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Sanchi stupa

10 Fun Facts about Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh

Sanchi is just 46 kms from the capital of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal. It’s very rustic but an important archaeological, historical and religious place. Sanchi is a point for the multitudinous stupas which were erected on a hilltop. It is associated with the great king Ashoka more than the Buddha. It was Ashoka who built the first stupa and pillars. The famous Ashoka pillar that finds itself on the Indian emblem with the four lions facing the four directions is found here. Below are some facts about this town.

Sanchi stupa
  1. Sanchi is renowned for its ancient Buddhist monuments, particularly the Great Stupa, which is one of the oldest stone structures in India. The stupa was built in the third century BCE by Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya dynasty and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The Great Stupa at Sanchi is among the important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world. It attracts Buddhist devotees, scholars, and tourists from all over the globe.
  2. The Stupa is a prime example of Buddhist architecture and art. It stands at a height of 54 feet (16.5 metres) and is adorned with exquisite carvings depicting scenes from the life of Buddha and various Buddhist symbols.
Sanchi stupa Mp

3. The complex includes several other stupas, temples, monasteries, and pillars. These structures were built and expanded upon by various rulers and patrons over the centuries.

4. The Ashoka Pillar at Sanchi is an iconic structure. It is a free-standing pillar made of sandstone and features Ashoka’s edicts, which convey his teachings on morality, tolerance, and compassion.

Sanchi stupa

5. Sanchi has a rich history that dates back to the third century BCE. It served as an important centre of Buddhist learning and monastic activity during ancient times.

6. The site of Sanchi remained largely abandoned and forgotten until it was rediscovered by British officer General Taylor in 1818. Since then, extensive restoration and preservation efforts have taken place to safeguard the monuments.

Sanchi stupa picture 1

7. Apart from its historical and religious significance, Sanchi offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. The site is situated atop a hill, providing panoramic vistas of the lush green landscape.

8. Sanchi is not just a pilgrimage site; it also serves as an important archaeological site for researchers and scholars interested in ancient Indian history and Buddhist art and architecture.

Buddha carving sanchi stupa

9. In addition to the main monuments, Sanchi has a museum that displays a rich collection of artefacts, sculptures, and relics discovered in the region. The museum provides deeper insights into the history and cultural significance of the site.

10. Visiting Sanchi is an enriching experience for those interested in Buddhism, history, and architecture, as it offers a glimpse into India’s ancient past and its association with Buddhism.

Text by Kunal Mahure

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