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BHARHUT (Hindi: भरहुत) is a village located in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
, central India
India
. It is known for its famous relics from a Buddhist
Buddhist
stupa . The Bharhut
Bharhut
sculptures represent some of the earliest examples of Indian and Buddhist
Buddhist
art, now located in the Indian Museum
Indian Museum
in Kolkota
Kolkota
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Bharhut
Bharhut
stupa

* 1.1 Structure * 1.2 Excavation

* 2 As representative of early Indian art * 3 Inscriptions * 4 Gallery * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 External links

BHARHUT STUPA

STRUCTURE

The Bharhut
Bharhut
stupa, depicted on one of the friezes.

The Bharhut
Bharhut
stupa may have been first built by the Maurya
Maurya
king Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE, but many works of art, particularly the gateway and railings, were apparently added during the Shunga period, with many friezes from the 2nd century BCE.

The central stupa was surrounded by a stone railing and four Torana gates, in an arrangement similar to that of Sanchi
Sanchi
. A large part of the railing has been recovered, but only one of the four torana gates remains.

An epigraph on the gateway of the stupa mentions its erection "during the supremacy of the Shungas by Vatsiputra Dhanabhuti". The expression used is "Suganam Raje", which is thought to mean "during the rule of the Sungas", although not without ambiguity.

EXCAVATION

Bharhut
Bharhut
pillar capital with rosette , beads-and-reels and palmette designs.

In 1873, Alexander Cunningham
Alexander Cunningham
visited Bharhut. The next year, he excavated the site. J. D. Beglar, Cunningham's assistant, continued the excavation and recorded the work through numerous photographs.

A pillar capital in Bharhut, dated to the 2nd century BCE during the Sunga Empire period, is an example of Bharhut
Bharhut
architecture thought to incorporate Persian and Greek styles, with recumbent animal (in the style of the Pillars of Ashoka
Ashoka
), and a central anta capital with many Hellenistic
Hellenistic
elements (rosettes , beads-and-reels ), as well as a central palmette design, in a style similar to that of the Pataliputra capital .

The complex in Bharhut
Bharhut
included a medieval temple (plate II), which contained a colossal figure of the Buddha, along with fragments of sculptures showing the Buddha
Buddha
with images of Brahma, Indra etc. Beglar also photographed a 10th-century Buddhist
Buddhist
Sanskrit inscription, about which nothing is now known.

The ruined stupa—nothing but foundations of the main structure (see Gallery)—is still in Bharhut; however, the gateways and railings have been dismantled and reassembled at the Indian Museum
Indian Museum
, Kolkata. They contain numerous birth stories of the Buddha
Buddha
's previous lives, or Jataka
Jataka
tales. Many of them are in the shape of large, round medallions. Two of the panels are at the Smithsonian
Smithsonian
.

AS REPRESENTATIVE OF EARLY INDIAN ART

Relief from Bharhut.

In conformity with the early aniconic phase of Buddhist
Buddhist
art , the Buddha
Buddha
is only represented through symbols, such as the Dharma wheel , the Bodhi tree
Bodhi tree
, an empty seat, footprints, or the triratana symbol.

The style represents the earliest phase of Indian art, and all characters are depicted wearing the Indian dhoti , except for one foreigner thought to be an Indo-Greek soldier, with Buddhist symbolism. The Bharhut
Bharhut
carvings are slightly earlier than the Sanchi carvings and the earlier Ajanta frescos.

An unusual feature of the Bharhut
Bharhut
panels is the inclusion of text in the narrative panels, often identifying the individuals.

INSCRIPTIONS

The inscriptions found at Bharhut
Bharhut
are of considerable significance in tracing the history of early Indian Buddhism
Buddhism
and Buddhist
Buddhist
art. 136 inscriptions mention the donors. These include individuals from Vidisha , Purika (a town somewhere in the Vindhya mountains) , Pataliputra
Pataliputra
( Bihar
Bihar
), Karhad ( Maharashtra
Maharashtra
), Bhojakata ( Vidarbha
Vidarbha
, eastern Maharashtra), Kosambi ( Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
), and Nasik (Maharashtra). 82 inscriptions serve as labels for panels depicting the Jatakas , the life of the Buddha
Buddha
, former Manushi Buddhas , other stories and Yakshas and Yakshinis.

