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Ashoka Pillar
Executed by the Mauryan king Ashoka during his reign in the 3rd century BCE, pillars of Ashoka consists of a series of columns scattered all over the northern Indian subcontinent. Originally, he planned to make many pillars but only nineteen survive with inscriptions. It measures between forty and fifty feet in height, and has a weight up to fifty tons. All the pillars were excavated faced to at Chunar.

Originally, the columns of this pillar were carved in two types of stones. One stone which was used to construct this pillar is in red and white colour which was found from the region of Mathura whereas other was of buff-colored fine grained hard sandstone originated in the Chunar near Varanasi. The consistency style of all the sculptors of this pillar was executed by craftsmen from the same region.

The pillars have four component parts. The gleams are always plain and smooth, circular in cross-section, slightly tapering upwards and always chiselled out of a single piece of stone. The capitals have the shape and appearance of a gently arched bell formed of lotus petals. The abaci are of two types: square and plain and circular and decorated and these are of different proportions. The crowning animals are either seated or standing, always in the round and chiseled as a single piece with the abaci.

Ashoka Pillar Maya Devi Temple  

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