Chaneti Buddhist Stupa


It is a small village situated 3 kms east of Jagadhri and nearly the same distance north-west of the historical site of Sugh. The area in which Chaneti is situated is known as the Khadar of the Yamuna River which now flows about 7 kms east of it and on the old deserted bed of which was excavated the Western Yamuna Canal. There were thick forests in this area and the present village was inhabited only about a hundred and seventy years back by clearing away these forests. Buddhist Stupa at Chaneti In the south-east of the village lies the site containing a Kushana period Buddhist Stupa. Dr. D.D. Handa of Kurukshetra University has given detailed description of this Stupa (VIJ, Vol. IV, Part I, pp. 75-80) and recently ASI branch of Chandigarh Circle has undertaken steps for its restoration. We produce below some of the details about it available in the earlier studies. The height of the mound is nearly 8 meters and its diameter about 20 meters. The original height must have been more than it is at present. The bricks used are well-burnt and yellowish-red in colour. The two sizes of the bricks are 30X30X7 cms and 30X15X7 cms. Laying down the rules of construction of a Stupa, is said that the first step was probably merely to build the cairn, the next step was to build the cairn of concentric layers of huge bricks in use at the time and to surround the whole with a wooden railing. Eluding to the very shape of this Stupa (Brick mound), Dr. Handa avers that it corresponds greatly to the Shahpur and Dharmarajika Stupas at Taxila as the same method of laying the concentric layers of huge bricks, the gradually diminishing diameter as the structure rise up and up. The bricks well-set in the circular fashion, the core of burnt bricks, and the place of Harmika as the top, all lead to its being a Stupa. The testimony of Huen Tsang, who visited Sulo-kin-na i.e. ancient Srughana/Sugh in the first half of seventh century AD, is also very important. He notice there “an Asokan tope” to the south-east of the capital, antother tope having “hair and nail relics of the Ju-lai (Buddha) and round about were some tens of topes with similar relics of Sariputra, Mudgalaputra, and other great arhats.” It seems that the Chaneti Stupa must have been one of these “tens of topes” which were erected in Dhanabhuti’s time in and around the capital city. The yellowish red colour of the bricks which is typical of the Mauryan period and the plain, square and large sized bricks, corresponding with those used in the construction of the Bharhut Stupa lend further support to surmise that this Stupa was erected some time during the reign of King Dhanabhuti who ruled from 240 to 210 B.C. a find which has however, to be confirmed by more positive epigraphically or excavation evidence