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Sanchi Stupas

Sanchi Car RentalIntroduction
Sanchi is a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site. It is locate at 55 kms north-east of Bhopal city. Sanchi is a excavated site which remained abandoned for many centuries. As per available records, it was rediscovered by British India officer General Taylor in 1818 but actual restoration work was initiated from 1912 to 1919 under the supervision of Sir John Marshall. In year 1989, Sanchi was declared as UNESCO World Heritage site. It has the most prefect and well preserved stupas, not visible anywhere in India. These monuments are the record the genesis, efflorescence and decay of ancient Buddhist art. It shows the timeline of art and architecture of period of 1300 years, from the 3rd BC to 12th century AD. Here structures are developed in phases during different dynasties rules in Central India. Sanchi stupas are mainly built during Maurya dynasty rule by Ashoka. When construction begin in Sanchi, during 3rd century BCE, Ashoka was in-charge of this region but not attained the emperor-ship. Here, "Great Stupa" of Sanchi is considered as the oldest stone structure in India. This stupa is built over the relics of Buddha. Excavation work in this site is still incomplete so we exactly cannot say about the time when last building work carried out at this site but as per current findings, construction work was carried out till 12th century. Tourists from all over the world visits Sanchi during Buddhist tour of India or Central India tour. Here tourist attractions includes stupas, temple ruins, Sanchi Museum, Mahabodhi temple etc. We offer travel services for Sanchi tourism.

Sanchi History
The only historical reference of Sanchi comes in chronicles of Sri Lanka, Mahavamsa and Dipavamsa. As per these records in 3rd century BCE, under the rule of Mauryan emperor Bindusara, his son Ashoka (273-236 BC) was incharge of Ujjayini (today's Ujjain). During this period, he was married to daughter of a Vidisha based merchant whose name was "Devi". It made Ashoka more associated with this region. In Sanchi history, during ancient times, Sanchi was known by various names like Kakanava, Kakanaya, Kakanadabota and Bota-Sriparvata. It was Ashoka who laid the foundation of great religious establishment at Sanchi. He erected the Great Stupa (Stupa 1) of Sanchi after redistribution of Lord Buddha's mortal remains for erecting several stupas, all over the India to spread Buddhism. Ashoka chosen this spot due to many reasons like his wife Devi is from nearby town Vidisha, it was a hill-top location ensuring good visibility, confluence of Betwa and Bes rivers, lies on two important trade routes and seclusion of location is ideal for meditation practices. In addition to stupa, he also laid the monolithic Ashokan pillar. After Ashoka's time, in 2nd century BC Shung dynasty came into rule. They elaborated the construction work by making several edifices, enlargement of Ashokan Stupa, erection of balustrades, berm, stairway, harmika, building of Stupa 2 & 3, reconstruction of Temple 40. After Shung dynasty rule, Sanchi came into influence of South Indian (Andhra region) Satavahanas rulers. Beautiful and elaborately carved gateways of Stupa 1 was gifted to the world by Satavahana rulers. From 2nd to 4th century AD, Sanchi came under rule of Kushanas and Kshatrapas. They are reluctant for Buddhist art and structural development so no major activity recorded during their rule. After Kshatrapas, Gupta period came in 400 AD to 550 AD. They expressed their deep interest in Buddhism monuments development. Four Buddha's images, seated under canopies against the berm of Stupa 1 facing the 4 entrances are from same Gupta period. After fall of Gupta dynasty, only prominent ruler in Central India was Harshavardhana (590 AD - 647 AD) who came into power (606-647 AD) and gave some stability to this region. During his time, some more construction work carried out. Temple 45 was the last Buddhist temple build during 10-11th century. Last construction record was of end of 12th century. After that downfall of Sanchi begins with more Muslim invasions and fall of Buddhism in India, political instability etc. Since 14th century Sanchi remained deserted and uncared till 1818 when General Taylor rediscovered it again but then treasure hunters gave damage to monuments. Sanchi's actual revival was done by Sir John Marshall who was Director General of Archaeological Survey of India and started the planned excavation work from 1912 to 1919 AD, to restore Sanchi's glory and introduce it to world.

Sanchi Tourism
Their are 3 UNESCO world heritage sites in Madhya Pradesh. Sanchi is one among them which indicates the importance of Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh Tourism. Buddhist devotees and tourists from different countries visits Sanchi stupas site every year. It has important place in Bhopal tourism as it is considered as integral part of Bhopal sightseeing. While visiting Bhopal city, tourists visits this site. As Sanchi is close to Bhopal city, it has the advantage of Bhopal airport and Bhopal railway connectivity. It is easy to reach Sanchi by air and by train. Bhopal airport is well connected with many important cities of India. Similarly good accommodation facility is easily available in Sanchi and Bhopal. Madhya Pradesh Tourism Department have its own standard category hotel at Sanchi. In addition to this, number of accommodation options are available in Bhopal. In addition to Sanchi stupas, here tourists can visit to Sanchi ASI museum, Mahabodhi Temple, Shopping arcade, Cafeteria etc.

Sanchi Museum
While coming down from Sanchi stupas site, we will find a white building with lush green compound. It is Archaeological Survey of India site museum which is also popularly known as Sanchi Museum. It is opened in year 1912, by Sir John Marshall when planned excavation work begin at Sanchi site. Earlier it was at small place and later in year 1966, it was shifted to its current location to provide better space and arrangements for artifacts collected from Sanchi and its nearby places like Vidhsha, Gyraspur, Murelkhurd etc. Sanchi museum is closed on every Friday. Visitor have to pay a nominal fee for visiting museum and children up 12 years of age will get free entry.

Sanchi Car Rental
Sanchi has its nearest airport in Bhopal city, known as Raja Bhoj Airport. Similarly best nearby option for train connectivity is Bhopal railway station. Distance from Bhopal to Sanchi is about 55kms/01:00hrs. For further journey from Bhopal to Sanchi or Sanchi to Bhopal, we offer Sanchi car rental service in which we provide taxi pickup from Bhopal airport, Bhopal railway station or Bhopal hotel and drop to Sanchi tourist site. Similarly we provide arrange ground transfer from Sanchi to Bhopal hotel, airport or railway station. Car rental service is also available for nearby tourist destinations like Chanderi, Khajuraho, Ujjain, Indore, Pachmarhi, Mandu, Maheshwar etc.

RELATED LINKS
Sanchi Museum Tourist Attractions Distance Chart
Madhya Pradesh Tourism Khajuraho Tourism Indore Tourism

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