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A stupa (literally “heap” or “pile”) is a reliquary, a shrine containing the remains of a holy or sainted person and/or artifacts (relics) associated with them, originating in India prior to the 5th century BCE as tombs of holy men and evolving afterwards into sacred sites dedicated to the Buddha (l. c. 563 - c. 483 BCE).

More about: Stupa


  • c. 600 BCE - c. 300 BCE
    Stupas are tombs for holy men constructed of heaps of earth and stone.
  • 268 BCE - 232 BCE
    Reign of Mauryan King Ashoka the Great who decrees thousands of Stupas built across India in honor of the Buddha.
  • c. 258 BCE - 232 BCE
    Ashoka the Great oversees the construction of the Great Stupa at Sanchi; sends Buddhist missionaries to other countries who bring the form and function of the stupa with them.