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Notes on the Geography of Peninsular India: Sanchi: Photo 4

world pictures Peninsular India: Sanchi

The glories of the stupa are its four toranas or gateways.  These were added late in the first century B.C., when Sanchi had fallen to the Andhra or Satavahana kings.  The four are cardinally oriented and all generally similar, with triple architraves.  They're also profusely ornamented.

We're looking south here, so the pillar on the left here can be described as the front side of the east pillar of the north gateway.  So it was described by John Marshall and Alfred Foucher in their massive three-volume Monuments of Sanchi (1940).  In this northern gate, the top two architraves identify the seven Buddhas of this eon (the manushi Buddhas).  The bottom architrave illustrates the Vessantara jataka, a story of a bodhisattva banished for his generosity. 

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