Sanchi ia a small village in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh. World famous for its Stupas, monasteries, pillars and temples, Sanchi holds an important place in history as the Buddhism had its early roots here. Toranas surround the Stupa and they each represent love, peace, trust, and courage. The 'Great Stupa' at Sanchi was built by the Emperor Ashoka in the third century BC.
A chunar sandstone pillar fragment shining with the proverbial Maurayan polish lies near the Stupa and carries the famous edict of Ashoka's warning. The four gateways of the stupa built in the 1st century B.C have stories of Buddha's past and present carved on them and are the finest specimens of early classical art. The adjacent town of Vidisha has a state museum with important medieval sculptures. The 2nd century B.C Heliodoros pillar nearby and the 5th century A.D. Udayagiri caves are also worth a visit.
Travelogues/Travel Logs of Roadtrips
Hit the road with the summary guides of our trips to various places in India. Any information feel free to drop a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Get online driving directions, route guides, weekend planners, and customised itineries. Check out a few of our favorite user road trips, then start an adventure of your own.....Explore India by Road
Vidhisha, situated in the fork of the Betwa and Bes rivers, 10 km from Sanchi, occupies an important place amongst the ancient cities in India. Maladevi Temple, located in Gyaraspur Tehsil, has several ruins of several old Hindu, Jain and Buddhist places of worship. Raisen Fort is a huge and colourful hilltop fort built around 1200 A.D. This ruined edifice is of great historical and architectural interest. The fort consists of temples, cannons, three palaces, 40 wells and a large tank. The Bhojpur Shiva Temple, also known as “Somnath of the East”, is an unfinished temple located at Bhojpur village near Bhopal. It is famous for the incomplete temple dedicated to Shiva. It is crafted out a single rock. You can visit the district museum Rs 5/- per entry, closed on Mondays. It has some old sculptures as old 2nd century BC. There are many small temples here too.
Udayagiri caves (14 kms)
Udaygiri caves are situated in Vidisha district. These caves are at a distance of 4 km from Vidisha and 13 km from Sanchi. These caves are a group of rock-cut cave sanctuaries, carved into a sandstone hill that stands, sentinel like, on the horizon. There are 44 caves in all, which include both natural and man-made, and are possibly the finest example of classical Gupta arts. The roads are well marked.
The Heliodorus pillar just near the Udayagiri caves, is said to have been built by Heliodorus. The column is locally called Khamb Baba and is worshipped by the local fishermen. It bears two inscriptions in Brahmi and Prakriti language. One of the inscriptions say that the column was set up as a garuda pillar in honour of god Vasudeva or Lord Vishnu by Heliodoros a greek ingabitant of Taxila who had come to the court of the Bhagabhadra king. Heliodoros adopted Hinduism and followed Lord Vishnu. The column dates back to 150 years before christ.
Bhimbetka rock shelters are a World Heritage site located in Raisen District. These shelters exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India and deliver traces of dance from prehistoric times. It is a collection of sandstone outcrops on the top of a hill, worn into twisted shapes by wind and rain, and a home to prehistoric men for many tens of thousands of years
Sanchi stupas are located 46kms north east of Bhopal, and 10 km from Besnagar and Vidisha in the central part of the state. The 'Great Stupa' at Sanchi is the oldest stone structure in India. Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. Sonari stupas are located just 10 kms from Sanchi, which is a serene hill known all over for its stupas, monasteries, temples and pillars dating from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D.
The stupas is open from sunrise to sunset and requires a ticket of Rs 10/-. The great stupa is the main structure and it stands protected by a wall with 4 entrances which have magnificient carvings. Built around 35BC these gateways have jataka tales and buddha's lives depicted in carvings. The northern torana has the wheel of law, yakshi stands at the eastern gateway,and lions back to back stand in the southern gateway, western gateway have potbellied dwarfs.
There are many more stupas here displaying the life history of Lord Buddha. Pillars, temples, monasteries, vihars are all the next to watch and they are numbered not named. There is a lot to walk around and see, and archeological museum with an entry fee of Rs 5/- is also here but it is free if you have taken the ticket to see the stupa. There are a few hotels and guesthouses around this place like Gateway Retreat, Bhopal-Vidisha Road, Sanchi 464661, Tel - 07482-266723.