Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh

Sonari (10km southwest of Sanchi) is the most accessible Buddhist site from Sanchi. The site consists of a series of squat stupas that when first excavated in 1850 were found to contain reliquaries with traces of bone ash dating to around 200 BC.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh attractions

1. Stupa 2

5.48 MILES

Stupa 2 is halfway down the hill to the west (turn right at Stupa 1). Instead of gateways, ‘medallions’ of flowers, plants, real and fanciful animals,…

2. Great Bowl

5.57 MILES

Behind Monastery 51, partway down the hill towards Stupa 2, is the Great Bowl, carved from a huge boulder, into which food and offerings were placed for…

3. Monastery 51

5.57 MILES

Monastery 51 sits a short way downhill west of the Great Stupa, beside a tank. Outside its west gate is the Great Bowl, carved from a boulder, into which…

4. Temple 18

5.61 MILES

Temple 18 is a chaitya (prayer room or assembly hall) similar in appearance to classical Greek columned buildings. It dates from around the 7th century AD…

5. Temple 40

5.62 MILES

Beyond Temples 18 and 17, the large Temple 40 dates back to the Ashokan period, in part.

6. Western Gateway

5.62 MILES

Pot-bellied dwarves support the architraves of the Western Gateway, which has some of the site’s most interesting scenes. The back of the bottom…

7. Southern Gateway

5.62 MILES

The back-to-back lions on the pillars of the monuments compound's Southern Gateway (the oldest) were a favourite Ashokan motif and now form the state…

8. Temple 17

5.63 MILES

Like its larger neighbour Temple 18, the Gupta-period Temple 17 bears a resemblance to classical Greek buildings. The columns on its porch are topped by…