The previous days memories were hovering in my mind. I woke up early as I had to travel to Sanchi that day. Sanchi Stupa Bhopal is a world heritage site. It is on the outskirts of the city of Bhopal, about 45 km from the centre of the city. I had made car bookings the previous day and the car was right in time. This was the most important point of visit of this trip to Bhopal. The stone structure of the Sanchi Stupa is the oldest such structure in India. It was commissioned by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd Century BC. The hemispherical stone structure has a crown intending to honour the relics of Gautam Buddha. Devi, Ashoka’s wife looked after the construction work. Incidentally, Sanchi happened to be her birthplace as well.
As it is a world heritage site, it is very well maintained. The site can be viewed by the public from 8 in the morning to 7 in the evening. Visitors can take photographs at the site as
The Toranas, which surrounded the main structure, are symbols of trust, courage, peace and love. The original stupa is covered when the expansion work of the stupa took place. There are a lot of inscriptions on the stupa. Most of them are in Brahmi language. James Princep played a big role in deciphering the inscriptions in 1837. It was found out that a list of donors was inscribed. The donors were from various places in and around Bhopal.
The records of the stupa in various periods are showed here. The periods included here are – Maurya period, Sunga period, Satavahana period, later periods, Western Rediscovery and the
ChetiyagiriVihara and the sacred relics. The changes that the stupa went through due to a number of reasons in these periods are mentioned in the records. It was fascinating to read the way the
structure has stood the test of time for over two thousand years.
I took a lot of photos as this would be a very important part of my life– visiting the Sanchi Stupa Bhopal. Another very important place was next on my agenda– the Bhimbetka caves.