- Spectacular Sanchi is recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its archaeological and historical value.
- Sanchi hill teems with stupas, monasteries, temples and pillars and is the largest site of Buddhist remains in India.
- However, it is not directly connected with the life of Lord Buddha as other Buddhist pilgrim centres.
- History of Sanchi dates back to Emperor Asoka’s reign in the 3rd century BC and continues up to the 11th century AD.
- One of the most revered centres of Buddhist art in the world.
- Architecture forms and sculpture display the Jataka tales in cinematographic continuity.
MODE OF COMMUNICATION:
- Airport: Raja Bhoj Airport, Bhopal (BHO), 46 kms away from Sanchi.
- Rail: Sanchi Railway Station, Sanchi, 10 kms away from Sanchi city centre.
- Road: Well connected by road.
SIGHTSEEING AT A GLANCE
FORT & MONUMENTS
The Great Stupa (No. 1) Toranas or Gateways Stupa (No. 2) Stupa (No. 3) Asoka Pillar Gyaraspur
MUSEUM & AUDITORIUM
Site Museum Udaigiri
ATTRACTIONS OF SANCHI
- The Great Stupa (No. 1):
- World renowned stupa was originally built by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka and is an icon of India’s cultural heritage.
- Present stupa is a superstructure over the original brick stupa and comprises a hemispherical dome.
- It measure 36.5 metres in diameter and 1604 metres in height.
- Toranas or Gateways:
- Reliefs on the Toranas depict the Jataka tales of Buddha’s incarnation and the main event associated with his life.
- Stupa (No. 2):
- 2nd century BC. Stupa lies on the edge of the Sanchi Hill.
- Stupa (No. 3):
- Stupa was built during 150-140 BC.
- Relics of Sariputta and Mahamogallam, two of Buddhas chief disciples were found in this stupa.
- These relics are at present housed in the Sri Lankan Vihara here.
- Asoka Pillar:
- Fragments of the Asokan Pillar dating back to the 3rd century BC lie near Stupa 1.
- Chunar sandstone pillar is known for its polished surface and carries Emperor Asoka’s edicts to his people.
- Site Museum:
- Must visit site exhibits the antiquities recovered from excavations of Sanchi hill and few sculptures from Gyaraspur.
ATTRACTIONS AROUND SANCHI
- Besnagar (Vidisha):
- Remains of ancient city of Vidisha are located 3 kms from the modern township and 13 kms away from Sanchi.
- Inscription on Heliodorous Piller (2nd century BC) refers to the conversation of a Greek ambassador to Vaishnavism.
- Vidisha Museum is worth visiting.
- 50 kms away from Sanchi.
- It is known for the monuments dating back to medieval Hindu period.
- Notable among them are – Maladevi Temple, Vajra Matha, Atha Khamba and Hindola Torana etc.
- Famous rock cut caves built during the ‘Golden Age’ of the Guptas between 4th – 5th centuries A.D. are 4 kms from Vidisha and 18 kms from Sanchi.
- Exquisite sculptures in the caves are noted for their unique vitality, vigour and richness of expression.