Suffused with serenity and spirituality, Sanchi is a treasure trove of stone edifices surrounded by hills of rolling green. A prominent site in the Buddhist circuit, Sanchi has been bestowed a rich legacy of Buddhist monuments - from the Sanchi Stupa to the Ashoka Pillar. Walking through the many edifices one can’t help but be taken back to the times when saffron-clad Buddhist monks must have thronged Sanchi, perhaps chanting “Buddham Sharanam Gacchami”. The tranquil beauty of Sanchi is a testament to the power of one man, emperor Ashoka of the mighty Mauryan dynasty.

True to its purpose, Sanchi has been a silent yet a patient witness to the rise and fall of empires, quietly assured of its place in history and mythology. The intricate carvings adorning the numerous monuments document the many teachings one can get from the life of Lord Buddha.

It is said that Ashoka, in a turn of events, transformed from a violent warrior to a benevolent ruler. This change of heart is said to have come about after the vicious battle of Kalinga that took many lives. So much bloodshed is said to have filled the emperor with guilt. The experience changed Ashoka and he ordered the building of stupas to safeguard the many Buddhist relics and to propagate Buddhism. He ardently believed that the philosophy of Buddhism held the potential of positive transformation that the world needed. It is believed that the hill on which the Great Stupa stands might have inspired Ashoka to choose this as the site of the religious centre he established. The earliest Buddhist architecture of Sanchi has been dated to the early Mauryan period in 3rd century BC and the youngest is attributed to 12th century AD. Several new edifices were raised during this time and the Great Stupa was decorated with balustrades, a staircase and a harmika. The Andhra-Satavahanas added elaborate gateways to stupa 1 in 1st century BC. The Gupta period, in turn, saw the construction of many temples and sculptures in their characteristic style. It was also during this time that four statues of Lord Buddha, sitting serenely under canopies were erected in front of the four entrances of the Great Stupa. Sanchi prospered greatly between the 7th and 12th centuries AD.

Immersive Experience