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सांची एक ऐसी जगह है जो इतिहास के प्रेमियों के साथ-साथ प्रकृति प्रेमियों के लिए भी है। सांची केवल को समर्पित नहीं है यहां जैन और हिन्दु धर्म से सम्बंधित साक्ष्य मौजूद हैं। मौर्य और गुप्तों के समय के व्यापारिक मार्ग में स्थित होने के कारण इसकी महत्ता बहुत थी और आज भी है। सांची अपने आंचल में बहुत सारा इतिहास समेटे हुए है।
विदिशा जिले से मात्र दस किमी दूर स्थित सांची अपने प्रसिद्ध है। यह यूनेस्को के विश्व विरासत स्थल में शामिल है। यूनेस्को ने को 1989 में विश्व विरासत स्थल घोषित किया था। सांची में तीसरी ईसा पूर्व से बारहवी शताब्दी तक चलता रहा। सांची को काकनाय, बेदिसगिरि, चैतियागिरि आदि नामों से जाना जाता था। सांची में एक पहाड़ी पर स्थित यह एक कॉम्पलेक्स है जहां चैत्य, विहार, स्तूप और मंदिरों को देखा जा सकता है। यह हैरानी का विषय है कि भारत के सबसे पुराने मंदिरों में से कुछ मंदिर यहां है।
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इन स्तूपों का निर्माण सांची में ही क्यों? इसके पीछे कुछ कारण है, जिसमें एक कारण की पत्नी महादेवी सांची से ही थी और उनकी इच्छानुसार यह स्तूप सांची में बनाए गए। एक कारण यह हो सकता है कि मौर्यकाल में विदिशा एक समृद्ध और व्यापारिक नगर था और उसके निकट यह स्थान बौद्ध भिक्षुओं की साधना के लिए अनुकूल थी। इन सबसे अलग सर्वमान्य तथ्य यह है कि कलिंग युद्ध की भयानक मारकाट के बाद अशोक ने कभी न युद्ध करने का निर्णय लिया। इस युद्ध अशोक ने बौद्ध धर्म स्वीकार कर लिया। उसने पूरे भारत में स्तूपों का निर्माण कराया जिनमें से सांची भी एक था।
सांची स्तूप में स्तूप क्रमांक एक सबसे बड़ा स्तूप है। इस स्तूप का निर्माण सम्राट अशोक ने करवाया था। इस स्तूप का आकार उल्टे कटोरे की जैसा है। इसके शिखर पर तीन छत्र लगे हुए है जो कि महानता को दर्शाता है। यह स्तूप गौतम बुद्ध के सम्मान में बनाया गया। इस स्तूप में प्रस्तर की परत और रेलिंग लगाने का कार्य शुंग वंश के राजाओं ने किया। इस स्तूप में चार द्वार बने हुए है जिनका निर्माण सातवाहन राजाओं ने करवाया था। इन द्वारों पर जातक और अलबेसंतर की कथाएं को दर्शाया गया है। इस स्तूप की पूर्व दिशा में स्तूप क्रमांक तीन है जो बिल्कुल साधारण है। सांची में कुल मिलाकर बड़े छोटे 40 स्तूप हैं।Image result for sanchi stupa image download
स्तूप क्रमांक एक की पश्चिम दिशा में मंदिर क्रमांक 17 है जिसके अब केवल पिलर ही बचे है। इस मंदिर का आधार सम्राट अशोक के द्वारा तैयार किया था। मंदिर क्रं 17 के बाई ओर एक मंदिर है जो कि पूर्ण विकसित है। इस मंदिर में जैन तीर्थंकर की मूर्ति भी स्थापित है। यह दोनों मंदिर गुप्तकालीन है। स्तूप क्रं एक के पश्चिमी द्वार के पास कभी पिलर पर अशोक स्तंभ स्थापित था। जिसका अब खंड़न हो चका है, इसका निचला सिरा पिलर मौजूद है जबकि अशोक स्तंभ सांची संग्रहालय में रखा हुआ है। यह पिलर बहुत चिकना है, जिसके बारे में कहा जाता है कि इस पर पॉलिश की गई है जो शुंगवंश के शासकों ने करवाई थी।
स्तूप क्रं एक से थोड़ी दूर मंदिर क्रंमाक 40 स्थित है। इस मंदिर का अब अवशेष मात्र ही रह गया है। इस जगह पर केवल पिलर ही दिखाई देते हैं। यह मंदिर आग से जलने के कारण बर्बाद हो गया। इस मंदिर के थोड़ी आगे नागर शैली में मंदिर दिखाई देते है जो कि जैन को समर्पित है।
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स्तूप क्रमांक एक की उत्तर दिशा में सीढ़ियों से नीचे उतरकर स्तूप क्रमांक दो में पहुंचा जा सकता है। यह स्तूप उल्टे कटोरे के आकार का बना हुआ है। इस स्तूप के शिखर पर केवल एक छत्र लगा हुआ है। स्तूप क्रमांक दो से ही गौतम बुद्ध के दो सारिपुत्त और महामोदगलायन शिष्यों की अस्थियां मिली थी। इन अस्थियों को अब महाबोधि सोसाइटी के चैत्य में रखा गया है। प्रत्येक वैशाख पूर्णिमा को इन अस्थियों को दर्शनार्थ रखा जाता है। स्तूप क्रमांक दो जाने के मार्ग में एक विशाल विहार मिलता है जो की सांची का सबसे विशाल विहार है।
Image result for sanchi stupa image download
जिस अवस्था में आज स्तूप दिखाई दे रहे है वास्तव में ऐसे नहीं थे। 13 वीं शताब्दी से 17 वीं शताब्दी तक इनकी देखरेख न होने से और आक्रमणकर्त्ताओँ के आक्रमण से स्तूप खंड़हर में बदल गए। 1818 में जनरल टेलर ने इस जगह की खोज की तथा सर्वें किया। 1851 में अलेक्जेण्डर कनिंघम ने उत्खनन कार्य किया। सर जॉन मार्शल ने 1912-19 तक उत्खनन किया तथा सांची को आज के स्वरूप में लाने का श्रेय सर जॉन मार्शल को जाता है। उत्खनन से प्राप्त सामग्रियों को सांची के संग्रहालय में रखा गया है जिसका नाम जॉन मार्शल के नाम पर रखा गया है।
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