Chaitya Hall at Sanchi
Photographer: Waterhouse, James
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the runied Temple 18 at Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh, taken by James Waterhouse in 1861. The site of Sanchi is an important Buddhist establishment. It became a site of pilgrimage in the 3rd century BC when the emperor Ashoka Maurya erected a stupa and a column there. The complex which forms the great Stupa 1 was later enlarged by different rulers. There are numerous Buddhist structures preserved at Sanchi dating from the 3rd century BC to the 6th-7th century AD. Temple 18 dates mostly from the 7th century. It was built on the foundation of an earlier chaitya hall or prayer hall. It has an apsidal plan with a columned nave and side aisles originally surrounded by walls. The tall sandstone columns preserved, which are seen in this photograph, are decorated with semi-circular incisions. In the middle of the apse there used to be a small solid stupa.