Northern Gateway

Buddhist Monument in Sanchi

The Northern Gateway, topped by a broken wheel of law, is the best preserved of the toranas. Elephants support the architraves above the columns, while delicately carved yakshis (mythical fairylike beings) hang nonchalantly on each side. Scenes include a monkey offering a bowl of honey to the Buddha, who is represented by a bodhi tree (western pillar, east face, second panel down).

Three panels on the front of the eastern pillar depict the Miracle of Sravasti, in which Buddha caused a mango tree to grow (top panel), preached beneath it (second panel) and ascended a road into the air in the form of a bodhi tree (third panel). The fourth panel shows King Prasenajit of Sravasti coming out to meet the Buddha.