Sanchi Buddhist Monuments in India, Madhya Pradesh

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Introduction :
Sanchi is a village located in the Raisen District in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India and is famous for the spread of Buddhist stupas and monuments around the area. The Great Stupa is the oldest stone structure in all of India and the signature attraction in Sanchi together with many other monolithic gates and pillars, palaces, temples that were designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1989. The Buddhist stupas and monuments is the oldest existing in the world and was a major Buddhist centre of India till the 12th century A.D

The Great Stupa in Sanchi is also the oldest stone structure in India
The Great Stupa in Sanchi is also the oldest stone structure in India

One of the many finely craved gates around the area
One of the many finely craved gates around the area
Image attribution to lenchik @ Flickr

Temple 11 is built during the Gupta period
Temple 11 is built during the Gupta period
Image attribution to Nagarjun Kandukuru @ Flickr

A sitting Buddha statue inside one of the temples
A sitting Buddha statue inside one of the temples
Image attribution to mafate69 @ Flickr

History :
The Great Stupa in Sanchi was built during the 3rd century BC by Emperor Asoka the Great with the other monuments built during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. The Great Stupa was vandalized at some point during the 2nd century B.C when the Sunga emperor overthrew the Mauryan Empire but was later rebuilt by his son. Sanchi has been a major Buddhist centre since it was built until it was abandoned during the 12th century. The first European discovery of the Sanchi monuments was in 1818 by a British officer and the site was looted by the archeologists and treasure hunters until 1881 when resoration work was carried out.

Another closer look at the stupa
Another closer look at the stupa
Image attribution to eileendelhi @ Flickr

Sunset in Sanchi
Sunset in Sanchi
Image attribution to lenchik @ Flickr

Ochre-robed monk pilgrim
Ochre-robed monk pilgrim
Image attribution to nagarjun @ Flickr

One of the bigger monolithic pillar gates
One of the bigger monolithic pillar gates
Image attribution to abhinavsaxena @ Flickr

Temple 45 was built in 2 phases and completed in the 10th century
Temple 45 was built in 2 phases and completed in the 10th century
Image attribution to nagarjun @ Flickr

Smaller stupas around Sanchi
Smaller stupas around Sanchi
Image attribution to nagarjun @ Flickr

Getting there :
The nearest airport to Sanchi is the Raja Bhoj Airport (BHO) serving the city of Bhopal and is 67 km away by bus from the Buddhist Stupas and Monuments in Sanchi

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