Perhaps the most popular attraction in Sanchi is the Ashoka Pillar, lying near the southern gateway of the famed Sanchi Stupa. The pillar is believed to have been erected in the 3rd century BC. It is very similar to the pillar at Sarnath. Although the entire structure has not been preserved, one can see the shaft of the pillar from the gateway, and the crown has been displayed in a museum. The crown of the pillar is its most attractive feature.

It is adorned by four regal lions facing in four directions, with their backs to each other. The style of architecture has been hailed as Greco-Buddhist. The figure is considered to be an outstanding example of the aesthetic elegance and the exquisite structural balance characteristic of the Mauryan architecture. A representation of this figure containing the four lions has been adopted as the National Emblem of India.The lions of this Ashoka pillar do not support the Dharmachakra, or the wheel of dharma, law. It is worth visiting the museum at Sanchi just to witness the inspiration of the National Emblem in its historical and heritage setting.

Other Attractions in Sanchi