[Base of an inscribed pillar, probably the one discovered in 1905.]
Photographer: Prasad, Madho
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the edict pillar and Lion capital at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, by Madho Prasad, in 1905 from the Kitchener of Khartoum Collection: 'Views of Benares. Presented by the Maharaja of Benares'. Sarnath is the sacred place where the Buddha preached his first sermon known as the Wheel of Law, the Dharmachakra in the sixth century BC. This is a view showing the base of the inscribed edict pillar and the famous lion capital in the background. This was discovered by F.Oretel during his excavations in 1905. The pillar topped by the capital was built by Ashoka, the Mauryan king who flourished in the third century BC. According to tradition, several pillars were raised at various points on the route of a pilgrimage that he undertook in the twentieth year of his reign. The remains of the pillar in the ground have three epigraphs. The Ashokan edict warns the monks and nuns against creating schisms in the sangha at Sarnath. The Lion Capital, which became the national emblem of India in 1950, is in the museum in Sarnath.