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One of the four drawings of details of carvings on the Dhamekh Stupa at Sarnath: The east niche.

One of the four drawings of details of carvings on the Dhamekh Stupa at Sarnath: The east niche.

Draughtsman: Anonymous

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1785

Shelfmark: Add.Or.4367

Item number: 4367

Length: 36.7

Width: 54.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Drawing

Pen and ink drawing of the east niche of the Damekh stupa at Sarnath by an anonymous artist c.1785. One of a series of four drawings depicting details of carvings on the Dhamekh stupa. Sarnath is the sacred place where the Buddha preached his first sermon known as the 'turning of the wheel of law', the Dharmachakra in the sixth century BC. The Dhamekh stupa, a cylindrical tower more than 30 metres (98 feet) high, marks the site of the sermon. "Gupta designs are incised high onto the drum; these include luxuriant foliation with stalks, leaves and flowers, birds and various geometric patterns". While the foundation date of the stupa is unknown, excavations have revealed that there were six successive enlargements, the last of which was in the 12th century. The site is one of the four major places of pilgrimage for Buddhists in India.

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