Buddhist Pilgrim Places Historical Monuments & Architectural Wonders of India

Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh : A Landmark Reflecting Buddhist Art & Architecture

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

ॐ श्री गुरुभ्यो नमः ॐ श्री शिवानन्दाय नमः ॐ श्री चिदानन्दाय नमःॐ श्री दुर्गायै नमः 

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Sanchi is a Buddhist complex, famous for its Great Stupa, on a hilltop at Sanchi Town in Raisen District of the State of Madhya Pradesh in India. It is located 46 kilometres north-east of Bhopal – state capital of Madhya Pradesh.


The Great Stupa at Sanchi is one of the oldest stone structures in India, and an important monument of ancient Indian Architecture. 

The Stupa was originally commissioned by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka  in the 3rd century BCE. Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of Lord Buddha.

Great Stupa of Sanchi travel guidebook –must visit attractions in Sanchi –  Great Stupa of Sanchi nearby recommendation –

It was crowned by the Chhatri – a parasol-like structure – symbolising high rank, which was intended for honouring and sheltering the relics.

The great stupa

The original construction work of this stupa was overseen by Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, whose wife Devi was the daughter of a merchant of the nearby Vidisha. Sanchi was also her birthplace as well as the venue of her wedding with Ashoka.

Detail of North Gate of the Great Stupa, Sanchi, UNESCO World Heritage  Site, near Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh state, India Stock Photo - Alamy

In the 1st century BCE, four elaborately carved Toranas (Ornamental Gateways) and a balustrade encircling the entire structure were added.

The Sanchi Stupa built during the Mauryan period was made of bricks. The composite flourished until the 11th century.

Sanchi is the center of a region with a number of Stupas, all within a few miles of Sanchi.

This includes Satdhara 9 km to the west of Sanchi (40 Stupas, the Relics of Sariputra and Mahamoggallana, now enshrined in the new Vihara, were unearthed there).

Then there is Bhojpur also known as Morel Khurd (a fortified hilltop with 60 stupas) and Andher, 11 km and 17 km respectively south east of Sanchi, as well as Sonari (10 km south west of Sanchi). 

Further south, about 100 km away, is Saru MaruBharhut is 300 km to the north east.

Sanchi Stupa is depicted on the reverse side of the Indian currency note of Rs 200 to signify its importance to India’s cultural heritage.

Ashoka Pillar :

A pillar of finely polished sandstone, one of the Pillars of Ashoka, was also erected on the side of the main Torana gateway. The bottom part of the pillar still stands erect. The upper parts of the pillar are at the nearby Sanchi Archaeological Museum

File:North Torana, Sanchi 02.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Jataka Tales of Buddhism :

Various Jatakas tales are illustrated on the walls. These are Buddhist moral tales relating edifying events of the former lives of Gautama Buddha.

Among the Jatakas that have been depicted are the Syama Jataka, the  Vessantara Jataka and the Mahakapi Jataka.

North Gate of Stupa no. 1 at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Introducing Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar - a specialist academically trained in modern Western sciences, yet deeply enamored with India's timeless ethnic arts, crafts, and textiles. Her heart beats for the rich and glorious cultural and spiritual heritage of India, and she has dedicated her entire blog to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide. Through her simple yet impactful blog posts, Mala aims to reach every nook and corner of the globe, sharing India's beauty and wisdom with the world.

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