Ashok stambh (pillar) is the national emblem of India. On 26 January 1950, Ashok stambh was adopted as the national emblem of India. It is used in different government letters and is also part of Indian currency
- King Asoka had built these pillars during his reign. There are about 19 pillars still standing in the northern India. Among these pillars, pillar of Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh is most famous. Ashok stambh (pillar) of Sarnath has been adopted as the national emblem of India.
- The Ashok stambh was made from the sandstone. It is now preserved in a secure way.
- The Ashok stambh of sarnath has a historical significance. It represents the place where Buddha taught his lessons of dharma to the five monks. Then these monks spread the Buddhism to all over the world.
- This stambh has four lions seated back to back. These lions represent power, courage, confidence and pride.
- Besides lions some other animals are also illustrated on the pillar- a horse, a bull, an elephant and a lion. The elephant signifies the Buddha’s conception (at the time of Buddha’s conception his mother dreamt that a white elephant has entered into his womb). The bull represents Buddha’s zodiac sign Taurus. The horse represents Buddha’s horse which he rode at the time of leaving the palace to discover the meaning of life. The lion signifies the achievement of enlightenment.
- Ashok chakra is also carved on the pillar. Ashok chakra is also part of the Indian national flag.