Sanchi tour / Sanchi tourism / Sanchi travel / Sanchi attractions

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Sanchi, in Madhya Pradesh, is famous for its stupas, chaityas, viharas, temples, monastaries, and pillars dating back from 3rd century BC to the 12th century AD. Situated on a hill, about 46 kilometers from Bhopal, Sanchi is an important spot for scholars who study the history of Buddhism in India. Because of so many Buddhist monuments that can be seen here, some 2200 years old, many still in good shape, it is a very important place for tourism.

Sanchi was virtually forgotten after the 13th century AD. In more recent times, it was re-discovered in 1818 by a British Officer, General Taylor, who found Sanchi half-buried but well preserved. Then in 1912, the then Director General of Archaeology in India, Sir John Marshal, ordered excavation and restoration work at the site.

The main stupa at Sanchi, known as Stupa No. 1, is 36.5 meters in diameter and it is 16.4 meters high. It was originally built by the great Mauriyan emperor Ashoka and it was an earthen structure. It was re-built with stone in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. This Great Stupa at Sanchi is one of the oldest stone structures that is still standing in India today. With a massive hemispherical dome, the stupa stands majestically at Sanchi and attracts scores of tourists and Buddhist pilgrims.

The great stupa at Sanchi
The great stupa at Sanchi
(Click on stamp to see/learn more).

Afterwards, four elaborate and richly carved gateways or Toranas were added to its four sides - east, west, north, and south. The carvings on all four gateways depict the life of Gautama Buddha starting from the time when his mother, Maya Devi, had a dream when Buddha was conceived upto the time when Buddha delivered his first sermon at the Deer Park in Sarnath.

Of the four gates around the Great Stupa, the Eastern Gate has the best carvings and is most popular with the tourists. The following is an image of an old Indian stamp that shows the Eastern Gate at Sanchi.

The East Gate of the stupa at Sanchi
The East Gate of
the stupa at Sanchi
(Click on stamp to see/learn more).

If you want to walk around in a place, where some of the buildings are 2200 years old, then Sanchi is the place to to go.

Here are some links to sites that will give you more information about Sanchi and/or show more pictures of Sanchi:

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