Sanchi Stupa

Historical

Madhya Pradesh

30°C / Clouds

The famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sanchi Stupa in Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh is a quintessential site for Buddhists and historians. One of the most visited religious tourist attractions in India, Sanchi Stupa is the pride of Madhya Pradesh Tourism. Built-in the 3rd century during the rule of great Emperor Ashoka, it is believed to be the oldest stone structure in India. Known for its architectural brilliance, the stupa is a very specimen of Buddhist heritage.

Historically speaking, the very foundations of the Sanchi Stupa were laid with the primary purpose of spreading Buddhism. Considered one of the oldest architectural wonders of Buddhist heritage and age-old traditions, the splendor of this place is unparalleled. In its essence, the stupa signifies harmony, faith, and bravery.

Sanchi Stupa timings are from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM on all days of the week. Sanchi Stupa visiting hours may vary on public and national holidays.

History Of Sanchi Stupa 

Historically speaking, the foundation of the Stupa was laid by the great Mauryan Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE. He had commissioned the inception of the stupa for the purpose of redistribution of the mortal remains (relics) of the Great Buddha himself. 

Also Read: These temples are situated in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh and are locally known as ‘Bathu ki ladi' for being a cluster of temples

Later on, the general of the Maurya Empire, Pushyamitra Shunga, killed Brihadratha Maurya in 185 BCE establishing the Shunga Dynasty. It is said that during the battle, the stupa was destroyed only to be reconstructed later on by his son, Agnimitra.

During the reign of the Shunga Dynasty, the expansion of the Stupa nearly doubled its initial size. It is said that during this time, the dome of the stupa was constructed using the stone slabs which covered the primary stupa made out of bricks. 

Lost in the testimony of time, Sanchi Stupa was later discovered in the year 1818 by General Taylor. In 1919, Sir John Marshall established an archaeological survey to honor its architectural brilliance.  

Major Attractions In And Around Sanchi Stupa 

1. Upper Lake

It is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions to visit while on your trip to Sanchi Stupa. It is considered to be one of the oldest human-made lakes in India. The locals also refer to it as the Bada Talab. It is known to serve around 30 million gallons of water to the people residing nearby.

2. Van Vihar

This is basically a National Park and a Zoological Space. Located nearby Upper Lake, it is a must-visit tourist spot for those who love nature. While visiting here, one can spot a great number of a wide variety of animals like leopards, bulbuls, wagtails, and many others.

3. Bhimbetka Rock Shelters

Bhimbetka is one of the world’s most significant heritage sites. For any historical enthusiast, this place is simply unskippable. A visit to these caves will surely give a sneak peek into the prehistoric era. According to data, it is believed that these caves were inhabited by humans more than 1,00,000 years ago. 

How To Reach Sanchi Stupa

Sanchi is a small place that doesn't have an airport. Raja Bhoj Airport in Bhopal is the nearest airport which is 47 km from Sanchi. The roads and railways are well connected with other parts of the country. 

  • Closest Major City - Bhopal
  • Best Route. Bhopal - Sanchi
  • Distance From Bhopal. 48km
  • Distance From Indore. 239km
  • Distance From Nagpur. 403km
  • Distance From Raja Bhoj Airport. 47km

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By Air

The nearest airport is the Raja Bhoj Airport which has great connectivity with all major cities of India. After deboarding your flight, you will need to cover the remaining distance by another mode of transportation. 

By Train

The major railway station near Sanchi Stupa is Bhopal Junction which is located around 50 km away from the historical site. This station is a major railhead in Madhya Pradesh that has regular trains from all the cities of India. You can either take a cab or a bus from Bhopal Junction or travel via another connecting train. You will need to deboard at the Sanchi Railway Station and from there take a cab or a bus to reach your destination.

By Road

The state has well-maintained road networks and has great connectivity via bus. Buses operate on a daily basis to and fro from nearest places like Bhopal, Indore, etc. You can also drive down in your own vehicle or hire a private or shared cab.

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