GALLERY

*

Excavation of the rail, East Gateway. *

Bharhut
Bharhut
excavation *

Medieval Buddha
Buddha
image *

The descent of Buddha
Buddha
*

Anathapindika illustration *

Vedika pillar with Greek warrior. Bharhut, Madhya Pradesh, Shunga Period, c.100-80BC. Reddish brown sandstone. Indian Museum
Indian Museum
, Calcutta *

Second view of pillar, possibly Indo-Greek, with flowing headband, tunic, and Buddhist
Buddhist
triratana symbol on his sword. Bharhut, 2nd century BC. *

Yakshi reliefs. Bharhut, 2nd century BCE. *

The Yaksha
Yaksha
relief at Bharhut
Bharhut
being worshipped as Hanuman
Hanuman
by local villagers *

The ruined Bharhut
Bharhut
Stupa; seen behind it is the Lal Pahadi (Red Mountain) *

Inscriptions *

Inscriptions *

Inscriptions *

Inscriptions *

East gateway and railings reassembled at the Indian Museum, Kolkata. *

Railing section at Indian Museum
Indian Museum
*

Railing section at Indian Museum
Indian Museum
*

East gateway with railings at Indian Museum
Indian Museum
*

Bharhut
Bharhut
pillar capital.

SEE ALSO

Pilgrimage to

Buddha's Holy Sites

THE FOUR MAIN SITES

* Bodh Gaya
Bodh Gaya
* Kushinagar
Kushinagar
* Lumbini
Lumbini
* Sarnath
Sarnath

FOUR ADDITIONAL SITES

* Rajgir
Rajgir
* Sankassa * Shravasti * Vaishali

OTHER SITES

* Amaravathi * Chandavaram * Devadaha
Devadaha

* Gaya * Kapilavastu * Kesaria

* Kosambi * Nalanda
Nalanda
* Pataliputra
Pataliputra

* Pava * Varanasi
Varanasi

LATER SITES

* Ajanta Caves
Ajanta Caves
* Barabar Caves
Barabar Caves
* Bharhut

* Ellora Caves
Ellora Caves
* Lalitgiri * Mathura
Mathura

* Pandavleni Caves
Pandavleni Caves
* Piprahwa * Ratnagiri

* Sanchi
Sanchi
* Udayagiri * Vikramashila

* v * t * e

* Sanchi
Sanchi
* Deorkothar

NOTES

* ^ Marshall, John (1918). "An Historical and Artistic Description of Sanchi
Sanchi
(pp. 7-29)". A Guide to Sanchi. Calcutta: Superintendent, Government Printing. p. 11. Retrieved 29 September 2014. * ^ A B " Bharhut
Bharhut
Gallery". INC-ICOM Galleries. Indian National Committee of the International Council of Museums. Retrieved 29 September 2014. * ^ Between the Empires: Society in India
India
300 BCE to 400 CE by Patrick Olivelle * ^ Cunningham, Sir Alexander (1879). The Stûpa of Bharhut: a Buddhist
Buddhist
monument ornamented with numerous sculptures illustrative of Buddhist
Buddhist
legend and history in the third century B.C. London: W. H. Allen . * ^ Early Buddhist
Buddhist
Narrative Art by Patricia Eichenbaum Karetzky p.16 * ^ Early Byzantine Churches in Macedonia & Southern Serbia by R.F. Hoddinott p.17 * ^ The East: Buddhists, Hindus and the Sons of Heaven, Architecture in context II, Routledge, 2015, by Christopher Tadgell p.24 * ^ India
India
Archaeological Report, Cunningham, p185-196 * ^ Age of the Nandas and Mauryas by Kallidaikurichi Aiyah Nilakanta Sastri p.376 sq * ^ "General view of remains of Buddhist
Buddhist
temple of later date than the Stupa, Bharhut". Online Gallery. British Library
British Library
. Retrieved 29 September 2014. * ^ "Photograph of a slab with a Buddhist
Buddhist
sanskrit inscription". Online Gallery. British Library
British Library
. Retrieved 29 September 2014. * ^ A B "The Art of Buddhism". The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery . Smithsonian
Smithsonian
Institution . 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2014. * ^ "The Diffusion of Classical Art in Antiquity, John Boardman, 1993, p.112 * ^ A B Luders, H.; Waldschmidt, E.; Mehendale, M. A., eds. (1963). " Bharhut
Bharhut
Inscriptions". Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum. II. Ootacamund : Archaeological Survey of India
India
. * ^ Faces of Power: Alexander's Image and Hellenistic
Hellenistic
Politics by Andrew Stewart p.180 * ^ D.N. Jha,"Early India: A Concise History"p.150, plate 17 * ^ "The Diffusion of Classical Art in Antiquity, John Boardman, 1993, p.112

EXTERNAL