In the year 1995-96, Circle of the Survey, under the direction of A.K. Sinha, assisted by Manuel Joseph, Nitin Shrivastava, K.K. Rai, C.R. Bhanarkar, took up excavation at Satdhara. Even Cunningham had reported that the main stupa at Satdhara was as big as that of Stupa No. 1 at Sanchi. However, on detailed examination, it was found that the Satdhara example contained no torana gate. Other features were found almost the same, both in dimension as well as in architectural details. It is interesting to note that the work started by the Survey in 1994 resulted in the discovery of many new stupas, thus increasing the total number to as many as forty. Besides, fourteen rectangular structures in stone were also located. The previous excavation had brought to light remains of two apsidal temples, facing each other on the east besides a number of brick structures in a very dilapidated condition on the east of the main stupa. It is pertinent to mention here that all the structures seem to have been built roughly within a span of a century, datable to circa second century BC. Out of the forty odd stupas discovered here, the main stupa was built at the highest point. Other stupas of varying dimensions were located at fairly lower levels as per the contour of the hill. The main monasteries, discovered by Cunningham were located on the west and north of Stupa-1.

Stupa-1 or the main stupa was built over a huge platform measuring 91 -90 m north-south and 32 m east-west with maximum and minimum height respectively being 1-05 m and 5-85 m, depending upon the slope of the hill.

It was decided to remove the fallen debris resting against the brick stupa scientifically to know its exact plan and the extent to which the damage has been caused to it. After removing debris, it was found that the main stupa, had concealed an earlier brick stupa, built most plausibly during the Mauryan rule, similar to Stupa 1 at Sanchi. Although, not a single railing pillar was found in situ, evidence available at the site indicated that the stupa was not only provided with a balustrade on the ground but also around the medhi (drum) and on the top, enclosing chhatravali. On the basis of shape, size and decoration of railing pillars, it was found that the ground railing had an arrangement of L-shaped gateways, similar to Stupa 2 at Sanchi, facing the four cardinal directions. Each railing pillar had a medallion in the centre and half medallions at the ends. While the ground railing was fixed right under the floor level after digging a pit, the railing at medhi had special arrangement for fixing as indicated by mortises on the slightly curved stone slabs and tenon on the - either side of the railing pillars. While the lower end of the railing pillars with tenon were meant for insertion into the mortises of the curved slabs, the upper tenon used to accommodate the coping stone. The double stair-way to approach the berm of the stupa, i.e., medhi on the west was also located. The stupa had three-tired chhatravali also enclosed within a harmika on the top as was evident from the debris of chhatravali of varying dimensions with ribs in the under side.

The main stupa having stone veneering is 33-20 m in diameter and is 13-50 m in height (extant). The diameter of the stupa excluding the medhi, which is 1 -20 m in width, is 30-8 m. The height of medhi is 3m from the ground. The width of the medhi at the top is 1 -60 m, which clearly indicated that the main stupa during the time of construction itself had started taking the shape of hemisphere even from a level below the pradakshina-patha or medhi. It was revealed that the brick stupa was 26-50m in diameter and its extant height was roughly 12 m. Very interestingly, the stupa was found raised over a 90 cm high plinth with its outer projection measuring 80 cm. Although, it would be still premature to state that the brick stupa had diminishing terraces at intervals as one goes up, traces of the same were visible, when looked at carefully. However, the exact position will be known only after the removal of undisturbed veneering stones and the packing of stone mixed with mud resting directly against the brick stupa. Another significant evidence which could be traced on plan was the existence of 90 cm wide pradakshina-patha all around the brick stupa at ground level. The bricks used in the construction measure 40x40 cm and the courses were found set in mud-mortar. In a large-scale excavation at Monastery 1 (north-west of Stupa No. 1) and Monastery No. 2 (west of Stupa No. 1), these monasteries were in a dilapidated condition and had almost turned into the shape of heaps of stones and mud. The excavation at Monastery 1 revealed that it was a rectangular structure (pl.XIVB) approachable from the south by a flight of steps. On the basis of architecture of monasteries, it was inferred that the cells were raised for living over a high platform, perhaps keeping in view the safety and security of monks from the wild animals. In Monastery 1, a square barn having a depth of 4 m was exposed on its northwestern corner. Another flight of steps on the north-west corner facing south was also found. But interestingly, a wall constructed at a later date had blocked it partially. A few shabby looking stone-walls were also exposed running parallel to each other in north-south orientation on the top of the monastery. Discovery of terracotta tiles, datable to circa second-first century BC from the upper levels confirmed the date of its construction assigned from other sources, i.e., contemporaneity to second phase of the main stupa. Architecturally, Monastery 2 was no exception, built roughly in the same fashion.

Among the important antiquities that have come to light during this season mention may be made of iron object, coins, fragmentary inscription bearing Brahmi letter in Sunga character {circa second century BC). Apart from these, fragments of two beautiful elephant figures in Chunar red sandstone with brilliant Mauryan polish were found from the packing between the veneering stone and the brick stupa. While the one figure was found from the northern side, the other was recovered from the southern quadrant. It seems, the brick stupa, originally, had some arrangement to accommodate the elephant figures. Perhaps, further excavations around the main stupa might bring to light more evidence to establish this assumption.

Further in year 1996-97 On excavating the layers contemporary to the stone medhi upto the bed-rock, the constructional history of the stupa came to light. The earliest is a brick stupa with a path of one or two courses, depending on the surface undulations. Later, the stone anda of the enlarged stupa was built over this pradakshina- patha. The sequence of layers besides the noninterlocking of the anda with the berm architectural members shows that the latter was built after a passage of time. Above the working level coeval with that of brick stupa, a well-defined layer of brickbats sloping away form the stupa indicates towards destruction by human agency after which the stone encasement was done. Pieces of elephant figure with Mauryan polish was found within the filling of the stone casing, again indicating towards destruction at the site prior to renewed construction. The pottery collected may safely be bracketed chronologically between second and first century BC. The excavation at Stupas 4, 6 and 7 indicated that these were built on a platform by arranging boulders one above the other to maintain a level. All the three stupas, as per the indications available, have medhi and pradakshinapatha around.