Situated at a distance of around 46 km from the Bhopal city, Sanchi is a very popular pilgrimage destination in Madhya Pradesh which is a home to a group of Buddhist monuments comprising palaces, temples, monasteries and monolithic which are counted amongst UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are a number of attractions in Sachi that dates back to 2nd and 1st centuries BC. Discovered in the year 1818, the construction of the Sanchi Stupa is amazingly designed and its glory can be experient through the Stupas and the elegant carvings on its frontage. The most interesting feature about the Sanchi Stupa is that Lord Buddha has been symbolically represented by footprints, wheels, thrones etc rather than by his own image. The lotus in stupa represents the people growth from the muck of materialism to the reality of life. Likewise, the female tree spirits in the gateways symbolizes the fertility.
As per the legend, the name 'Sanchi' was originated from the word 'Sanch' that means 'to measure'. Visiting this historical place will make you feel amazed as the Stupa is only one of its kinds. Not only this, you'll love to enjoy the fascinating views of many other small Stupas and temples, which are located in a serene green park on the hilltop. Other monuments in Sanchi like Ashoka Pillar, Archaeological Museum, Chetiyagiri Vihara, Buddhist monasteries, Gupta Temple and others should be missed during your visit to this historical place.
Some Interesting facts
- Sanchi Stupa was discovered in 1818 by General Taylor and then an archaeological museum was built in the year 1919 by Sir John Marshall
- The Sanchi Stupa includes several chambers which contains the Buddha's relics.
- The original formation of the Stupa was accredited by Ashoka
- Sanchi Stupa was reconstructed between 1912 and 1919 under the supervision of Sir John Marshall
- Most of the statues of Buddha and Sanchi Stupa carvings have the legendry Mauryan polish
- The gateways around the stupa was set up in c. 35 BC
- The Stupa was ruined in the middle of 2nd century BCE
- The four gateways of the Stupa represent scenes from the Lord Buddha life and Jatakas tales
- Sanchi Stupa is one of the World Heritage Sites recognized by UNESCO
- The national emblem of India was derived from the Ashoka Pillar of Sanchi Stupa
- The crown of the Ashoka Pillar is mostly known for its four lions that stand one after the other
Things to Do and See in Sanchi
- Get enthralled by the historical monument ‘Sanchi Stupa’ which is the great sight of Sanchi or rather you may watch the collection of stupas, towering above the countryside. It’s worth to visit here as it’s a unique heritage building and is recognized as World Heritage Site by UNESCO
- Look at the beautiful Four Gate Ways of Sanchi that are featured by carvings and renders the vistas from the life of Buddha and Jatakas
- Pay a visit to an ancient Udaygiri Caves of 1st century BC and enjoy viewing the striking designs of the entrance, the artful façade and the massive pillars.
- Do not miss to explore the Ashoka Pillar of the great Stupa which is next to the Southern Gateway and admired for its structural balance and fine architecture.
Fairs and Festivals:
Fairs and festivals are the spirit of India and every citizen of different states celebrate it in a different style. In the same way, one of the beautiful historical places of Madhya Pradesh called 'Sanchi' celebrates many festivals which flocks a plenty of tourists to this must see destination. The very popular is Chethiyagiri Vihara festivals, which is held in the end month of November. This fete celebrates the virtuousness of ancient associations of Buddha's two initial disciplines whose cadaver were found in Stupa 3 during 1853. Many devotees flock here to see the souvenirs of the two great disciples of the Sariputta, Buddha and Mahamogallena.
Where to Stay
Sanchi has a plenty of hotels sprawled in different regions. You can find a range of luxury resorts, guesthouses and other budget hotels that are well equipped with all modern amenities.
Few popular lists of hotels in Sanchi include:
- Jehan Numa Palace Hotel
- Meera Resort
- The Residency Hotel
- Hotel Sambodhi
- Gateway Retreat
- Krishna Hotel
- New Jaiswal Lodge
How to Reach
By Air: The nearest airdrome is Raja Bhoj Airport in Bhopal which is located at the distance of 56.3 km from Sanchi.
By Train: Sanchi Railway Station is the nearest railhead, which takes around 3 minutes to reach the city.
By Road: Sachi connects a number of cities by road in the state like Bhopal (46 Km), Vidisha ( 10 Km), Indore (232 km), and many more.
Best Time to Visit: October to march is the best time to visit Sanchi