Some of the important monuments in Sanchi are: - The Great Stupa No.1- 36.5mts in diameter and 16.4 mts high it is one of the oldest stone structures in India. With a massive hemispherical dome, the stupa stands majestically. The paved procession path around it has become smooth by centuries of pilgrim's visit. Built originally as an earthen stupa by the Emperor Ashoka, it was rebuilt in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC.
The last of the additions to this remarkable stupa are the elaborate and richly carved four gateways or Toranas. The first of the four gateways to be erected was the one at the Southern Entrance, followed, in chronological order by the Northern, the Eastern and the Western Gateways.
The Southern Gateway: Reveals the birth of Gautum in a series of dramatically rich carvings. The southern Gateway: crowned by a wheel of law, illustrates the miracle associated with the Buddha as told in the Jataka tales. The Eastern Gateway, depicts the young prince, Gautam, leaving his father's place, renouncing worldly life to seek enlightenment .The inner face of the right pillar portrays the dream of Maya, the mother of Buddha, when she conceived him.
The Western Gateway depicts the Seven incarnations of the Buddha, four represented by trees and three by stupas; the Buddha preaching his first sermon at the Deer Park, Sarnath and the Chhaddanta Jataka tale.