Stupa of Kakanaya

Few of you must be thinking , where is Kakanaya?   It is believed that present village Kanakheda orgin can be traced from ancient nama of Kakanaya (or Kakanava).

It is believed that great Emperor Ashoka when appointed as the Viceroy of Ujjain was passing through VIDISHA ( Besnagar, Vaishyanagar) and he halted here. Later he married DEVI ( daughter of merchant of Vidisha). Queen Devi never visited Pataliputra and stayed at Besnagar only. This marriage alongwith the Emperor ashok embracing budhdhism, led to origin os this beautiful stupa at Chaityagiri (Sanchi Knoll). So now u can guess…Kakanaya is ancient name of Sanchi.

Sanchi on the cross roads of two trade routes and on the confluence of river Betwa and Bes (Besnagar may be linked with this river name also), with  serene and calm environment was the ideal location for the Monastry and Stupa.

It is said that Sanchi stupa is unique in the sense that it is most perfect and well preserved stupa in India. The monuments at Sanchi depict the origin, growth and decline of budhdhist art and architecture over a period of 1300 years.

It was King Ashoka who laid down the foundation of this great Stupa and erected a monolithic pillar. After the Mauryan Empire, during the rein of Sungas, there was stone encasing, erection of balustrades around its ground and berms. But it was during the rule of Satavahanas  that the elaborately carved gateways were added to Stupas (The great Stupa of Sanchi is also known as Stupa-1. There are many stupas at Sanchi).

All the gateways, of the Great Stupa were built Around the 1 century BC.  There are four gateways, while the southern one is most damaged and the northern one is best preserved.

Each Gatway has two square pillars crowned with the four set of lions/elephants/dwarf s supporting the superstructure of three curviform architraves.

The subject matter of carvings on the gateways may be broadly devided into –

Scenes from theJatakas

Scenes from Budhdha’s life

Events in the subsequent history of Budhdhiasm

Scenes relating to Manusi Budhdhs

Miscellaneous scenes and decorations


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mike
    Sep 17, 2011 @ 09:27:36

    Good shots – the first one is most interesting – looks like someone removed the head? It’s sad to see art vandalized but it makes for a great image.


  2. Alok Verma
    Sep 17, 2011 @ 12:50:15

    These sculptures date back to around 1st Century BC and from 14th century BC , this monument was left deserted and unnoticed. It came into public notice only in 1818 when General Taylor discovered the ruins.


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