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SANCHI

Location : 46 kms from Bhopal
Highlight : Stupas, Ashoka Pillar, Arched Gateways
Other Attractions : Temples, Museum
Best Time : October to March
View of The Stupa at Sanchi
View of The Stupa at Sanchi


FACT FILE
Famous As : World Heritage Site.
Most Famous Monument : The Great Stupa.
Must Visit : The Museum Maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. Here See the Lion Capital of Asokan Pillar and Metal Objects Used by the Monks.
Important Gateways : Eastern Gateway, Northern Gateway, Southern Gateway, Western Gateway.
Important Distance : Bhopal - 46 kms, Vidisha - 10 kms, Indore - 232 kms etc.
Must See : The Colossal Great Bowl Built of Single Stone - Used to Distribute the food Among Monks.
Getting Around : Udaypur - 60 kms, Gyaraspur - 40 kms, Videsha - 10 kms , Besnagar - 3 kms, Udaigiri Caves - 13 kms.
Don't Miss : The Gupta Temple, Reminiscent of the 5th century AD and First Example of Indian Temple Architecture.
Shop For : Brass Ware, Buddha Statues, Terracotta, Shell Work, Crochet, Carved Furniture, Bamboo Work (From Local Markets).
Staying Options : Tourist Cafeteria, Travelers Lodge, Sri Lanka Mahabodhi Society Rest House, Buddhist Guest house and Circuit House.
Getting There : Air - Nearest airport is Bhopal (46 kms). Well Connected with Major Flights in theCountry.
Rail - Nearest railhead is Bhopal 46 kms. Strong Railway Connection ConnectsSanchi to Different Parts of Madhya Pradesh.
Road - A Strong Network of Roads Connect Sanchi to Bhopal (46km), Vidisha (10km) and Indore (232kms).

Sanchi - Blessed Land of Lord Buddha

The city cum town of the stupas and pillars call for all the tourist to come and explore this land that was the representation of Buddhism in the ancient India. In the year 1989, this township in Madhya Pradesh was recognised as a world heritage site by the UNESCO. What drives people to home this destination are the monuments that trace the history since 3rd century BC. Essentially known as the Asoka's city, Sanchi is located at a distance of 46 kms from Bhopal and is a Buddhist treasure house. It is from here that the emblem of our country was picked. Once in Sanchi, you can find the influence of Buddhism every where your eyes travel. Come to Sanchi and pay homage to the great emperor of India, Asoka, who was the founder as well as the fomenter of the small town of Sanchi. There are both buses and trains to Sanchi from Bhopal. 2 km away from San­chirly station, within walking distance is Buddhist shrine located in a plateau of the Vindhya mountains. It remains open from dawn to dusk and on Sundays there is no admission fee.

Sanchi - History Fomented

The name of the great emperor Asoka and history of Sanchi play the role of synonyms. Asoka is the first reference that you will get when Sanchi in conversation. Indeed, it was him who gave this town its due significance by constructing the immortal masterpieces in the form of stupas and pillars. The greatness of Sanchi was enhanced when Asoka, the then king tied nuptial knots with a woman from Vidisha, a nearby town. Impressed by the resplendent vista of the hill, he who was a Buddhist patronage, decided to build the construct a glazed stone pillar and a stupa built of brick and mortar. These initial constructions at Sanchi can be traced back to 3rd century. Till the 12th century many other monuments and temples were added to the site by the different rulers. However, after that, due to the ignorance and partly carelessness these monuments went into the deterioration, until in 1818 an abecedarian archaeologist tracked these monumental heritage and the restoration work was started. By the year 1919, under the guidance of John Marshall, the whole area was excavated and recuperated to its present condition.

Major Charms - Ingredients that Make An Excellent Treat

The main attractions of Sanchi is incorporated in its stupas, pillars gateways and the museums that are a part of the world heritage site. You must visit these stupas to know more about them. The pillars will give you a feeling of pride and honour while the gateways are the way to achieve sanctity. So do not wait but grab this opportunity to be a part of the great history that has been decked by the holistic stay of Lord Buddha.


Ruins of a Temple at Sanchi
Ruins of a Temple at Sanchi

Stuaps  The Domes of Buddhism

Due to the presence of many stupas, bifurcation have been done numerically. The Stupa No. 1 is the oldest and the exalted of all. Also described as the great stupas, this is the one that was built by the emperor Ashoka himself. There is a monolithic hemispherical dome stands that gives this stupa the dimension of 36.5 m and the height of 16.4 mt (excluding the umbrella and railings). Supposed to be a replica of the funerary mound of the kings, this fact was proved due to the presence of the umbrella at the top of the stupa which was a royal symbol.
Want to see some ringed stupas, then head towards the Stupa No. 2, that stand at the edge of the hill. Notice the handrail that encircle it. This divine structure was added in the late 2nd century BC by the Shungas rulers. You must see the Stupa No. 3, housing the mortal remains of the two disciples of Buddha, Sariputta and Mahamogallena. When you are here, you must notice the umbrella of polished stones and the crowning of the hemispherical dome, that is the cumulative of the religious grandness.

