Buddhist complex, famous for its Great Stupa, in Madhya Pradesh, India / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sanchi is a Buddhist complex, famous for its Great Stupa, on a hilltop at Sanchi Town in Raisen District of the State of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is located, about 23 kilometres from Raisen town, district headquarter and 46 kilometres (29 mi) north-east of Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh.

Quick facts: Sanchi, General information, Type, Architectu...
The Great Stupa at Sanchi, Raisen district, MP.
Sanchi Stupa
Sanchi Stupa
Sanchi Stupa
Sanchi Stupa (Madhya Pradesh)
Sanchi Stupa
Sanchi Stupa (South Asia)
General information
TypeStupa and surrounding buildings
Architectural styleBuddhist,Mauryan
LocationSanchi Town, Raisen district, Madhya Pradesh, India
Town or citySanchi, Raisen district
Country India
Construction started3rd century BCE
Height16.46 m (54.0 ft) (dome of the Great Stupa)
Diameter36.6 m (120 ft) (dome of the Great Stupa)
Official nameBuddhist Monument at Sanchi
CriteriaCultural: i, ii, iii, iv, vi
Inscription1989 (13th Session)

The Great Stupa at Sanchi is one of the oldest stone structures in India, and an important monument of Indian Architecture.[1] It was originally commissioned by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BCE. Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. It was crowned by the 'chhatra', a parasol-like structure symbolising high rank, which was intended to honour and shelter the relics. The original construction work of this stupa was overseen by Ashoka, whose wife Devi was the daughter of a merchant of nearby Vidisha. Sanchi was also her birthplace as well as the venue of her and Ashoka's wedding. In the 1st century BCE, four elaborately carved toranas (ornamental gateways) and a balustrade encircling the entire structure were added. The Sanchi Stupa built during Mauryan period was made of bricks. The composite flourished until the 11th century.

Sanchi is the center of a region with a number of stupas, all within a few miles of Sanchi, including Satdhara (9 km to the W of Sanchi, 40 stupas, the Relics of Sariputra and Mahamoggallana, now enshrined in the new Vihara, were unearthed there), Bhojpur (also called Morel Khurd, a fortified hilltop with 60 stupas) and Andher (respectively 11 km and 17 km SE of Sanchi), as well as Sonari (10 km SW of Sanchi).[2][3] Further south, about 100 km away, is Saru Maru. Bharhut is 300 km to the northeast.

Sanchi Stupa is depicted on the reverse side of the Indian currency note of 200 to signify its importance to Indian cultural heritage.[4]