Archeography

Protector of Buddha’s sacred relics

India is a very large country and it has a very long history. The country has got lots of important archaeological works as well. I think Taj Mahal is the most admiring one in India. I want to write about Taj Mahal. But today my topic is another interesting archaeological, historical, and religious work in India: Sanchi Stupa.

Sanchi Stupa is the oldest stone building of India and it is located in Sanchi town 50 kilometers away from Bhopal city. It still protects its glamorousness although it was harmed because of wars. It is on a hill in a Buddhist settlement. Stupa is a name of a religious construction made for protection of sacred relics of Buddha such as teeth, ashes, or stuff after his death.

Detailed carvings of Sanchi Stupa

King Ashoka constructed this stupa in 3rd century BC. The stupa was added new parts for a few centuries after construction. This domed construction is 16 meters height and 37 meters wide. It has four inlaid doors which look at four directions. There are very detailed carvings on the doors. These carvings tell lots of different events. On the carvings, Buddha is imaged as a tree among people and he is also imaged as footprints around people. Buddha became a tree after his enlightenment according to Buddhist belief. So, tree symbolizes Buddha himself.

Plan of Sanchi Image credit:Wikipedia

Stone fences among doors are the most interesting parts of this stupa. Carving ancient writings on the stones tells the life of Ashoka. As for a legend, King Ashoka is the first king who adopted Buddhism. He constructed thousands of stupas to soothe hearts and he divided ashes of Buddha and put the ashes into every stupa. The stupa in Sanchi was the first which the king built. So, it is the most important of all stupa. There are three basic blocks and there are other small blocks around Sanchi Stupa. Thank you for reading.

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