India’s First Solar City:
Sanchi, a world heritage site located in Madhya Pradesh, is all set to become India’s first solar city.
- It is located in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh.
- It lies in an upland plateau region just west of the Betwa River.
- Sanchi is a religious place with historical and Archaeological significance.
- It has India’s best-preserved group of Buddhist monuments, collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1989.
- The site of Sanchi comprises a group of Buddhist monuments (monolithic pillars, palaces, temples and monasteries), all in different states of conservation, most of which date back to the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.
- It is the oldest Buddhist sanctuary in existence and was a major Buddhist centre in India until the 12th century A.D.
- The most prominent stupa found here is the Sanchi Stupa, also known as the Great Stupa.
- Other remains at the site include several smaller stupas, an assembly hall (chaitya), an Ashokan pillar with inscriptions, and several monasteries (4th–11th century CE).
- Sanchi Stupa was built by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka in the third century BC.
- It enshrines religious relics or remains of the Buddha and his most revered disciples.
- It is enclosed by a massive stone railing pierced by four gateways, which are adorned with elaborate carvings (known as Sanchi sculpture).
- The stupa itself consists of a base bearing a hemispherical dome (anda), symbolizing the dome of heaven enclosing the earth.