The Nalanda Stupa, also known as the Sariputra Stupa, is the most iconic of the surviving monuments in Nalanda. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the most important monument in Nalanda and stands as a testament to its rich cultural heritage. Built in the 3rd century by Mauryan emperor Ashoka, in the honour of Buddha's follower Sariputra, the great Nalanda Stupa is shaped like a pyramid at the top. The multiple flights of stairs surrounding the stupa, lead all the way to its top.

Beautiful sculptures and votive stupas flank the structure. These votive stupas have been built with bricks and passages from sacred Buddhist texts have been inscribed on them. It is believed that these stupas were constructed over the ashes of Lord Buddha. The most striking of all the votive stupas is the fifth one, which has been preserved well along with its corner towers. These towers are adorned with exquisite panels of Gupta-era art that include stucco figures of Lord Buddha and scenes from the Jataka tales. The top portion of the stupa features a shrine chamber that houses a pedestal, which must have been originally used to place a large Lord Buddha statue. The Gwe Bin Tet Kon stupa in Myanmar is said to be influenced by the Nalanda Stupa.

Other Attractions in Nalanda