Eastern Gateway

Buddhist Monument in Sanchi

The breathtakingly carved figure of a yakshi (mythical fairylike beings), hanging from an architrave on the Eastern Gateway, is one of Sanchi’s best-known images. The middle architrave depicts the Great Departure, when the Buddha (shown four times as a riderless horse) renounced the sensual life and set out to find enlightenment. On the bottom architrave is Ashoka's visit to the bodhi tree: the emperor is seen dismounting from an elephant then approaching the tree with clasped hands.

The rear of the middle architrave shows the Buddha being worshipped by lions, buffalo and other animals. On the south face of the northern pilllar (second panel down) is shown the dream of an elephant standing on the moon, dreamt by the Buddha’s mother Maya when he was conceived.

A Buddhist Monuments ticket from the ticket office is required for access.