The Sanchi stupa captures the journey to enlightenment

May 05, 2020

Destinations :: Sanchi

The Sanchi Stupa is more than a reliquary preserving the remains of Buddhist teachers and Buddhism. It shows the journey to enlightenment.


Traditionally, stupas do hold relics of Buddha or influential Buddhist monks. But at the same time, these structures also explain how Buddha achieved enlightenment, freeing himself from the cycle of life and death.


The Stupa consists of a base bearing a hemispherical dome (anda), symbolizing the dome of heaven enclosing the earth. It is surmounted by a squared rail unit (harmika) representing the world mountain, from which rises a mast (yashti), symbolizing the cosmic axis. The mast bears umbrellas (chatras) that represent the various heavens (devaloka).