Close view of East Gateway of the Stupa at Bharhut: PRINT MISSING
Photographer: Beglar, Joseph David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of some sculpture pieces excavated from the stupa at Bharhut taken by Joseph David Beglar in 1874. It shows a close view of the east gateway with the first three pillars of the rail and coping. The date that a stupa was first erected at this site is not known, however, by the time the gateways were added in the early part of the first century BC, Bharhut had been established as a Buddhist place of worship for centuries. At this stage, the stupa complex consisted of a hemispherical dome, encircled by an inner and an outer railing or vedika which was added in the latter part of the second century BC. This was made up of rectangular stone posts (stambha) joined together by three sets of cross-bars (suchi) mortised into the pillars on either side and capped by a huge coping (ushnisha). The railing had openings in each of the four cardinal directions and therefore consisted of 4 quadrants of 16 pillars each. The pillars of the railing were ornamented by a medallion in the middle and by half medallions at the top and the bottom, elaborately carved with sculptures mainly representing scenes from the life of Buddha and lotuses. About half a century after the addition of the railing, its openings were adorned with the addition of gateways like the one pictured.