Ruins of South Gate before restoration, Sanchi 10031350
Photographer: Dayal, Deen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the south gate at Sanchi, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections by Deen Dayal in 1882. 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 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. By 1883 they were reconstructed. The South Gateway consists of two square posts crowned with lions caryatids which support an architrave with scrolled ends. The photograph is a close view of the sculpture detail on the architrave, showing the worship of a stupa.