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Sanchi is famous throughout the world for stupas, monolithic Asokan pillars, temples, monasteries and sculptural wealth. The Great Stupa at Sanchi was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BC. Its nucleus is a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. It is crowned by the chatra, a parasol-like structure symbolizing high rank, which is intended to honor and shelter the relics. The exquisite carvings of the doorway depict in detail the significant episodes and miracles from Lord Buddha’s life. Additionally, a large number of the earliest known stone sculptures in India have been collected in the Sanchi Museum. Caskets, pottery, parts of the Toranas (ornamental gateways) and statues of a Yakshi and a Buddha carved in red sandstone are all preserved in the museum. The famous Ashok Lion Capital which was later adopted as the National Emblem of India is also kept in the museum.



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