Madhya Pradesh - Remarkable Buddhist Sites
Ever thought which Buddhist site other than the famous Sanchi stupa can be travelled in Madhya Pradesh? A place that is raw and isn’t explored much by the travellers! We have a list of some amazing places in store for you. You actually can choose a few unexplored Buddhist sites for your future bucket list.
Madhya Pradesh is notable for Buddhist pilgrimage site of Sanchi Stupa which is located 48 km from the capital city of Bhopal. It is counted amongst one of the ancient stone structures in the state commissioned by the emperor Ashoka. King Mahinda and Sanghmitra, children of Askoka were initially schooled here before they moved to Sri Lanka. There are many other hidden jewels situated within the radius of 30 km of Sanchi that offer Buddha teachings. Let’s take a quick look.
Satdhara - a significant Buddhist site
Just 9 km from the UNSECO world heritage site of Sanchi Stupas, located Satdhara. A prominent Buddhist site that has stupas, chaitya and a rock shelter painted with a picture of Buddha figure belonging to Maurya and Gupta period. Interestingly, there were found some relic caskets containing the relics of Sariputra and Mahamauglayan in Stupa no.2. It is assumed that they were the celebrated disciples of Lord Buddha.
Murelkhurd - a settlement of around 37 stupas
Also known as the Bhojpur Stupas, the Murelkhurd Stupas are sited 11 km from Sanchi. It is a settlement of 37 stupas and two Buddhist temples. One of the temples was found with a Buddha figure. These were discovered in the 19th century by a British named Major Cunningham. The stupas have had adorned relic caskets with relics of Buddhist educators and senior disciples.
Andher – a site that overlooks the glorious Murelkhurd
We cannot move ahead without mentioning the phenomenal Andher stupas that are a group of six stupas perched atop a hill, 19 km from Sanchi in Raisen district. The site overlooks the magnificent Murelkhurd Stupas. Just like other Buddhist sites, stupas here also revealed the inscribed relic caskets but surprisingly all were empty.
The astonishing site of Sonari
Another Buddhist site that can be toured is Sonari, 25 km from Sanchi. It is again a complex of stupas comprising two large and five smaller stupas. It was also discovered by a British in 1850 who later came across two boxes of relics out of which one reliquary was very ornate thus, founded its place at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Saru Maru where King Ashoka stayed for a short time
Saru Maru is a monastic compound with Buddhist caves and stupas located 80 km from Bhopal and 52 km from the world heritage site known as Bhimbetka Rock Shelters which is famous for rock paintings and caves. Saru Maru has a number of stupas and natural caves where monks lived centuries ago. There can be seen many inscriptions and drawings inside the caves. In the main cave, there are inscriptions of the emperor Ashoka that mention that he visited the site and lived here with his lady for a short time.
Deorkothar – once a centre of trade
Deorkothar is a beautiful reminder of Buddhist architecture located in Rewa district. There are over 40 remnants of stupas that can be seen at the site. The most important finding was an inscribed pillar referring the name of Acharya Dharmadeo and his three students Uttarmitra, Bhadra and Upaska who believed to have stayed here. The area around tells so many stories of old times through rock paintings. The things which were discovered from the site like terracotta toys, ear studs, beads suggest that Deorkothar must have been the active centre of trade in ancient times.
We will keep you updated with more such future travel inspirations while you stay home and safe.