Sanchi is a small village in India, located 46 km north east of Bhopal, and 10 km from Besnagar and Vidisha in the central part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the location of several Buddhist monuments, dating from the third century BCE to the twelfth century CE.
The 'Great Stupa' at Sanchi was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka the Great in the third century BCE. Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. It was crowned by the chhatra, a parasol-like structure symbolising high rank, which was intended to honour and shelter the relics (Dehejia 1997).
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