Bharhut is famous for the ruins of a Buddhist stupa (shrine) discovered there by Major General Alexander Cunningham in The stupa’s sculptural remains. high-definition creative commons photographs showing the extensive carving on the the remains of the Bharhut Stupa in the Indian Museum in Kolkata, together. These lotuses were part of a wish-fulfilling vine at the top of a high railing (vedika) , which enclosed the sacred precinct of the Bharhut stupa (relic mound).

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Photograph of part of a pillar excavated from the stupa at Bharhut taken by Joseph David Beglar in We cannot be sure what part of the stupa this piece came from however it was probably a section of a railing pillar.

Bharhut Stupa

The exact date that a stupa was first erected at this site is not known, however, when the railing was added in the latter half of the second century BC, Bharhut had been stupz as a Buddhist place of worship for centuries.


At the stage when this pillar was added, the stupa complex consisted of a hemispherical dome, encircled by an inner and an outer railing or vedika. Evidence from inscriptions shows that the construction of the railing was funded by donors from all over India; Bharhut was known to people from a wide geographical area. The railing depicted narratives, such as stories bharhur Buddha’s life, the purpose of which would have been stupz fold: This medallion depicts three scenes of the Mahakapi-jataka which narrates how the Bodhisattva, as king-monkey, risked his life to enable his monkey followers to escape.

Bharhut Stupa at the Indian Museum, Kolkata

The relief depicts the Bodhisattva, as monkey-king, making a bridge with bhqrhut own body to let his monkey followers escape from the king who was trying to kill them; the king and his attendants capturing the Bodhisattva falling from the tree; and the Bodhisattva, as king-monkey, preaching to the king that he shupa protect his subjects in the same way he protected his monkey followers.

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Sculpture piece excavated from the Stupa at Bharhut: Beglar, Joseph David Medium: Interactive zoomable image needs Flash. Full size printable image.

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