Sanchi is just 20 mins from Vidisha. If you are in Bhopal, Sanchi is a great getaway. But we decided to halt in Sanchi itself. Here again, we booked the MP Tourism Hotel. I have mentioned earlier, these hotels are in good condition, having rooms to suit all types of budgets. In fact, in a few places, they are the best options available. Food and booze are served in-house. The one we halted was very close to Sanchi’s Stupa.
We started early than usual, and first went straight to visit the famous Stupa. It is at the top of a small hill, remember to collect tickets at the foothill itself outside the archaeological museum. Stupa one is the one that is famous and is part of the UNESCO world heritage site. But there are various other smaller Stupas nearby. It is a Stupa one which has four gates called Torans in all four directions. All of these have carvings depicting the famous Jataka tales, episodes from Buddha’s life, his journey, and many more.
Sanchi: Monuments to watch out
Other than Stupa one, there are many smaller stupas nearby. Stupa two is very close and stupa three is at the slope of the hill. Other than these there was a fully functional monastery in Sanchi. Remains of the same are present and being restored by ASI. Do You know about it? The Parthenon. The famous temple in Athens is referred to by many as the pinnacle of ancient Greek architecture. But we have our very own Parthenon in Sanchi’s Stupa complex. Other than these monuments there is a special prayer hall, right?
Interesting to Know
Sanchi was not, however, the only monument emperor Ashoka commissioned. He is renowned in contemporary records for his buildings. Sanchi is among the most well-preserved and famous of those who survived the test of time. This may owe to Vidisha’s importance as a major center for trade and commerce. The prosperity and piety of its merchants and the care that successive dynasties lavished on Sanchi.
Discovery and Conservation
All that comes to existence must fade away. Let your striving alone never come to an end!Buddha’s last words of wisdom to his disciples.
The rise and fall, and renewal of Sanchi encapsulate the truth of these words. Tragically, those who rediscovered Sanchi, also brought it harm, sometimes unwittingly. In 1818, General Taylor’s stupas one, two, and three were mainly intact and exposed to groups of treasure hunters. Nothing, however, epitomizes the neglect of Sanchi as much as the fact that 12m high, the great pillar of Ashoka was found being used as a sugarcane press by a local farmer.
Sir John Marshall, was the Director-General of the ASI from 1902 to 1928. During this period he led excavations of the Buddhist centers of Sarnath and Sanchi. He was also involved in the excavations of the Harappa and the Mohenjo Daro sites during the same time. His house is still present and maintained right next to the museum, known as Marshall House. Unfortunately, it is generally ignored by the maximum.
After a tour of stupas, museums, and marshall houses, we moved towards Bijamandal. Quick drive to Khamb baba and towards Udaygiri caves. These are mainly sculptures and temples carved inside hills. They have been named or numbered as per their excavation. Visit this place was not at all exciting. I could not find anything which could excite me to learn or remember something special about this place. If you have time to spare and want to have a city view from a hilltop, then you can visit this place. But even if you don’t there is nothing you will miss.