General Information & Accomdation info on Sanchi city of Madhya Pradesh - India   Encyclopedia of Tours and Travel to Madhya Pradesh, featuring information on Fairs & Festivals, Wildlife, Excursion, Adventure and Weather of Madhya Pradesh.
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Sanchi


History | Getting There | Excursion | Eating Out

Location
SanchiSanchi is known for its Stupas, monasteries, temples and pillars existing from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century AD The most famous of these monuments, the Sanchi Stupa 1 was originally built by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, the then governor of Ujjayini.

The Sanchi hill goes up in shelves with Stupa 2 situated on a lower shelf, Stupa 1, Stupa 3, the 5th century Gupta Temple No.17 and the 7th century temple No. 18 are on the intermediate shelf and a later monastery is on the crowning shelf. Sir John Marshall hailed the adjacent Gupta temple no.17 as one of the most rationally organized structures in Indian architecture. The railing surrounding Stupa 2, carved with aniconic representations of the Buddha, was added in the later 2nd century BC under the Satavahanas.

The Buddhas surrounding Stupa 1 are not contemporary with the Stupa but belong to the Gupta period in mid 5th century AD. The monastery and the temple with the tall pillars adjacent to Stupa 1 and the temple near the monastery on the crowning shelf illustrate the evolution of the architectural form after the 5th century Gupta temple.

The site is one of the most provoking in India, and a good base for a number of interesting bicycle excursions. Below the hill, the Archaeological Survey of India Museum houses some of the earliest known stone sculptures in Indian art from the 3rd to the 1st century BC.

History
SanchiSanchi has no connection with the life of Buddha himself. It first became a place of pilgrimage when the Mauryan emperor Ashoka, who married a woman from nearby Besnagar, erected a polished stone pillar and brick-and-mortar stupa here midway through the third century BC. The complex was enlarged by successive dynasties, but after the eclipse of Buddhism, Sanchi lay deserted and overgrown until its rediscovery in 1818 by General Taylor of the Bengal Cavalry. In the years that followed, a swarm of heavy-handed treasure hunters invaded the site, eager to crack open the giant stone eggs and make off with what they imagined to be their valuable contents. Infact, only Stupas 3 and 4 yielded anything more than rubble; the soapstone relic caskets containing bone fragments are displayed in the new temple for one day each December. These amateur archeologists, however, left the ruins in a sorry state. Deep gouges gaped from the sides of stupas 1and 2, a couple of ceremonial gateways completely collapsed, and much of the masonry was plundered by the villagers for building materials.

Restoration -work made little impact until the archeologist John Marshall and the Buddhist scholar Albert Foucher took on the job in 1912. The jungle was hacked away, the main stupas and temples were rebuilt, and lawns and trees planted and a museum erected to house what sculpture had not been shipped off to Delhi or London.

 

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General Information & Accomdation info on Sanchi city of Madhya Pradesh - India

 
Main Cities
Amarkantak | Bandhavgarh | Bhimbetka | Bhojpur | Bhopal | Chanderi | Chitrakoot | Gwalior | Indore | Jabalpur | Kanha | Khajuraho | Maheshwar | Mandu | Omkareshwar | Orchha | Pachmarhi | Panna | Pench | Sanchi | Shivpuri | Ujjain
 
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