Sanchi Stup

We had always read about Sanchi Stupa in our history books  but i must have slept through the part when we were taught that its near Bhopal. So initially Sanchi Stupa wasn't part of the itinerary when were planning to attend my best friend's brothers wedding in Bhopal. But when we heard that it hardly  50 Km from Bhopal, we had to visit it after all It is part of the "Worlds Heritage" and well it was a decision well taken.
After attending a big fat Indian wedding, we were all set to explore places around Bhopal.

It was a beautiful drive through the mustard field and smooth tarmac . What I also did not know that we cross the Tropic of cancer as we go from Bhopal to Sanchi Stupa. Though I remembered having read about tropic of cancer , Equator etc , I could not recollect what it meant. another part of the history lessons I guess I slept through. So I Googled for the definition and here what it means:

"The Tropic of Cancer, also referred to as the northern tropic, is the most northerly circle of latitude on the Earth at which the Sun may appear directly overhead at its culmination."

And here I was standing at the "Tropic of cancer" , without even knowing its meaning correctly, it felt good. After all there would be only few places in the whold world this line passes through.

After a moment of pride, we were back on our way to Stupa. The entry feet at are quite minimal, we went in and a guide approached us. We thought it would be a good idea to have a guide explaining us the history and stories associated with the place. How I wish the guide taught me history lessons at school (No offence to you mam, if you are ever reading this). Here are some pointers from what I remember and of coarse with little research:

  • It was constructed by King Ashoka along with his wife Devi and the first Stupa contains the relics of Mahatma Buddha.
  • There are are a lot of additions and structures constructed later on around the main Stupa. The construction was passed on from one Dynasty to another Andhra-Satavahanas -> Kushanas and Kshatrapas -> Guptas)
  • It is believed that it Stupa was vandalised by Emperor Pusyamitra Sunga who overtook the Mauryan Empire but later reconstructed by his son Agnimitra.

We spent a lot of time going through each monument and absorbing the beauty of the place. It was very peacful and the place seems to resonate "Buddham Sharnam Gachhami"

There were many more of such sculptures , each with a story to tell. In this people are worshipping the tree.

Our guide who explained us the meaning of almost each of the carvings in detail.

One of the vandalised statues of Buddha

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