Close view of sculptured pillars of the East Gateway of the Great Stupa, Sanchi, Bhopal State 10031347
Photographer: Beglar, Joseph David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the sculptures on the east gateway of the Stupa of Sanchi, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, taken by Joseph David Beglar in the 1870s. The Great Stupa of Sanchi is the most important surviving monument of the Shunga era (c.185-75 BC). It consists of a large hemispherical dome which was built over an already existing stupa ascribed to the 3rd Century to the time of the Buddhist emperor Ashoka Maurya. Four elaborately carved gateways, called toranas, were added to the stupa during the 1st Century BC. The eastern torana consists of two square posts crowned with a group of four elephants which support a triple architrave with scrolled ends and are entirely covered of sculptural panels depicting scenes from the Jataka legends about the life of Buddha.