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Location: Sanchi Stupa
One of the oldest surviving stone structures in India and a specimen of breath taking Buddhist architecture, the Great Stupa at Sanchi is located about 46 kilometres northeast of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh lies the SanchiStupa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a landmark structure in tracing the evolution of Indian architecture starting with the Maurya period.
One of the best conserved Stupas, the Great Stupa at Sanchi with its four ornamental gateways lures visitors from all over the world to this day who spend hours at the site marveling at this Buddhist architectural masterpiece, and the richness of its sculptures. At the time when it was created, its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha, with a raised terrace encompassing its base, and a railing and stone umbrella on the summit.The great Mauryan ruler, Ashoka, can be credited with laying the foundation of this great structure, which is a crucial link between the great ruler and the subsequent rise of Buddhism.
The SanchiStupa is indeed an architectural marvel, and beautifully captures the exquisiteness of Mauryan style. The Stupa is ornamented with early inscriptions whichdecorate the extremely sumptuous gateways on all four directions and the heavily carved balustrade. Various designs and motifs are carved on the railing and the gates of the Stupa. A closer look at the gateways and the balustrades reveal fascinatingillustrations revolving the life of the Buddha. Inanimate figures like that of a tree are used here to symbolize Lord Buddha. One of the most striking features regarding the Stupa is that instead of images, Lord Buddha has been depicted symbolically by figures like thrones, wheels and footprints among others. All these illustrations beautifully capture the essence of Buddhism, and invite all the visitors to witness the magnificence of Lord Buddha’s life, and is indeed is one of those places which is sure to leave you entangles in an intriguing web of awe and admiration.
Location:Sanchi Torn, Madhya Pradesh
Year of Completion: 1989
Best Time to Visit: October to March
Special Dishes Available: Poha, Malpua, Seekh Kebabs, DaalBafla
Nearby Markets: Sanchi Bazaar
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