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ARCHITECTURE & ICONOGRAPHY

  

 

 

  Asoka column

 

India

The remnants of the fifteen meter tall column of the Asoka pillar in Sarnath (fig.), the site of the Buddha’s first sermon. It is made up of polished sandstone and was once crowned with a capital depicting four lions, seated back to back (fig.) and chiseled from another single piece of stone.

 

It is just one in a series of columns found throughout northern India, yet this particular one has broken into pieces. The original capital that once crowned this pillar, and which is still nearly intact, is kept in a nearby museum, yet is not allowed to be photographed.

 

  Asoka column

 

  Asoka column

 

This column was erected by the Mauryan king Asoka after his conversion to Buddhism, in order to propagate the teachings of the Buddha. It is  inscribed with his edicts in the Prakrit language, written in the Brahmi script.

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