General view from the north of the Great Stupa before repairs, Sanchi, Bhopal State
Photographer: Beglar, Joseph David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from the north of the Great Stupa of Sanchi before repairs, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collectionstaken by Joseph David Beglar in the 1870s. 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 to the time of the Buddhist emperor Ashoka Maurya. Colonel Maisey who visited the site in 1851 wrote, "At each of the four entrances once stood a fine sculptured 'Torana', or gateway; of which two only, the Northern and the Eastern, were standing in 1850." The photograph shows the stupa with the north gate in the foreground. Large cracks are visible in the stonework of the stupa and several trees are growing on the structure. The restoration of the site started at the end of the 19th century.