Rear view of upper half of the South Gateway of the Great Stupa after restoration, Sanchi, Bhopal State
Photographer: Dayal, Deen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the south gate at sanchi after restoration, 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 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 the 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 2 square posts crowned by lion caryatids which support an architrave with scrolled ends. The sculptures on the rear face represent, from top to bottom, stupas and trees of the Manushi Buddhas, an elephant sporting in the pond from the Chhaddanta Jataka and the war over the Buddha's relics.