The Grandeur of the Gateways

The gateways of the these magnificent stupas are the finest work of Sanchi art and have the episodes of Buddha's life carved on them. The Four gateways are part of your must visit. Try reading the inscriptions on them, that of course if you are able to. The guides will tell you that these are the depiction of the stories related to Buddha. The eastern gateway explicate the scene from Buddha's life where, the young Gautama (Buddha) leaves his father's palace in search of enlightenment. The seven incarnations of Buddhism is explained on the western gateway, while the southern gateway depicts the birth of the custodian of Buddhism, Gautama. Annotations of the miracles that have been betrothed with Lord Buddha in the Jatakas (text that concerns the previous birth of Buddha) are contained on the northern gateway of the stupa.

Asoka Pillar - The Majestic Stone Structure

Your trip will absolutely be incomplete of you do not visit the alpine Asoka Pillar, standing close to the southern gateway of the great stupa. An example of the Greco-Buddhist style of architecture, this pillar is known for its aesthetic proportions and exquisite carvings. It is from there that the symbol of our national emblem, that is four lions facing the four directions, have been adopted.
Want to see some more fineness, sight the Great Bowl, that was used to distribute the food among the monks. This stupendous bowl was constructed out of a single block of stone.

Excursions to Moon You

Do not miss the ruins of the Gupta Temple, that is the reminiscent of the 5th century AD, Gupta rule. It is the oldest specimen of the Indian temple architecture. You should definitely not fail to see the Buddhist Vihara, that lies a few kilometers from Sanchi. This is the place where you can find the sacred relics of the Satdhara stupas. In the inner sanctum of the monastery on a platform is the galss casket, that entrap the sacred antiquity.
Another place that you must see is the museum at Sanchi that is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. The main highlight of the museum is the lion capital of the Asokan pillar and metal objects used by the monks, that were discovered during the excavations at Sanchi.Chunar Sandstone pillar piece, near the Stupa No. 1, displays the locution Mauryan polish, and carries the famous proclamation of Ashoka warning against schism in the Buddhist community, worth a site.
Exploring the rural life of Sanchi, in itself is an expedition. The small yet cozy village houses are the remnants of ancient Stupas, Chaityas and Viharas that will intoxicate you with its beauty. The scenic beauty is unparalleled and the chance of knowing the rural life from such proximity is rare.

Shopaholic Head to Sanchi

Renowned to be a Buddhist heritage site dotted with monuments this city is not mush of a shopping ground. But you would surely love to carry some token back to your country, so pass trough the local shops that will give you a varied options for souvenirs. Some of the items that you can look forward to buy in Sanchi includes brass ware, terracotta, shell work, crochet, carved furniture, bamboo work As it is a very small town then there are not many bazaars and markets. The local people sell their concentrated items that were probably made at home and for an ardent traveller, this is more than a blessing.

Your Ways For Reaching Sanchi

Finding your feet in Sanchi is not a difficult task. Bhopal which is the nearest town around 46 kms away, serves the purpose of airport. From Bhopal Airport several domestic airlines operate flights on a regular basis. Sanchi also is in possession of the best rail links that allows one to ply from one part of the state to other in short time. Bhopal is again the nearest rail head. Sanchi stn lies on the Delhi-Bombay and Delhi-Madras line. Reaching Sanchi via road is also very convenient as it connected with well laid roads from Bhopal (46km), Vidisha (10km) and Indore (232kms).
Like the other cities and towns of the state, the time period from October to March is the best time to visit the town as then the weather is the most suitable. You must visit the cultural and heritage full land of this world heritage site or you will be left behind. Come to enjoy Sanchi that goes beyond the heritage and enjoy the nonpareil rural life of the town.



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Sculptors of Sanchi Stupa

The First Home of Buddhism
The Sanchi stupa is the oldest surviving Buddhist remains as per the knowledge of humans and this gives it an interesting edge over the other monuments. Inside the stupas you can see the mortal remains of the disciples of Buddha and also claims to be having the relics (bones and teeth) of Lord Buddha.


Asoka Pillar that is Nation's Pride
The alpine Asoka Pillar, standing close to the southern gateway of the great stupas is an important halt of the tourists. This pillar has the inscriptions and motif that were adopted by the Indian constitution as the emblem of the country. An example of the Greco-Buddhist style of architecture, see the exquisite carvings over the pillar that is worth a note.


The Shelter of the Stupas
You should not miss the great stupas at Sanchi that is considered to be the oldest and grandest of all stupas in the area. Covering a huge distance of the area the main attraction of the stupas are the gateways that have the inscriptions that describe the stages of the life of Lord Buddha.


History Restored in the Museums
The museum in Sanchi houses some of the very old belongings if the historic times that were revealed during the excavation of the heritage site. This museum is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India and owns the lion capital of the Asokan pillar and metal objects used by the monks at that time.


Shopping Options at Sanchi
Shopping in Sanchi might not be a dreamlike experience but is definitely worth your participation. There are not many bazaars but the local shops offer an array of options of souvenirs. Buddha status, brass ware, terracotta, shell work, crochet, carved furniture, bamboo work are some items worth buying.


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