DMPQ-Monolithic pillars are epitome of Mauryan architecture.” Elucidate.

. Monolithic pillars and capitols made during this period are prime example of Mauryan art. The  important places where the pillars have been found are Basarah-Bakhira, Lauriya-Nandangarh,  Rampurva, Sankisa and Sarnath. These pillars were carved in two types of stone viz. the spotted  red and white sandstone from the region of Mathura and buff-coloured fine grained hard  sandstone usually with small black spots quarried inthe Chunar near Varanasi.The uniformity of  style in the pillar capitals suggests that they were all sculpted bycraftsmen from the same  region. Bull capitol of Rampurva, Lion Capitol of Lauriya-Nandangarh, and Sarnath Capitol, found  near Varanasi, are famous examples. The best preserved of all Ashokan edicts stands at Lauriya  Nandangarh (Bihar). This thirty-two feet tall column has an almost fifty ton seated lion capital  placed on its top.

Sarnath capitol, built in commemoration of the historical event of the first  sermon or the Dhammachakrapravartana by the Buddha at Sarnath, is made from sandstone  and has four lions, sitting on an abacus with four animals, inverted lotus as a base, a crowning  wheel representing theDhammachakrapravartana (which is now damaged) on a monolithic  shaft. The four voluminous roaring lion figures firmly stand on a circular abacus which is  carvedwith the figures of four animals proceeding clockwise around the drum, suggesting  themovement of the wheel of dharma – a striding elephant, a galloping horse, awalking bull and  a prancing lion. Four lions placed back-to-back face thecardinal directions, indicating the spread  of dharma. The capital without the crowning wheel and  the lotus base has been adopted as the National Emblem  of Independent India.

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