When it comes to unveiling the top tourist destinations in India, tourist places can be divided into two categories i.e. religious or non-religious. If you have keen interest in knowing about the past historical glory of India, amazing architecture and yes religious values of Buddhism, you should not forget visiting at Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi. It is considered among the top tourist locations in India with incredible religious values. Let’s have a detailed look at the history, structure, design, architecture and other attractions of this world heritage site called Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh.

Great Sanchi Stupa

Great Sanchi Stupa | Image Credits: By Suyash Dwivedi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

History of Sanchi

There is no doubt that Buddhist monuments found at Sanchi are considered among the most sought after tourist attractions in Madhya Pradesh, India. These monuments have been placed among the top world heritage sites in India in 1989. Let’s have a detailed look at the history of popular Buddhist monuments at Sanchi.

Sanchi is called by several names such as Botasriparvta, Kakanadabota, Kakanava, and Kakanaya in ancient times. It is famous just because of having various Buddhist monuments in the location. If you want to analyze the Buddhist architecture, art and religious significances, you should not forget visiting Sanchi. You can see different types of Buddhist structures here – from the Mauryan period i.e. 3rd century BC structures to 12th century AD structures. This city is popular throughout the world for its monolithic Asokan stupas, pillars, temples, sculptural and monasteries wealth.

Who Constructed Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi

Emperor Asoka laid the foundation stone for this amazing, sacred and mesmerizing Buddhist structure in Sanchi. It is analyzed that Asoka must be impressed by the natural beauty of the location. Since he wanted to spread Buddhism throughout the world, he started constructing structures that simply resemble the message of Lord Buddha. He first erected the first great Stupa, which is also called Stupa 1. Having constructed the first Stupa in the location, Asoka constructed several stupas, pillars and other significance Buddhist structures throughout India. The stupa found in Sanchi was a real specimen of Buddhist architecture.

Great Budhha Sanchi Stupa | Buddhist Monuments

Great Budhha Sanchi Stupa | Buddhist Monuments | Image Credits: By Suyash Dwivedi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Reconstruction of Buddhist Monuments, Sanchi

There could be various reasons when a few of the Buddhist monuments had to face several issues. It was the time when several kings renovated the Buddhist monuments. It can easily be analyzed that the reconstructions of ancient temple as well as erection of sacred stupas one and three were done during the same time. From 2nd to 4th century AD, Vidisha and Sanchi came under the Kshatrapas and Kushanas and subsequently go through the hands of famous Guptas. It is found that during Gupta period, Sanchi witnessed great historical, architectural and religious works. Several temples, sculptures and other Buddhist monuments were constructed. One of the biggest developed of that period was the construction of statues of Bhagwan Buddha seated in peaceful position facing the four available entrances of the sacred Stupa. It is found in history that Sanchi witnessed great success, development and progress during 7th to 12th centuries AD. It was the time when Sanchi was given several historical, religious and incredible structures.

Rediscovering of Buddhist Monuments, Sanchi

Since the 14th of century, Sanchi remained to be neglected. It was first rediscovered by General Taylor in 1818. It was Sir John Marshall who formed an archaeological site or museum in 1919 at Sanchi. The same museum was reformed into the existing museum at the site.

Excavation under UNESCO Project

Currently under a UNESCO project, Satdhara and Sanchi is being excavated, environmentally developed and conserved.  The main motto behind introducing this new project is to try to find out new discoveries that can help unveiling the unknown history of past.

How to Reach Sanchi

Sanchi can easily be reached via train, roads and by airways. Whether you are a domestic or international visitor, you can easily grab direct flights to one of the major airports in Madhya Pradesh.

By Air

Direct flights can be taken from Delhi and other major cities in India to top airports in Madhya Pradesh.

By Train

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to reach at Sanchi is to unveil the benefits of Indian Railway. Sanchi is the nearest railway station. Moreover, visitors or tourists can easily reach to the desired tourist location via train.

By Road

Whether you want to enjoy public transport or private transport facility, you can easily reach Sanchi by road. It is well-connected with rest of country through roads. Tourists can easily find out buses, cars and taxis to reach to Buddhist monuments.

Best Time to Visit Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi

However, these monuments can be visited throughout the year, but visiting these monuments during festive season can help visitors or tourists knowing about the historical and religious importance of these sacred monuments. So, it is better if you schedule your tour keeping the top Buddhist festivals in mind. This way, you can easily be able to make your journey memorable than ever before. Keeping weather condition or climate changes in mind, it is suggested to visit these monuments during the February to March.

Timings

Visitors or tourists can visit the Buddhist monuments at the location from sunrise to sunset. The official timing to visit at the site is from 9 AM to 5 PM.

What Is Entrance Charge/Fee for Buddhist Monuments?

  • Indian i.e. domestic visitors or tourists along with visitors from SAARC and BIMSTEC nations need to pay only INR 30 per individual.
  • Visitors from European countries, USA, UK, etc. need to pay INR 500 per individual.
  • Children up to 15 years of age don’t need to buy entrance ticket.

Tips for Tourists

  • Since Buddhist monuments or structures at Sanchi are considered sacred, visitors are advised to not drink alcohol.
  • It is highly suggested that female visitors should concentrate on their outfits.
  • Before entering into any site of Buddhist monastery, it is better to follow given instructions.
  • Do not forget arranging accommodation at the location.
  • If you are a first-time tourist or visitor, you are advised to avail services of a professional tourist guide.
  • You should not forget converting your currency into Indian currency.

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