Front view of the South Gateway of the Great Stupa after restoration, Sanchi, Bhopal State
Photographer: Dayal, Deen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the south gateway of the Great Stupa of Sanchi, after restoration, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections taken by Deen Dayal in 1883. 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 the 3rd Century BC from 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 and by 1883 they were reconstructed. The South Gateway consists of two square posts crowned by lion caryatids which support an architrave with scrolled ends. This view shows the re-erected gate, with the missing whole of one pillar and half of the other rebuilt in plain concrete. The sculptures represent episodes from the life of Buddha.