Top things to do in Sanchi

Top Choice Buddhist Monument in Sanchi

Buddhist Monuments

Emperor Ashoka's 3rd-century BC Great Stupa, and many other stupas, temples, pillars, gateways and monasteries built in succeeding centuries, stand at the top of Monuments Rd, with the ticket office near the beginni…
Buddhist Monument in Sanchi

Southern Gateway

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 emblem of India, which can be seen on every banknote. The gateway…
Buddhist Monument in Sanchi

Eastern Gateway

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, w…
Buddhist Monument in Sanchi

Northern Gateway

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 nonc…
Buddhist Monument in Sanchi

Western Gateway

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 architrave and the south pillar's north-face top panel both show the B…
Buddhist Stupa in Sanchi

Great Stupa

Beautifully proportioned, the Great Stupa is the centrepiece of the monumental area, directly ahead as you enter the complex from the north. Originally constructed by Ashoka, it was enlarged a century later and the …
Museum in Sanchi

Archaeological Museum

This fine museum has a small collection of sculptures from the site. The centrepiece is the 3rd-century-BC lions-on-lotus capital from the Ashoka-era Pillar 10. Other highlights include a yakshi (mythical fairylike …
Buddhist Stupa in Sanchi

Stupa 3

Stupa 3 is northeast of the Great Stupa and similar in design, though smaller, with a single, rather fine gateway. It dates from the 2nd century BC and once contained relics of two important disciples of the Buddha,…
Buddhist Stupa in Sanchi

Stupa 2

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, people and demigods decorate the surrounding wall – naive in des…
Buddhist Temple in Sanchi

Chetiyagiri Vihara

The vihara (literally 'resting place'), just outside the monuments compound, was built to house relics of the Buddha's disciples Sariputta and Moggallana, following their return from Britain in 1952.