Travel Diaries: Our Trip to Great Sanchi Stupa|World Heritage Site

Finally I am writing about Travel today. This post was in my drafts from very long time but I was not able to find the pictures of the place. Okay, so we planned Sanchi visit randomly during our road trip from Kanpur to Mumbai (around 1400 Kms) in April. As we covered almost 600+ Kms, almost a half distance and it was quite rainy night we thought to take a night halt and stay in a hotel. Since we were already passing from Sanchi, we decided to stop at Sanchi which is around 60 km before Bhopal (when you are travelling from Jhansi side).

We explored a few hotels though there were not many options. The only choice being Gateway Retreat, an MPTDC (Madhya Pradesh Tourism) hotel and few more budget hotels. We decided for a super deluxe suite room at MPTDC-Gateway Retreat though it was little costly considering the itinerary. The room was ok and not as per the expectations. It was a separate cottage with two big rooms; separate living and dining space. Though both the rooms were well decorated but because of lack of maintenance and poor room service we did not enjoy the stay.

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We started at around 11.30 AM and it was really hot by that time. We hired a guide to understand the monuments and their history. Without a guide, its very hard to understand the story of such historical places.

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Sanchi; a hidden world of Buddhism and famous for its “Great Stupa” is a beautiful town which explains a long history of Buddhism, rise and fall of the religion and great stone work of Indian Architects during 3rd BC. After fall of Buddhism, Sanchi turned to forest for several centuries and was later discovered during British period by General Taylor.

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Great Sanchi Stupa believed to have relics of Buddha

Entrance was grand and every stone was telling a long history of several centuries. This Stupa was made during the period of Great Emperor Ashoka who adopted Buddhism after several battles. He dedicated his life to promote Buddhism for rest of his life.

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The Entrance

This all is explained in four gates of Stupa which they call the “Chakra’s of Life”. And as we had hired a professional guide, he explained us the story related to each gate, monks and Chatra (A parasol like structure in all Buddha Stupas).

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Four such gates representing four directions

We were mesmerised by seeing beautiful description of life represented through the pictures and structures on each gate. The guide told us that world famous “Laughing Buddha” was originated at Sanchi’s Stupa. Symbolisation of laughing Buddha is a person carrying loads of life by smiling. We figured it out after observing the figure of four people(buddhas) who were laughing, crying, angry and sad.

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Apart then the main stupa, there were other stupas believed to be of disciples of Buddha,  ruins of the cottage where those disciple lived and kitchen were food was made from dakshina.

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Stupa of Buddha Disciple
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Ruins of cottage and kitchen

There was also a Buddha temple, Ashoka pillar and a museum for which we could not take pictures. Would suggest to visit the place during early morning hours as its gets really hot when noon approaches.

After leaving from Sanchi, on our way back to Mumbai, we got to see the place from where Tropic of Cancer passes 😀

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Hope you liked this post.

Love,

Akanksha

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