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Sanchi

SanchiSanchi is located in the site of the numerous Buddhist monuments, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, 52 km away from the capital city of Bhopal and has been included by UNESCO in its list of World Heritage Sites. All the structures of Sanchi, which includes several temples, stupas, pillars and monasteries, go back a long time to 3rd century BC and 12th century AD and the Mauryan emperor Ashoka founded all the stupas in the respect, admiration and as a tribute to Lord Buddha. Toranas encircle the stupa and they each symbolize and correspond to love, peace, trust and courage.

The most glorious, the biggest and the best preserved of the Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India is the “Great Stupa of Sanchi”. Surrounding the Great Sanchi Stupa is a railing, which is believed to be carved around 100 AD. It comprises of four carved gateways, each facing one of the four directions. The stupas at sanchi all have a distinctive feature of not having any images of Lord Buddha in human form instead Buddha has been represented as footprints, wheels, thrones, tree and in form of other inanimate figures. The figure used most comprehensively is the figure of a lotus flower as it has a special meaning in Buddhist religion. They believe that as a beautiful flower emerges from mud, people too can emerge from the mire of materialism to enlightenment.

The carvings on the Great Stupa of Sanchi and all the Buddhist pilgrimage sites have a special and distinct meaning attached to them. It talks about numerous life incidents of Lord Buddha and the co-existence of animals and humans. The stupa at Sanchi is a magnificent structure of ancient India which has been included by UNESCO as a world heritage site and it speaks volumes about the development of the Buddhist architecture.