The beauty of Stupas attracts several people, though it is located far away from popular tourist belt. The nearest city is Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh, 45 Kilometres away. Most express train halt at Sanchi Railway Station, which is just 500 meters away from Stupa.
This world heritage site, is maintained well by Archaeological Survey on India. Early morning mist and chillness prevent people from exploring most of the locations surrounding the main Stupa.
These Buddhist monuments dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 12th century. Toranas surround the Stupa and they each represent love, peace, trust, and courage. The Great Stupa at Sanchi is the oldest stone structure in India and was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BCE. Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha.
Hindu structures were added over the following centuries until the 12th century CE. Temple 17 is probably one of the earliest Buddhist temples as it dates to the early Gupta period. It consists of a flat roofed square sanctum with a portico and four pillars. The interior and three sides of the exterior are plain and undecorated but the front and the pillars are elegantly carved, giving the temple an almost ‘classical’ appearance (Mitra 1971). With the decline of Buddhism in India, the monuments of Sanchi went out of use and fell into a state of disrepair.
Heat of sun pulls up the mist wrapping the isolated hill of Sanchi, exposing these surrounding lowlands, stretches of mustard plantations.
A British officer in 1818, General Taylor, was the first known Western historian to document (in English) the existence of Sanchi . Amateur archaeologists and treasure hunters ravaged the site until 1881, when proper restoration work was initiated. Between 1912 and 1919 the structures were restored to their present condition under the supervision of Sir John Marshall