Sanchi Stupa-Major Symbol of Buddhism in India

Posted On March 4, 2010 


Numerous Buddhist memorials that belong to early third century and up to the late thirteen century are located at Sanchi, India. These memorials includes a number of monasteries as well as stupas also pillars and temples. Stupas are nothing but huge dome which are semicircular in the shape. The stupas have rooms located in its interior. In the rooms that are situated in the center of the room, the remnants of the Lord Buddha are kept. The Stupa is permeated with many representative values. One of the most famous Emperors, Ashoka Priyadasi had got converted to Buddhism. He ordered to create a Stupa in Sanchi as to celebrate his conversion.

Located near the flourishing settlement of Vidisa, Sanchi is more of a thoughtful place. Since the Stupa was located very close to Vidisa, the monks were able to fulfill their spiritual task of begging very easily. The finance that was required for the construction of the wonderful stupa at Sanchi was been provided by the Merchant’s community that belonged to Vidisa.

Many romantic stories are found that have their backdrop based in Sanchi. It is believed that the Vidisa’s merchants came up to the Emperor Ashok and asked him to convert the location of Sanchi as a Buddhist center. Emperor Ashok was quite happy with the suggestion and thus he himself took an active part in this project. During this time he met a merchant’s girl, fall in love with her and eventually got married. It is said that the girl had refused to move to Pataliputra which was the capital of Maurya Empire. This brought Emperor Ashok quite close to the Buddhism as well as Sanchi. Emperor Ashoka had two children named Sanghamitra and Mahendra are well- known for the spread of Buddhism as Sri Lanka.

Sanchi Stupa Madhya Pradesh


During the rule of Emperor Ashoka, Buddhism became the major religion in India, thus making his one of the most popular Buddhist Emperor ever in India. Emperor Ashoka is specially associated Sanchi for the numerous monuments such as sanctuaries as well as pillars and Stupas. The groundwork at Sanchi was put down when he put up the first Stupa. This Stupa is placed along a monumental pillar. Emperor Ashoka built around eight Stupa on the crest of the hills in Sanchi, this also includes the Stupa One.

The eastern as well as the central region of India was been ruled by the Sunga reign. During the Sunga reign many edifices were constructed in Sanchi. The Stupa at Sanchi which was built by Emperor Ashoka was been enlarged as well as façade was constructed around the Stupa with the help of stones. It is ornamented with railings also staircase which would make its way to the top of the Stupa. Around the same period the Stupa three as well as Stupa four was been constructed. The renewal of the temple forty also took place around the same time.

A delicate carving was added to the gateways of the Stupa One during the first century BC by the Andhra Sathavahanas, who at that period had reached up to Malwa. From second century up to forth century the Kushanas used to rule Sanchi and Vidisa was been ruled by the Kshatrapas. Later both the cities was been ruled by the Gupta’s. The Gupta’s played a key role in the temples as well as sculptures which were constructed later. The architecture that was did by the Gupta’s were quite different to that which was seen in the early times in Sanchi.

Ashoka PillarThe Buddhism as well as Sanchi got declined in the later twelve century. At this time the Hinduism was developed in India as well as the Muslim over took the northern region of India. The site of Stupa was in ramshackle state, it was been attacked by the thieves and also by the looters. The Stupa at Sanchi was been rediscovered by the British Officer named General Taylor in the year 1818. Sir John Marshall constructed the stupa again and gave it its present look. Sir John Marshall is also well known for the work he did in the Indus Valley civilization in the year 1919. The Sanchi stupa is also declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Apart from the Stupa do visit the Ashoka Pillar which is located very near to the Stupa in Sanchi. It is one of the major tourist attractions in Sanchi after the Stupa. Ashoka Pillar is one of the many pillars that are spotted across the area. Some of these pillars are broken while some are in proper order. The top of the pillar has four lions which stand back to back of each other. These lion symbol is very popular. Also it is been adopted as India’s national emblem. The Ashoka pillar acts as an outstanding icon of Greco-Roman art.

Getting there:

Sanchi is located at a distance of around fifty kilometers from Bhopal. Cars as well as buses are easily accessible. Bhopal is very well connected to the various important cities in the country by the roadways as well as airways and also the rail routes.

When to visit:

The best time to visit Sanchi is from November up to January.

Entrance fees:

The entrance fee for children is Rs 10, where as for the adults the charge is Rs 250. The entrance is free for everyone on Friday’s.

Opening timing:

The site is open through out the year for the visit from the sunrise till the sun set.

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7 Responses to “Sanchi Stupa-Major Symbol of Buddhism in India”
  1. Harry says:

    One of the glorious historic monuments of India. Everyone knows Buddha today and also following his footsteps.

  2. Ian says:

    Buddhism is the major religion in India and also in East Asia part. It’s the major religion followe by Chinese people.

  3. Jacob says:

    This stupa is another great place to visit in Madhya Pradesh. Bhopal is a lovely city :)

  4. Klose says:

    This article has explained the history in a very good and clean manner.

  5. Lavigne says:

    Reading this article I can visualize the history of India when The great emperor Ashoka was alive.

  6. Maggie says:

    The emperor Ashoka was a great man! His knigdom was huge and after his last war he became a buddhist and became a monk.

  7. vareeja says:

    On the stone carvings the Buddha was never depicted as a human figure.
    Instead the artists chose to represent him by certain attributes, such as the horse on which he left his father’s home, his footprints, or a canopy under the bodhi tree at the point of his enlightenment.

    The human body was thought to be too confining for the Buddha.

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