Places to Visit in Sanchi, Sanchi Stupa
Tourist Places to Visit in Sanchi Stupa : –
, 36.5 mtrs. in diameter and 16.4 mtrs. high, it is one of the oldest stone structures in India. With a massive hemisphere dome, the Stupa stands majestically.
The paved procession path around it has become smooth by centuries of pilgrims visit. Built originally as an earthern stupa by the Emperor Ashoka, it was rebuilt in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. The last of the additions to this remarkable stupa are the elaborate and richly carved four gateways or Toranas. The first of the four gateways to be erected was the one at the Southern Entrance, followed, in chronological order by the Northern, the Eastern and the Western Gateways.
The Southern Gateway reveals the birth of Gautam in a series of dramatically rich carvings.
The Northern Gateway, crowded by a wheel of law, illustrates the miracle associated with the Buddha as told in the Jataka tales.
The Eastern Gateway , depicts the young prince, Gautam, leaving his father’s palace, renouncing worldly life to seek enlightment. The inner face of the right pillar portrays the dream of Maya, the mother of Buddha, when she conceived him.
The Western Gateway, depicts the Seven incarnations of the Buddha, four represented by trees and three by stupas; the Buddha preaching his first sermon at the Deer Park, Sarnath and the Chhaddanta Jataka tale. It is among top in the list of places to visit in Sanchi Stupa.
STUPA NO. 2 dating back to the 2nd Century BC, stands at the very edge of the hill and its most striking feature is the stone balustrade that surrounds it.
STUPA NO. 3 situated bortheast of the Great Stupa is where the relics of Sariputra and Mahamogalana, the two famous disciples of the Buddha were found in its inner most chambers. The hemispherical dome is crowned, as a mark of its special religious significance, with an umbrella of polished stone. It has only one gateway. This structure belongs to the period between 150-140 BC. It is among top in the list of places to visit in Sanchi Stupa.
ASHOKA PILLAR, with its four lion head stump, erected during the 3rd Century BC, is situated close to the Great Stupa. Though, similar to the intricately carved pillar in Sarnath, the lions did not support a “Wheel of Law” (Dharmachakra). A unique feature of this pillar is its brilliant polish.
THE GUPTA TEMPLE (4th Century AD), in ruins now, is one of the earliest known examples of temple architecture in India. It consists of a simple flat roofed chamber with a pillared porch in front. It is among top in the list of places to visit in Sanchi Stupa.
TEMPLE 18, a Chaitya Hall, situated in front of the southern Gateway of the Great Stupa is comparatively recent (around 7th century A.D.) resembles the rock-cut chaitya halls at Karla Caves in Maharashtra. The monastery and Temple 45, built between the 7th and 11th Centuries, show more developed styles of architecture. On the ornamental doorway here, one can see the image of Buddha with an oval Halo.
THE GREAT BOEl, carved out of stone, contained food that was distributed amongst the monks of Sanchi. It is among top in the list of places to visit in Sanchi Stupa.
The Archaeological Survey of Indian Museum, situated at the entrance to the monument, exhibits findings and remains of the escavated site. Among these are caskets, pottery, parts of gateways, lion capital of the Ashokan Pillar and image. It is among top in the list of places to visit in Sanchi Stupa.
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