variously known as Kakanaya, Kakanava, Kakanadabota and Bota-Sriparvata
in ancient times, has a singular distinction of having remarkable
specimen of Buddhist art and architecture right from the early Mauryan
period (c. 3rd century BC to 12th century AD).
Sanchi is famous in the world for Stupas, monolithic Asokan pillar,
temples, monasteries and sculptural wealth. During Sunga times, several
edifices were raised at Sanchi and its surrounding hills. The Ashokan
Stupa was enlarged and faced with stones and decorated with Blustrades,
staircase and a Harmika on the top. The reconstruction of Temple 40 and
erection of Stupas 2 and 3 also seem to date back around the same time.
In the first century BC the Andhra-Satavahanas, who had extended their
sway over the eastern Malwa, caused the elaborately carved gateways to
Stupa 1. From the second to fourth century AD Sanchi and Vidisha came
under the Kushanas and Kshatrapas and subsequently passed on to the
hands of the Guptas. During the Gupta period some temples were built and
sculptures were added. Shrines and monasteries were also constructed in
the Sanchi during seventh and twelfth centuries AD.
Since the fourteenth century Sanchi stupa remained deserted and uncared
for till 1818 when General Taylor rediscovered the site, Sir John
Marshall, established an archaeological museum in 1919, which was later
transformed into the present site museum at Sanchi.
Presently under an UNESCO project Sanchi and Satdhara, a Buddhist site,
10 km southeast of Sanchi, is being further excavated, conserved and