Museum of Archaeology Sanchi

Museum of Archaeology Sanchi
Vital Information for Visitors

Museum of Archaeology, Sanchi, NH-86, District Raisen, Madhya Pradesh

Open & Close:

Open on all days except Friday
10:00 AM to 05:00 PM

Entry Fee:

Indian – INR 30 pp
Foreigner – INR 250 pp


1- 2 Hours


Ancient artefacts related to Buddhism of Mauryan era

Sanchi is a prime tourist destination in Madhya Pradesh for the Buddhist pilgrims and students of art, architecture and archaeology. The early Buddhist tradition was centred in the stupa, or relic mound and was the chief object of worship by the Buddhists. In Sanchi, besides the great Stupa, the low stone hill is strewn with remains of temples, monasteries and stupas. It was selected as an aristic site by Asoka probably because his wife Devi happened to be born at Vidisa (Bhilsa) five miles from Sanchi. The fame of Sanchi rests above all on the four intricately curved gate-ways (torana) around the main stupa. These are completely covered with a magnificent series of sculptures in relief. They depict not only religious stories about Buddha and others but also the secular life of the times. The whole contemporary ancient world of city, village and wilderness lives again in these sculptures. Great realism tinged with moral appeal is the characteristic feature of the sculptures.

Keeping in view the significance of Sanchi and its monuments,Museum of Archaeology in Sanchi was created by Sir John Marshall, the then Director-General of Archaeology in India, by housing on the spot the smaller antiquities recovered during the excavation and conservation of the site. The sculptures and other architectural pieces that could not be preserved in site were arranged in the Sanchi Archaeological Museum under the personal supervision of Sir John Marshall who made over the Sanchi Museum to the newly created Archaeological Department of the Bhopal State in 1919 AD. In July, 1953, the Central Circle of the Department of Archaeology was formed and the Museum of Archaeology in Sanchi came under the Control of the Archaeological Department of the Government of India.

The museum consists of sculptural pieces found at Sanchi during the excavations and from the immediate neighbourhood. The collections include carvings from the Mauryan to the medieval period and also the Asokan capital, gateway and railing fragments, casts of the Sanchi relic caskets, pottery, agricultural implements, household and monastic utensils of iron, bronze and copper, terracottas and coins. The Sanchi Museum consists of a hall with open front, two adjacent rooms and a large open courtyard in all of which the exhibits are displayed. The custodian of monuments explains the monuments and the material in the museum to those who seek his aid. The labels are in English & Hindi as visitors come not only from India but from all over the world.

Though the Indian visitors keep visiting the Sanchi Museum throughout the year but during winter season a large number of foreign tourists reach here. The museum building is fairly adequate and the smaller antiquities are displayed in cases in the adjacent rooms. Sentinels of the museum live in the area and look after the museum. The services of the Archaeological Chemist in India are available when chemical treatment is required. The collections are mainly acquired by exploration and excavation. It is proposed to extend the museum and exhibit some more antiquities.

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