Ashoka Pillars in India

Ashoka Pillars in India

The Ashoka Pillars in India are structures erected by the Mauryan King Ashoka between  268 to 232 BC across the Indian subcontinent. They are a representation of his dynamic rule and conquests across India. While most of the pillars have either withered away or destroyed by his future rulers, 20 pillars still stand tall in India. The pillars are the earliest known stone scriptures in India and demonstrate the culture of the advanced Mauryan civilization.

Here is the list of 5 Ashoka Pillars in India

1. Ashoka Pillar, Sarnath - Most famous Ashoka Pillar in India

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The national emblem of India and a mark of Emperor Ashoka's visit to Sarnath, this 50 m tall pillar crafted out of a stone is an impressive structure with four lions on top. This 50 m long pillar along with the Dhamek Stupa, are Ashoka's gift to Buddhism and the entire complex has a calm aura to it. A number of monks are spotted meditating around the compound. The entire complex is filled with lush green lawns, and along with the Stupa, they resemble a colony with the Ashoka Pillar being the main attraction.

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2. Ashoka Pillar, Allahabad

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Placed outside the Allahabad Fort, this 16th century structure was constructed by Emperor Akbar. The exterior of the Ashoka Pillar in India has inscriptions from Ashoka in the Brahmi script. Even Samudragupta and Jahangir have added some inscriptions later in the Gupta script, a refined version of Brahmi.

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3. Ashok Pillar, Sanchi

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This Ashoka Pillar in India was erected in the 3rd century and its structure is influenced by the Greco Buddhist style. A remnant of Sanchi's ancient history, this pillar still stands strong and appears newly built despite being centuries old. It also resembles the Sarnath pillar a lot.

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4. The Ashoka pillar, Vaishali

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King Ashoka became a great follower of Buddhism after the massacre of Kalinga and erected his one his famous Ashokan Pillar in Vaishali which was to memorialize the last sermon of Lord Buddha that took place here. There is a lifelike a figure of a lion flawlessly engraved, at the top of the pillar facing north, believed to be the direction of Lord Buddha's last voyage. There is also a brick stupa and a pond known as Ramkund next to the pole which sums up to make a sanctified spot for Buddhists. There is also a small tank here known as Ramkund.

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5. Lauriya Nandangarh Ashoka Pillar, Patna

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Lauriya Nandangarh is a historic town in the state of Bihar and is located at a distance of 22 km from the district of Bettiah. Lauriya Nandangarh boasts of housing one of the Ashoka Pillars in India, which consists of the six Ashokan proclamations. The height of the pillar is more than twelve meters and even after so many years, the Mauryan polish used on the pillar maintains its radiance and sheen. The pillar is inscribed with six Ashokan edicts, issued by the Emperor in the year 244 BC and the top of the pillar is adorned with a lion, in a crouching position.

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The Ashoka Pillars in India represent an era of strength and bravery of King Ashoka before he was enamoured by the teachings of the Buddha and decided to adopt a non-violent way of life. Do you have an Ashoka Pillar in your city? Let us know in the comments below.

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This post was published by Roli Sharaf

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