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Ramagrama stupa (Nepali: रामग्राम नगरपालिका, also Ramgram, Rāmgrām, Rāmagrāma) is a stupa located in Ramgram Municipality, in the Nawalparasi District of Nepal. This Buddhist pilgrimage site, which was constructed some 2500 years ago, contains relics of Gautama Buddha.[3]

Rāmagrāma
रामग्राम नगरपालिका
013 King Asoka visits Ramagrama (33428090870).jpg

King Ashoka (right) visits the Ramagrama Stupa (center), to take relics of the Buddha from the Nagas (left), but he failed, the Nagas being too powerful. Southern gateway, Stupa 1, Southern Gateway, Sanchi.
Ramagrama stupa is located in India
Ramagrama stupa
Location of Ramagrama on map
Ramagrama stupa is located in Nepal
Ramagrama stupa
Ramagrama stupa (Nepal)
Coordinates27°29′52″N 83°40′52″E / 27.49778°N 83.68111°E / 27.49778; 83.68111Coordinates: 27°29′52″N 83°40′52″E / 27.49778°N 83.68111°E / 27.49778; 83.68111
LocationParasi, Nawalparasi District, Lumbini Zone, Nepal
Typestupa
Materialbrick and earth
Length50 metres (160 ft)[1]
Width50 metres (160 ft)[1]
Height6.85 metres (22.5 ft)[1]
Beginning datecirca 483 BCE[2]
Completion datecirca 483 BCE[2]
Dedicated toGautama Buddha

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
The Malla Mahajanapada

Gautama Buddha's parents were from two different mahājanapadās (kingdoms) of the Solar dynasty — his father (Śuddhodana) belonged to the Shakya kingdom, while his mother (Maya) was from the Koliya kingdom. According to Buddhist texts, after Buddha's Mahaparinirvana, his cremated remains were divided and distributed among the princes of eight of the sixteen mahājanapadās. Each of the princes constructed a stupa at or near his capital city, within which the respective portion of the ashes was enshrined.[4] These eight stupas were located at:

  1. Allakappa, a settlement of the Bulī people. The precise location of this place is not currently known.[5][6]
  2. Kapilavastu, capital city of the Shakya kingdom[7] (the location of this stupa is the subject of some controversy; there is evidence it was actually constructed at Piprahwa)[8][9]
  3. Kusinārā, capital city of the Malla kingdom[10]
  4. Pāvā, a major city of the Malla kingdom[11]
  5. Rājagaha a major city of the Magadha kingdom[12]
  6. Rāmagrāma, a major city of the Koliya kingdom (this settlement is sometimes referred to as Koliyanagara)[13][14]
  7. Vesāli, capital city of the Vajji kingdom[15]
  8. Veṭhadīpa, a settlement of Veṭhadīpaka Brahmins. The precise location of this place is not currently known.[16]

Some 300 years later, Emperor Ashoka opened seven of these stupas and removed the Buddha relics (his goal was to redistribute the relics into 84,000 stupas which he planned to construct throughout the Maurya Empire). According to legend, the serpent king was guarding the Ramagrama stupa, and prevented Ashoka from unearthing the relic.

CurrentEdit

To this day, Ramagrama stupa remains the only intact and original stupa containing relics of Lord Buddha.[3] The stupa has been an object of great reverence and pilgrimage site since its original construction. The 7-metre-high (23 ft) stupa is now buried under a mound of earth and is awaiting further research.[4]

Archaeological researchEdit

World Heritage StatusEdit

This site was added to the World Heritage Tentative List by UNESCO on May 23, 1996 in the Cultural category.[3]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Shrestha, SS (2001). "Ramagrama excavation II" (PDF). Ancient Nepal: Journal of the Department of Archaeology. 148: 1–29. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  2. ^ a b Cousins, LS (1996). "The dating of the historical Buddha: a review article". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. Series 3. 6 (1): 57–63. doi:10.1017/s1356186300014760.
  3. ^ a b c UNESCO (2014). "Ramagrama, the relic stupa of Lord Buddha". Tentative Lists. Paris: UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  4. ^ a b Shrestha, SS (1999). "Ramagrama excavation" (PDF). Ancient Nepal: Journal of the Department of Archaeology. 142: 1–12. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  5. ^ "Allakappa". Palikanon.com. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  6. ^ "Bulī". Palikanon.com. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  7. ^ "Kapilavatthu". Palikanon.com. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  8. ^ Peppe, WC (1898). "The Piprahwa Stupa, containing relics of Buddha". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (Article XXIII): 573–88.
  9. ^ Srivastava, KM (1980). "Archaeological Excavations at Piprāhwā and Ganwaria and the Identification of Kapilavastu". The Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies. 13 (1): 103–10.
  10. ^ "Kusinārā". Palikanon.com. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  11. ^ "Pāvā". Palikanon.com. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  12. ^ "Rājagaha". Palikanon.com. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  13. ^ "Rāmagāma". Palikanon.com. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  14. ^ "Koliyā". Palikanon.com. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  15. ^ "Vesāli". Palikanon.com. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  16. ^ "Vethadīpa". Palikanon.com. Retrieved 2015-05-16.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit