Sanchi Stupas

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Sanchi Stupas: Sanchi is a very small village in Madhya Pradesh famous for the Buddhist pilgrimage locations or Stupas which is a world heritage site.

Sanchi Stupas Information

Sanchi is a small village in central India in the state of Madhya Pradesh known for its Stupas which is a major tourist attraction and also a world-famous Buddhist pilgrimage site.

It can be reached by first traveling to Bhopal and then taking a taxi from there, the distance from Bhopal is 40 to 50 kilometers approx and is an easy drive.

A gateway is constructed before every Stupa that signifies the Buddhist principles of love, peace, trust, and courage.

It takes about an hour and a half to visit the monument completely however researchers can spend days in studying the place, photography is allowed and official tour guides can be hired to take you through the place.

History of Sanchi Stupas

Mauryan Emperor Ashoka was the founder of all the Sanchi stupas, which were constructed in the honor of Lord Buddha.

The most impressive, as well as the most important of all the stupas, is the stupa of Sanchi.

There are several Buddhist monuments that were constructed from 3rd century BC to 12th century AD in this village which today is collectively known as Sanchi Stupas.

The Architecture of Sanchi Stupas

It is a simple hemispherical brick structure built on the relics of the Lord Buddha. The main stupa of Sanchi surrounds a path used for the circumvallation.

One of the best-preserved stupas in central India, the great stupa of Sanchi is adorned with a chhatra, a structure similar to an umbrella designed to honor and protect relics.

The path is surrounded by a railing and 4 carved corridors facing 4 different directions. It is said that these doors were carved around 100 AD.

A unique feature of the all the stupas at Sanchi, including the Great Stupa, is that they do not have any images of Lord Buddha in human form.

Inanimate figures, like footprints, tree, wheels, and thrones, have been drawn or carved to represent the symbolical form of the Lord.

However, the most used figure to describe Lord Buddha is a lotus flower. During the Shunga period, Sanchi Stupa was expanded to some extent. Its facade was decorated with stones, railings, and staircase, with a harmika on top.

Sculptures, with different motifs and designs, have been chiseled to ornament the railings and gates of the stupa. The gateways of the Great Sanchi Stupa have been exquisitely festooned with an illustration of incidents from the life of the Buddha.

The ornamentation of the doors of the stupa also includes the representation of the spirits of the male and female trees. Since female arboreal spirits are considered a symbol of fertility, Buddhists generally use them in the form of hospitable characters.

The village of Sanchi was discovered by General Taylor in 1818. Later, in 1919, Sir John Marshall created an archaeological museum in Sanchi.

Also, read: All Monuments of India

Entrance Fee:

  • For Indian Citizens and visitors of SAARC and BIMSTEC Countries – Rs. 10 per head.
  • For Others: US $ 5 or Indian Rs. 250/- per head
  • (Free for children up to the age of 15 years)


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