General view of the Great Stupa from the south, showing the vihara and repairs, Sanchi, Bhopal State
Photographer: Dayal, Deen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Great Stupa of Sanchi from the south, showing the vihara and repairs, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections taken by Deen Dayal in 1883. General Taylor encountered the stupa in 1818 and extensive repair works were undertaken from 1881. H.H. Cole, Curator of Ancient Monuments in India wrote in 1883, "Again visiting Sanchi...I was most satisfied with what had been done. The whole of the jungle had been removed from the Great Tope, the ground round it had been partially cleared and sloped...The approach road on the north side of the hill had been opened put and restored...The retaining wall, to the east of the Great Tope has been partially re-built and, the temples, Chaitya Hall and Vihara, cleared of debris." 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 BC from the time of the Buddhist emperor Ashoka Maurya. Four elaborately carved gateways were added to the stupa during the 1st Century BC.