Buddhism in stone

Print edition : August 19, 2016

Stupa 3 which contained the relics of the Buddha's disciples Sariputta and Mahamogalana. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

The Mahastupa, as seen from Monastery 51. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

The Southern Gateway, showing the staircase to the terrace circumambulation. One can see the in situ remains of the Asokan pillar to the right of the gateway. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

Mahastupa, or Stupa 1, as seen from the main entrance through the northern gateway. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

The carvings in the Sanchi stupa complex show a variety of Buddhist motifs. Here, the upper panel on a pillar shows Dharmachakra; the middle one, a procession; and the lower one, Mara's (Brahma) cortege. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

Ground balustrade and entrance at Stupa 2, decorated with mythological figures. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

A Buddha statue facing the eastern gateway. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

The eastern gateway, one of the the four toranans located in the four cardinal directions.The gateways, built around the same time, form the crowning glory of Buddhist art at Sanchi. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

The upper architrave (beam resting across pillars) shows the Great Departure of the prince Gautama. The lower one depicts Asoka's visit to the Bodhi tree. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

A carved panel on one of the gateways showing 'Walking on the River' miracle by the Buddha. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

Stupa 2, located a little lower on the slope of the Sanchi hill. It does not have a gateway. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

The Great Bowl, carved out of a single rock. It was used by the monks to store food and other offerings. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

Temple 17, a remarkable example of Gupta period architecture. The shrine has no image now. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

The ruins of a towering temple and its attached monastery (Temple and Monastery 45) at the eastern extremity of the eastern area of the stupa complex. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

Temple 18 built on an apsidal plan on a raised platform. The three different floors of the temple belong to the Maurya, the Shunga and the later Gupta period. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

Remains of Asokan pillar. There are a number of free-standing pillars in Sanchi, most of which are in bits and pieces. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

Temple 31, with a Naga figure on the left. Photo: Shashank Shekhar Sinha

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