Sanchi Stupa

At the core of constructing Sanchi Stupa by Emperor Ashoka in 3rd century, was to preserve and spread Buddhist philosophy. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1989 and is one of the earliest examples of temple architecture. The main body of the stupa symbolizes cosmic mountain and is topped by a ‘Harmika’ to hold the triple umbrella or ‘Chhatraveli’. Chhatraveli represents the three jewels of Buddhism- the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. The gateway and four cardinal points showcase carvings of Buddhist symbols and important historical and religious scenes. The Stupa at Sanchi consists of a base bearing a hemispherical dome, surrounded by squared rail unit representing world mountain, form which rises mast, symbolizing the cosmic axis. Traditionally, stupas hold relics of Buddha or influential Buddhist monks. One can also find the Lion Capital of Ashokan Pillar at the Archeological Museum at Sanchi. Sanchi has been protecting these beautiful and sacred architectural wonders, just the way these wonders have been safeguarding ancient history and art of the Mauryan period under Emperor Ashoka.