SANCHI: Sanchi, 52 km from Bhopal and 10 km from Vidisha railway station, is a serene hill crowned by a group of stupas, monasteries, temples and pillars dating from 3rd Century BC to the 12th Century AD. The glory that was Sanchi, an ancient seat of Buddhist learning and place of pilgrimage, can still be experienced in its complex structures where many Buddhist legends found expression in the rich sculpture.
Sanchi is little more than a small village at the foot of the hill on which the site is located. The Buddhist sites of Sanchi were included on the World heritage List in 1989.
The Buddha is not represented through figures at Sanchi, but through symbols, as was the tradition in the early period of Buddhism. The lotus represents the Buddha's birth, the tree signifies his enlightenment, the wheel represents his first sermon and the stupa represents his nirvana or salvation. The footprints and the throne denote the Buddha's presence.