Sanchi stupa is one of the wonderful stupas found in India. It is considered as one of the most wonderful examples of Buddhist architecture in India. Sanchi stupa was made during the reign of one of the legendary rulers of India- Ashoka Maurya, the third ruler of Mauryan dynasty, and also known as 'Ashoka the great'.
During his reign , he errected this wonderful stupa in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh in India. Till today it has a large number of people from all over India or outside India come to Bhopal to see Sanchi stupa which, unlike many other stupas jas survived with time even though it was built a long time back during Mauryan period.
Sanchi stupa is also known by many other names such as - 'Maha Chaitya' and 'The Great Stupa'. It is believed that Ashoka had one distributed all the relics of Shakyamuni Buddha, to different towns and cities in the Mauryan empire.
Under his rule about 84,000 stupas were built which had the relics of Shakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. It is believed that Sanchi Stupa is one of these stupas which contain some of the relics of Buddha. Also this stupa is considered unique due to its features. Some of those features are as follows-
1.There are two circumbulatory paths in Sanchi stupa unlike any other stupa such as Bharhut stupa in eastern Madhya Pradesh, Amravati Stupa in Andhra Pradesh , Shanti stupa in Orissa, etc.
2. There are four gateways , in this stupa . These gateways are called Toranas. Another name for the gateways is Vaishtanis (singular word for vaihtanis is vaishtani). It is always said that the vaishtanis or Toranas are set up like a swastika . This is because swastika means good times , peace and happiness from all the four directions. That is why the gateways are arranged in proper position so that they represent swastika symbol as a stupa itself is considered as a symbol of peace.
3. There are vedicas in a stupa which alomg with the Toranas contain as many important stories related to Buddha called the 'Jataka Stories' . Jataka stories show the life of Buddha as a Boddhisatva who gains alot of experience in each life about how to achieve the goal of enlightment.
4.On each gateway there are three pillars put up on the gateways set up in such a way that lion capitals , elephant capitals have been put on these pillars. These capitals are actually statues set up on the pillars symbolising Buddha in different ways.
5. In many parts of Toranas and Vedica there are moments in which Buddha is shown using different symbols such as an empty throne, bodhi tree etc.
With so many features mentioned I would like to conclude that if you have some time then you must go and see this beautiful Sanchi stupa and do share your opinion if anyone of you has got any other sort of information about Sanchi stupa.
Thank you so much for reading my blog post.