,the son of Raja Todarmal gave the present shape to the Chaukhandi Stupa.
  • He built an octagonal tower to commemorate the visit of Humayun,the great Mughal ruler.

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI):

  • ASI was formed on 1861 and is headquartered at New Delhi, India.
  • ASI is the premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage in India.
  • It functions under the Ministry of Culture.
  • ASI is responsible for the regulation of all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 and Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.
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