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Ruins of West Gate before restoration, Sanchi 10031355

Ruins of West Gate before restoration, Sanchi 10031355

Photographer: Dayal, Deen

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1882

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(1355)

Item number: 10031355

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the ruins of the west gate at Sanchi, before restoration, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections taken by Deen Dayal in 1882. The Great Stupa of Sanchi is the most important surviving monument of the Shunga era. It consists of a large hemispherical dome which was built over an already existing stupa ascribed to the 3rd Century to the time of the Buddhist emperor Ashoka Maurya. Four elaborately carved gateways called toranas were added to the stupa during the 1st Century BC. The Western Gateway consists of 2 square posts crowned with a group of 4 pot-bellied dwarfs which support a triple architrave with scrolled ends. The sculptures which cover the torana illustrate episodes from the life of Buddha. The photograph shows various components of the gateway lying on the ground before being reconstructed in 1883.

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