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Close view of upper half of rear of West Gateway of the Great Stupa after restoration, Sanchi, Bhopal State

Close view of upper half of rear of West Gateway of the Great Stupa after restoration, Sanchi, Bhopal State

Photographer: Dayal, Deen

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1883

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(1358)

Item number: 10031358

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the west gateway of the Great Stupa of Sanchi after restoration, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, taken by Deen Dayal in1883. The Great Stupa of Sanchi is most important surviving monument of the Shunga era. It consists of a large hemispherical dome built over an already existing stupa ascribed to the 3rd Century BC to the time of the Buddhist emperor Ashoka Maurya. Four elaborately carved gateways were added to the stupa during the 1st Century BC. When General Taylor came across the stupa in 1818, the various parts of the southern and western gateway were lying on the ground. They were reconstructed by 1883. The Western Gateway consists of two square posts crowned with a group of pot-bellied dwarfs which support a triple architrave with scrolled ends. The sculptures on the rear of the architraves represent, from top to bottom, the transport of the Buddha's relics to Kusinagara, the war over the Buddha's relics and the temptation of Buddha by Mara.

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