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Buddhist Monuments, Sanchi

Sanchi Stupa

Location : 40 kms away from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Declared World Heritage Site In : 1989
Entrance Fee : Citizens of India - Rs. 10/- per head (Children up to 15 years free)
Others : US $ 5
Visiting Time : sunrise to sunset

Description : Sanchi is world famous for stupas, monolithic Asokan pillar, temples, monasteries and sculptural wealth. This place is also known as the Kakanava, Kakanadabota and Bota-Sriparvata in ancient times. You can find here the architectural geniuses from the early Mauryan period. It is 40 kms away from Bhopal, the site of Sanchi houses a group of Buddhist monuments perched atop a hill overlooking the plain. Construction of Sanchi Stupas were started by Emperor Ashoka between 272 B.C and 237 B.C, but surprisingly the construction completed by 12th century. Sanchi is the oldest Buddhist sanctuary in existence, here you can see monolithic pillars, palaces, temples and monasteries displaying the unique Buddhist architecture of that period.

Sanchi, variously known as Kakanaya. Kakanava, Kakanadabota and Bota-Sriparvata in ancient times, has a singular distinction of having remarkable specimen of Buddhist art and architecture right from the early Mauryan period (c.thirth century BC to twelfth century AD).

During Sunga times, several edifices were raised at Sanchi and its surrounding hills. The Asokan stupa was enlarged and faced with stones and decorated with blustrades, staircases and a harmika on the top. The reconstruction of Temple 40 and erection of Stupas 2 and 3 also seem to date back around the same time. In the first century BC the Andhra-Satavahanas, who had extended their sway over the eastern Malwa, caused the elaborately carved gateways to Stupa 1. From the second to fourth century AD Sanchi and Vidisha came under the Kushanas and Kshatrapas and subsequently passed on to the hand of the Guptas. During the Gupta period some temples were built and sculptures were added. Shrines and monasteries were also constructed at the site during seventh and twelfth centuries AD.

Since the fourteenth century Sanchi remained deserted and uncared for till 1818 when General Taylor rediscovered the site, Sir John Marshall established an archaeological museum  in 1919, which was later transformed into the present site museum at Sanchi.

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