49 km from Bhopal also known as the city of lakes, lies around a world-famous Buddhist site of utmost importance in the small town of Sanchi where Stupa is located also known as the famous “SANCHI STUPA”.
1. The Historical Sanchi Stupa was built by Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Dynasty for sustaining and expansion of Buddhism.
2. This UNESCO World Heritage site was built-in 3rd Century BCE, but somehow in during the 2nd Century, it got damaged and fully constructed in the 1st century.
3. Vidisha 9 km away from Sanchi which was one of the important trade centres for the Mauryan during the 5th Century BCE still have the ruins of Bija Mondal Temple and Gumbaz ka Makbara.
4. The Stupa is situated over the Hilltop on in the in a circular shaped dome is the incarnation of forms goddesses
5. The Main structure looks like a hemispherical dome on a flattened base which symbolizes the heaven upon the earth
6. The ancient carvings on the “Sanchi Stupa” structure symbolize the art of the Gupta Dynasty during their reign.
7. It is the oldest stone structure in India.
8. Buddha earliest relics Mahamogallena and Sariputraa are also there near the Stupa no 3 over the complex.
9. The Body of Sanchi stupa is the representation of a celestial mountain.
10. It is capped by Chhtraveli which represents the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha the 3 jewels of Buddhism.
11. There are 4 Gateways around the Sanchi Stupa on each Cardinal directions having the comprehensive carvings of the Buddhist Symbols religious and ancient scenes and having Symbolic representation of Buddha.
12. Later in 5th Century AD, a sculpture of Buddha in human form was added under these gateways seated under a canopy
13. The Stupa also has an Archaeological survey of Indian Museum which have the artefacts related Buddhism and Mauryan empire and also the Lio Capital.
14. The hemispherical dome is surrounded by the elevated terrace around its base and balustrade.
15. No one discovered the Sanchi Stupa from the 14th century to 1818, but later it was rediscovered by General Taylor.
16. The Museum which has been built over there was set up by John Marshall.
17. The Current structure is the outcome of reconstruction work done during the Shunga Period by Agnimitra Shunga after the older structure got damaged in the reign Pushyamitra Shunga when he was in power after he attacked and killed Brihadratha Maurya the last ruler of this Dynasty.
18. The current structure is double-sized of the original one after the reconstruction.
19. According to some sources, the 4 Gateways which have the Carvings of Buddha Life and tale of Jatakamala were added to the structure in the 1st century BCE by the Satavahanas.
20. Temple 40 which was created by Ashoka’s Father Bindusara according to the inscription inside in it was the earliest example of Temple architecture in India.
21. In the Stupa 2 at the complex which was built during Shunga reign have the depiction of jataka tales and emphasizes on Buddhism and the four events could be seen over there-Enlightenment, Nativity, Decease, First Sermon.
22. The 3 Umbrella like Structures which symbolizes Dharma were built to Crowned the Dome.
24. The 4 gateways around the Sanchi Stupa is also known as Torans.
25. These 4 Gateways in the cardinal directions represent love, peace, trust and courage.
26. The rear side of 200 rupees notes also have the picture Stupa of Sanchi
27. In 1989 UNESCO declared this as a world heritage site due to its unique cultural heritage.
28. It is believed that Gautam Buddha never laid its foot over here.
View from Sanchi Hilltop
How To Reach Sanchi
By Air:-Nearest Airport is the Raja Bhoj Airport of Bhopal,55 km away.
By Train:-Sanchi has its own Railway station near 1.5 km away from the Stupa.
Best time to visit here would be from November to March when the temperature is moderate and is greenery all around the hills after the monsoon.