The Great Stupa from the north-west during repairs, Sanchi, Bhopal State
Photographer: Dayal, Deen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the stupa of sanchi, with the north gateway at the left and the scaffolding visible on the south side, taken during the reconstruction works from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections by Deen Dayal in 1881. 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 BC from the time of the Buddhist emperor Ashoka Maurya. Four elaborately carved gateways were added to the stupa during the 1st Century BC. General Taylor encountered the stupa at Sanchi in1818, making him the first European to discover this Buddhist monument. H.H. Cole, then Curator of Ancient Monuments in India, wrote in 1885, 'In March 1881...the Supreme Government furnished a sum of Rupees 2,000 for preliminary operations, and jungle was removed from the several ruins on the Sanchi hill, the carved stone fragments were collected, the great breach made in 1822 repaired, creepers removed from the face of the mound, and the shaft that had been sunk in the tope filled in.'