|Northern Gateway, Exterior
I didn't get good photos of the exterior either in 1989 or in 2005, because I was there in winter both times, and the angle of the sun didn't allow it. Here's a segment of the gateway showing a yakshi leaning against a tree, but this figure has none of the grace found in the yakshi sculpture in Sanchi's eastern gateway.
As at the eastern gateway, the pillars here are supported by elephants.
|This image from shows the miracle of
Shravasti, in which the Buddha (here shown as a stupa) projected multiple
images of himself and then flew in the air; both of these miracles were done as
proof of his spiritual attainment. The people of Shravasti were duly
impressed, and became his disciples.
One of the interesting things about Sanchi is what it shows about life at the time, and here below the Buddha is a well-documented troupe of musicians playing drums, pipes, horns (a special type known as a nagphani or snake's hood, hence the depiction), and various other instruments.
|This scene depicts a story in which a monkey
offered honey to the Buddha--yet another sign of his dominion over all things.
The Buddha is present here as the tree, before which the three devotees at the
lower left are prostrating themselves with folded hands. This is one
of eight important events in the Buddha's life (recorded on a sculpture at the
Art Institute of Chicago); Mitra (1965: 38) reports that this took place at
|The local sign board reports that this is the Buddha's descent from the Tushita
heaven to take birth as Prince Siddhartha. The Buddha is
visible as the tree in the lower left, attended above by a legion of celestial
beings who are throwing flower garlands upon the earth in celebration. The
king and queen are under the royal umbrella, the queen has her hand raised to
grip a tree branch (according to tradition the queen delivered the future Buddha
while holding onto a tree branch for support, so here the tree serves both
Mitra (1965: 36) gives a different interpretation; that this shows the Buddha's return to parents' house at Kapilavastu to preach a sermon there.
On to Next Page (Northern Gateway, Interior)
|Introduction||East Gate: Exterior / Interior||West Gate: Exterior / Interior||Final Shots|
|South Gate: Exterior / Interior||North Gate: Exterior / Interior|
These pages are in progress.
Page maintained by James G. Lochtefeld.
Last modified 27 December 2005