Left to Right: East gate (Toran) of the stupa; Detail of one
of the murals; West toran of the Stupa; Statue of Budhdha at
the east toran.
Located in Madhya Pradesh,
Sanchi is a small village to the north east of Bhopal. It has
many stupas which are surrounded by the torans, each
representing Love, Peace, Trust and courage.
The 'Great Stupa' at Sanchi was originally commissioned by the
emperor Ashoka the Great in the third century BCE. Its nucleus
was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics
of the Buddha. It was crowned by the chhatra, a parasol-like
structure symbolising high rank, which was intended to honour
and shelter the relics.
Pachmarhi is Madhya Pradesh is famous for its lush green forests
and the cave shelters in the Mahadeo Hills that are
astonishingly rich in rock paintings. Most of these have been
placed in the period 500-800 AD, but the earliest paintings are
an estimated 10,000 years old.