Sānchi monastery, (near) Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, IN

Raw data

The largest stupa in India. The original stupa was built to house relics of the Buddha probably in the century after the Buddha. Located near Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. The stupa and nearby monateries were in active use from about 450 BCE until the 12th century. There are remains of five monasteries on the site, dating from the 4th century to the 12th century.
See D.C. Ahir, Buddhist Sites and Shrines in India: History, Art and Architecture (Delhi: Inian Books Centre, 2003) p.160.

There are a host of donative inscriptions at the Sanchi site. Many of them give the home city or village of the donor. Unfortunately, most of these sites are no longer locatable. The conspicuous exception is the city of Ujjein in western Madhya Pradesh about 100 miles west of Sanchi, from which many of the donation came.
See G. Buhler, "Votative inscriptions from the stupas at Sanchi", Epigraphia Indica, II, 1894, 87 - 115, 386 - 407.
Src: IN
Input by: SG , Mar 29, 2009

There are four donative inscriptions that connect Sanchi with Maheshwar (then known as Mahisati or Mahismati), an important trading city on the banks of the Narmada between Sanchi and the western port city of Bharuch.
See Lueders List of Brahmi inscriptions, issued as an Appendix to volume X of Epigrahia Indica (1912), nos. 375, 497, 498, 501.

"The renowned monastic complex at Sāñcī in Madhya Pradesh was located near ancient Vidiśā, an important trading centre as early as the time of Sākyamuni Buddha himself.' - Huntington & Chandrasekhar (2000:56)

"The Hill of Sanchi is situated about nine kilometers southwest of Vidisha in Madhaya Pradesh, India. Crowning the hilltop of Sanchi nearly ninty-one metres in height, a group of Buddhist monuments commands a grand view even from a distance. It is unique not only in its having the most perfect and well-preserved stupas but also in its offering a wide and educative field for the study of the genesis, efflorescence and decay of Buddhist art and architecture for a period of about thirteen hundred years, from the third century B.C. to the twelfth century, A.D., almost covering the whole range of Indian Buddhism. This is rather surprising, for Sanchi was not hallowed by any incident in Buddha's life; not is it known to have been the focus of any significant event in the history of Buddhist monachism. Hiuen Tsang, who so meticulously recorded the details connected with Buddhist monuments, is silent about it. The only possible reference to it is contained in the chronicles of Sri Lanka, according to which Mahendra, son of Asoka and his queen Devi, daughter of a merchant of Vidisa, (modern Besnagar near Bhilsa or Vidisha) whom Asoka had married during his halt there on his way to Ujjayani as a viceroy, is said to have visited his mother at Vidisa, and the latter took him up to the beautiful monastery of Vedisagiri built by herself. Mahendra had stayed there for a month before he set out for Sri Lanka."

Sanchi, India Page
Other names: Sānchi
World:India:State of Madhya Pradesh
Latitude 23.4833 Longitude 77.7333

Vidisha, India Page
Other names: Bhīlsa,Bhilsa
World:India:State of Madhya Pradesh
Latitude 23.5333 Longitude 77.8167

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 12 Jul 2014

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Sanchi monastery, IN.

General location of the Sanchi monastery, IN.
Lat 23.4810 Long 77.7400
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2009.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Sānchi monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • India:State of Madhya Pradesh

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • Sāñcī monastery - Huntington & Chandrasekhar (2000:56)
  • Cetiyagiri - Dutt (1962:221)
  • Kakanada - Dutt (1962:221)

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 23.4810 Long 77.7400 based on the visual identification of Sanchi World heritage site in maps, maps.google.com - tmciolek, 25 Jun 2010.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • [missing data]

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • 450 BC - Ahir (2003:160)

MBM chrono-tag: <=0200 - tmciolek 12  Jul 2014
<=0200 0200-32c 0233-66c 0267-99c 0300-32c 0333-66c 0367-99c 0400-32c 0433-66c 0467-99c 0500-32c 0533-66c 0567-99c 0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66c 0967-99c 1000-32c 1033-66c 1067-99c 1100-32c 1133-66p dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • 300s AD - Ahir (2003:160)

13. Date-late

  • 1100s AD - Ahir (2003:160)

MBM chrono-tag: 1133-66p - tmciolek 12  Jul 2014

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • archaeological, architectural

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

end of page

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License