The British major had ridden for days from Allahabad while on his way to Nagpur and had arrived in the small village of Bharhut just before sunset. That evening while resting in a villager’s house he noticed some carved stones paving the floor and suspected that they had been taken from some ancient structure. Inquiring about this he learned from his host that there was a half-buried ruin a little beyond the eastern edge of the village. So in the morning, the major went to have a look at this overgrown mound of bricks and stone. The time was November 1873, the major was Alexander Cunningham, and he was about to stumble upon one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever made in India and one that is a testimony to the artistic genius of the early Buddhists.