Small gate of ruined tope at Sanchi
Photographer: Dayal, Deen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the gateway of Stupa 3 at Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh, taken by Deen Dayal in 1882, from the Lee-Warner Collection: 'Scenes and Sculptures of Central India, Photographed by Lala Deen Diyal, Indore.' The site of Sanchi is an important Buddhist establishment. It became a pilgrimage place in the 3rd century BC when emperor Ashoka Maurya (reigned c.269-232 BC) erected a stupa and a column there. The complex which forms Supa 1 was later enlarged by different rulers. Stupa 3 was originally built in the second century BC and later enlarged between the first century BC – first century AD. It is smaller in dimension than Stupa 1 but of great importance as reliquary caskets were found inside the dome inscribed with the names of two of the Buddha's foremost disciples, Shariputra and Maudgalayayana. There is only one torana from the first century AD. It consists of two square posts crowned by a group of yakshas and pot-bellied dwarfs that support a triple architrave. The relief sculptures on the architraves depict from top to bottom floral designs and fertility figures, the worship of the stupa and two Bodhi trees and the paradise of Indra. A stupa and the Wheel of Dharma are depicted on the front of the left post below which are celestial figures.