Ruins of southern gateway, Sanchi Tope
Photographer: Waterhouse, James
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the ruins of the southern gateway of the stupa of Sanchi, taken by James Waterhouse in 1861. 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 (c.269-232 BC). Four elaborately carved gateways (toranas) were added to the stupa during the 1st century BC. When the stupa was discovered in 1819, various parts of the southern and western gateway were lying on the ground which were reconstructed by 1883.