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Ashoka Pillar
 

Ashoka Pillar alias Saranath Pillar situated at Sarnath Deer Park, around 10km north of Varanasi, is one of the most visited tourist spot in the city. The pillar, erected in front of the main stupa where Ashoka sat and meditated is one among the many pillars inscribed by the Mauryan King Ashoka between about 243 B.C and 242 B.C. This 50 m height pillar, carved out of a single block of polished sandstone is having the figures of four lions on the top in standing posture back to back on a circular abacus. The circular abacus which is built over a bell-shaped lotus shows the figures of four running animals, namely an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion. These animals are separated by overriding 24-spoked dharma chakra (wheels), renowned as Ashoka Chakra. The national flag of India has a picture of the dharma chakra on its center. The animals symbolize the four different phases of Gautama Buddha's life. The elephant stands for the Buddha's notion in reference to the dream of Queen Maya, a white elephant entering her tomb. The bull points out the birth of Buddha which happened during the full moon in the month of Vesak under the zodiacal sign Taurus. The horse stands for the horse Kanthaka, which Buddha used his departure from palatial life and the lion denotes Lord Buddha's attainment of Nirvana.


  Nearby Attractions
›› Sarnath
›› Buddha Purnima
›› Ramnagar
›› Ghats
›› Ramnagar Fort and Palace
›› Banaras Vidya Mandir Museum
 Picture Gallery
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