Sanchi Buddhist Pilgrimage Place
Sanchi Buddhist Pilgrimage place is a small place in Madhya Pradesh, central India, Sanchi occupies a big space in the history of Buddhism. Located on the hilltop, Sanchi is a religious place with archaeological and historical significance, mostly related to the spread of Buddhism.
The Sanchi stupa, built in and around 283 BCE by Ashoka, the famous Indian emperor who converted to Buddhism, is better known for its scriptures. The second largest stupa in India after that of Amravati, the Sanchi stupa is surrounded by a railing with four carved gateways facing towards all four directions. The entire stupa comprises symbolic representation of the gifts of nature as if explaining the Buddhist doctrine by reflecting the people’s love for the nature. The use of lotus in stupa symbolises the rise of people from the mud of materialism to the reality and spirituality of life. Similarly, the female tree spirits depicted in the gateways are symbols of fertility.
Sanchi is famous throughout the world for its stupas, monasteries, temples and pillars, which dates back to the 3rd century BCE to the 12th century BCE. Besides, the famous Sanchi stupa, the place has several other monuments as well.
The Stupas : Sanchi is a home to numerous stupas. Built on the top of a hill, these stupas contains relics, mostly of the Buddha’s disciples.
The Four GateWays : The four gateways, constructed in 35 BCE, are considered as the best Buddhist expression in the world. These gateways are covered with wonderful architectural carvings and depicts the stories related to the Buddha’s life.
The Ashoka Pillar : The Ashoka pillar, which contains four lions like that of Sarnath is found in Sanchi as well. An excellent example of the Greco-Buddhist style, the pillar is also known for its exquisite construction and perfect structural balance.
The Sanchi Museum : The Sanchi museum, which is run under the supervision of the Archaeological Survey of India, houses the Ashoka pillar along with other items found from areas of Sanchi such as utensils and other items used by the monks at Sanchi.
Sanchi is located in Madhya Pradesh, Central India. To view the Sanchi stupa, one should reach Bhopal, the state capital of Madhya Pradesh, which is easily accessible by air, rail and road. The Bhopal airport is connected to all major cities of India with a good network of flights. From Bhopal, either rail or road route can be taken to reach the destination. 46 kilometers away. The nearest railhead of Sanchi is at Vidisha, 10 kilometers away. A good and well maintained rail network connects Sanchi to Bhopal, which is further connected to other major cities of India.
Best time to visit
The best months to visit Sanchi are from November to February.