OrientationSanchi is about 40 km from Bhopal. Located in the district Raisen, the group of monuments can be spotted high atop a hill well before arriving at the actual site. Even before you enter the archaeological complex, there is the site museum at the bottom of the hill (closed Mondays ), and the Cetiyagiri Vihara, a more modern Buddhist establishment set up by a council of Sri Lankan Buuddhists. Neither requires much time or deliberation,but are necessary stops for a complete visit to the site. There is now a motarable road that leads to the parking lot and entrance to the monuments. The large number of Buddhist structures can be divided into two groups,the primary one on the hill top, and the isolated structures on the western slope of the hill.The later can be accessed by a path that starts at the back of Stupa 1 as you approach from the main gate,or from the West Gateway. This path leads visitors downhill, first to monastery 51 and then further down to Stupa 2. Below Stupa 2 is the ancient road to the structures, which would be advised against following,since it has fallen into complete disuse and there is a good chance of getting lost. At any rate, the ASI security guard at Stupa 2 will politely but firmly lead you back up to the main structures, either via the way you came or through an alternate route that leads to a set of votive stupas close to Monastery 51.
Construction & RestorationEmperor Ashoka built the great stupa and made the town of Sanchi sacred as well as popular in 3rd century BC. But a British cavalry officer rediscovered and revived the sacredness of the town in 1818. Buddhist influence over the central Indian landscape had declined by the 12th century and the stupas and other monuments slipped into obscurity. As Buddhism recessed, these architectural marvels were no more considered useful, and eventually, were completely forgotten. It was in the year 1818 that British officer General Taylor discovered the site of Sanchi. He set about restoring its glory. Between 1912 and 1919, these beautiful ancient structures were restored to their present condition under the able supervision of Sir John Marshall, Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India. Today around 50 monuments remain on the hill of Sanchi, narrating the rise and fall of Buddhist art and architecture.
Sanchi Stupas, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must visit for traveler to Madhya Pradesh
Sanchi Stupas is an all season destination, although the “Light & Sound Show” may be discontinued in the rainy season
Sanchi is easily approachable from Bhopal
Although Sanchi can be visited as a day trip from Bhopal, still the recommended accommodations in Sanchi is MPT Highway Treat & MPT Jungle Resort at Udaygiri
Sanchi Stupas are a paradise for the connoisseurs of Heritage
Vidisha, which hosts the Heliodorous Pillar & Udaygiri caves are not to be missed while visiting Sanchi
The best time to visit Sanchi is between Sept to March.
How to Reach Sanchi
Nearest airport is in Bhopal city, the Raja Bhoj airport. Sanchi is 55 km north-east of Bhopal airport, which is well-connected with other airports like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Raipur and Delhi.
The nearest railhead is Bhopal, which is also an important junction of the West Central Railways. It is also the terminus of the Shatabdi Express, which shuttles daily between Delhi and Bhopal. Various express trains ply between Bhopal and cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Agra, Gwalior, Jhansi and Ujjain. One can reach Bhopal by train and avail a bus / car from there for Sanchi.
Sanchi is at a convenient distance from places like Bhopal (46 km), Vidisha (10 km) and Indore (232 km). Various tour operators provide private taxis and cabs.
Tour Packages for Sanchi
We offer all travel advise & logistical support regarding the air & train connections,transfers as well as accommodations.