Sanchi Stupas (Photo Feature)

stupas of sanchi

Stupas of Sanchi, a UNESCO World Heritage site

Owing to their archaeological and historical importance, UNESCO designated the Sanchi Stupas as a world heritage site in 1989.

Emperor Ashoka built a total of eight stupas at Sanchi in the 3rd Centrury B.C.

Stupa 1

Amongst the many Stupas the most renowned is the Great Stupa 1.

stupas of sanchi
Stupa 1

The stone railing that surrounds the base of the Stupa has four gateways. The carvings on the Gateways or Toranas illustrate the life and times of Gautam Buddha and his previous incarnations i.e. the Jataka Bodhisattvas and the Manushi Buddhas.

stupas of sanchi
Eastern Gateway

stupas of sanchi
Next to the stone railings

In Buddhist art, Buddha was never represented directly. His presence was alluded via symbols.The lotus for his birth, the Bodhi tree for his enlightenment, the wheel for his teachings, and footprints along with a throne to imply his presence.

stupas of sanchi
Northern Gateway

stupas of sanchi
Brahmi Inscriptions

stupas of sanchi
Southern Gateway

The back-to-back lions on the Southern Gateway form India’s State Emblem.

stupas of sanchi
Lion Pillar, Southern Gateway

Monastery 51

stupas of sanchi
Entrance

stupas of sanchi
Gopher?

Stupa 2

stupas of sanchi
Stupa 2

stupas of sanchi
Through the Stone Railings

Stone Bowl

The Great Bowl has been carved out of a single boulder. This was used for placing food and offerings to monks.

stupas of sanchi

Temples

Temple 18 is similar to the Greek style of columnar buildings.

stupas of sanchi
Temple 18

stupas of sanchi
Temple 17

Monasteries

stupas of sanchi
Monastery 45

Monastery 47 has two sitting Buddhas.

stupas of sanchi
Buddha, Monastery 47

stupas of sanchi
Sculptures, Monastery 47

Stupa 3

Stupa 3 is smaller when compared to Stupa 1 and 2.

stupas of sanchi
Gateway Sculpture, Stupa 3

2 Responses to Sanchi Stupas (Photo Feature)

  1. a n a n d h a m June 4, 2011 at 2:38 am #

    Great photo essay. The photos are superb… First few photos have visible tilts in them which could be managed with some editing tools. My fav “stupa 1”,  “Next to the stone railings”, “Entrance”. Which is the best season to visit? Is there any timing to vist the place?

    • Madhu Nair June 4, 2011 at 3:58 am #

      Hi Anandham,
      Welcome to 10YearItch!
      Thanks for the inputs and comments.
      The timings are ” sunrise to sunset.” … So keeps changing based on the time of year.
      Nov to Feb should be a great time to visit Sanchi.
      Cheers,
      Madhu

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