Close view of sculptured pillars of the East Gateway of the Great Stupa, Sanchi, Bhopal State 10031348
Photographer: Beglar, Joseph David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of sculptured pillars of the east gateway of the Great 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 East Gateway consists of 2 square posts crowned with a group of four elephants which support a triple architrave with scrolled ends. The sculptures which cover the torana illustrate episodes from the life of Buddha. The top panel in this view represents Indra and Brahma visiting Buddha.