Everything You Need to Know About the Ashok Stambh

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Lately, the news channels have been trending with the PM’s recent unveiling of the national emblem on top of the new parliament building in New Delhi, the capital of India.

What is the Ashoka Stambh?

Indians begin to hear about Ashoka Stambh since they are old enough to go to school. Most of them are likely to have seen at least pictures of the Ashoka Stambh, though they might not know its history.

The symbol of the Ashoka Stambh first emerged as having a significant association with Buddhism. Later, ancient India’s Mauryan Emperor Ashoka embraced this religion; as a depiction of his renunciation of war, he placed at various places across his kingdom – right from Kandahar in present-day Afghanistan down to Brahmagiri in southern India – tall pillars with a four-lion capital each on top.

What is the History of the Ashoka Stambh?

Ashoka (reigned from c. 265 BCE to 238 BCE) was a prominent emperor in ancient India; he was the first ruler to have united the landmass almost to the extent that it is today.

Till the Kalinga War of c. 262-c. 261 BCE, during the eighth year of his reign, Ashoka was said to have been a warring emperor, constantly picking battles and wars with neighboring countries/dynasties to expand his own kingdom. After the war at Kalinga (the present-day Orissa), he was said to have seen the errs of his ways and converted to Buddhism, renouncing war altogether. Throughout his kingdom, he was said to have erected several pillars with the Ashoka capital, with edicts inscribed on each of them about the Dharma or way of life.

The first Ashoka Stambh of India was erected at Sarnath in the present-day state of Uttar Pradesh. This has now become the national emblem of the country in the present day.

What Does the Ashoka Stambh Look Like?

It is essentially a pillar capital with the base of an inverted lotus that is also graced with a base that has on four sides a Dharma Chakra (a wheel of 24 spokes symbolizing the hours in a day), accompanied by an animal each: a lion, an elephant, a horse, and a bull. On top of this are mounted four lions, each facing a cardinal direction—north, south, east, and west.

When did India Adopt It?

India adopted the Ashoka Stambh as a symbol of its declaration of the country’s republic on 26 January 1950, the first Indian Republic Day. The national emblem depicts the original Ashoka Stambh at Sarnath, minus the inverted lotus.

This is everything you need to know about the Ashoka Stambh, the national emblem of India. Planning to pay a visit to this wonderful country? You must visit the Sarnath Pillar in Uttar Pradesh at some point during your stay! Book your flights to India now, only with Indian Eagle!

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