This photograph taken in 1861-62 by Major General James S. Waterhouse shows a view of the Eastern Gateway (torana) at #Sanchi .
The hilltop site of Sanchi comprises the remains of stupas, temples and monastic buildings. Abandoned from the 14th century, Sanchi was 'rediscovered' by a British officer, General Taylor, in 1818. However, it was not until 1881 that restoration work was initiated. Between 1912 and 1919 the structures were restored to their present condition under the supervision of Sir John Marshall, Director General of #Archaeology in India.
The Great #Stupa (known as Stupa 1) at Sanchi is the most important and complete surviving monument of the Shunga era (circa 185-175 BCE). The original mound was a brick structure built by King #Asoka during the 3rd century BCE. During the late 1st century BCE it was enlarged to twice its original size, the dome was encased in sandstone slabs and a walkway was constructed on the ground level and marked with a stone railing (vedika). A square structure (harmika) was constructed on top of the mound which contained a three tiered umbrella (chattravali), representing the three jewels of #Buddhism - the #Buddha , the dharma (ethical precepts of Buddhism) and the sangha (community of Buddhist monks). Four stone gateways (toranas) were built around the stupa, one in each cardinal direction. Each gateway comprises two upright stone pillars with three architraves, elaborately carved in relief with scenes from the Buddha's life and stories from his previous existences (jatakas). The stupa form developed out of hemispherical funerary mounds, the earliest being used to enshrine the remains of the Buddha himself. Over time, stupas came to commemorate the Buddha's spiritual achievement, his enlightenment and teachings. Smaller stupas were built as votive objects at Buddhist holy sites, often clustered around larger stupas.
Image Copyright: Victoria and Albert Museum #indianhistory #worldhistory #ashoka #ashokasamrat #maurya #ancientindia #ancienthistory #ferozeshahkotla #brahmi #edict - 1 day ago