The Bharhut gateway and railings
Title The Bharhut gateway and railings
Accession Number Bharhut/Gateway
Museum Name Indian Museum, Kolkata
Gallery Name Archaeology
Object Type Sculpture
Main Material Sand Stone
Country India
Provenance Bharhut, M.P
Origin Place Bharhut, M.P
Period / Year of Work Sunga, C 2nd century BCE
Dimensions Railing ht 274 cm, Gateway ht 685 cm
Brief Description The Gateway and the Railing from Bharhut was brought to the Indian Museum by General Cunningham in 1875. The magnificent Gateway is composed of two pillars. The pillars bear lotus shaped bell capitals crowned by a set of four animals, two lions and two bulls with human face, seated back to back. The capitals support a superstructure of three carved architraves with volute ends, and between the architraves are inserted short uprights to keep them in position. The entire conception of the Railing and the Gateway strongly suggests that they must have been copied from wooden prototypes. The left pillar of the Gateway bears inscription in Brahmi character. There are also a large number of votive inscriptions engraved on the Railing recording short titles of the reliefs (Jatakas etc.) carved on it and the names of the individual donors who provided funds for the construction of the different parts. The Railings and Gateways were profusely decorated with bas-relief, which served a double purpose, namely to beautify the monument and also to inspire a deep religious feeling in the minds of the Buddhist pilgrims.