North gate, Sanchi. Upper panel on front face of west pillar.
Artist: Maisey, Frederick Charles (1825-1892)
Wash drawing heightened with white of the upper panel on the front face of the west pillar of the North gate of the Stupa of Sanchi, by Frederick Charles Maisey inscribed: 'plate XI'. Reproduced in Fergusson plate 27, fig.3, 'Tree worship'.
This panel depicts a tree and throne of the Buddha with attendant worshippers bringing offerings. 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, females figures grasping the branch of a tree. These support a triple architrave with
scrolled ends. The gateway is completely covered of sculptures depicting various episodes of the life of Buddha Sakhyamuni from the Vessantara and the Chhaddanta Jataka, together with other scenes such as the Miracle at Sravasti, the Buddha's departure from the palace, and the temptation of Mara.