Two drawings of North gate, Sanchi
Artist: Maisey, Frederick Charles (1825-1892)
Two wash drawings heightened with white by Frederick Charles Maisey from the North gateway of Sanchi inscribed: 'plate IX'.
The great Stupa of Sanchi is the finest example of monumental architecture of the Shunga era. It consists of a large hemispherical dome which was built over an already existing stupa ascribed to the 3rd century BC from the time of the Buddhist emperor Ashoka Maurya (reigned circa 269-232 BC). The stupa was later enlarged around the1st century BC under the Shungas and four elaborately carved
gateways were added at the cardinal points. The North gateway consists of two square posts crowned with a group of four elephants and two 'shalabhanjika', female figures who grasp the branch of a tree. These support a triple architrave with scrolled ends. The surfaces of the gateway are carved with scenes depicting various episodes from the life of Buddha Sakhyamuni. The top drawing depicts the scene carved on the middle inside panel of the right post of the gateway. The scene is known as the 'Miracle at Vaishali'. The monkey has taken Buddha's begging bowl and filled it with honey. On the left he presents the offering to the Buddha and on the right he raises his hands in adoration as his offering is accepted. The bottom drawing is from the middle front panel of the right post and depicts a royal procession and Ajatashatru visiting the Buddha.