The Mauryan Empire is one of the oldest known empires in the world, which ruled ancient India before the Christ Era. It is also known as one of the few empires in India which produced some of the greatest rulers in the country, who worked towards the upliftment and development of the nation.
The presence of several ancient monuments from the time of the Mauryan Empire certainly proves their intention and dedication towards the country. With their capital city at Pataliputra, the modern-day Bihar, they tried to grow their empire in the northwestern parts, consequently, ruling more than half of the country during the time of King Ashoka.
So, how about visiting these ancient monuments from the Mauryan dynasty, which are definitely archaeological wonders of India, and exploring the rich history of the country?
PC- Suyash Dwivedi
Sanchi Stupa is situated in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh and is one of the oldest-known stone structures in India. It houses the relics of Lord Buddha and hence, is considered one of the most significant sites in Buddhism.
It was built during the 3rd century BCE under the care of King Ashoka. From innumerable carvings to myriad reliefs and architraves to beautifully built gateways, each and every structure of Sanchi complex deserves to be studied and scrutinised. The magnificence of artistry can be clearly noticed through the architectural formation of the stupa and its nearby structures.
If you are an avid lover of history, you cannot merely afford to miss the beauty of Sanchi Stupa. You must visit this archaeological masterpiece to explore the history of India during the time of the Mauryan dynasty.
Located at Makhdumpur in the Jehanabad district of Bihar at the twin hills of Barabar, these historical caves date back to the period of the Mauryans and are the oldest-surviving rock-cut caves in the country.
It comprises of four caves namely Karan Chaupar, Lomas Rishi, Sudama and Vishwakarma. From several Ashokan inscriptions to the arch-like facade of Lomas Rishi and rectangular rooms to the vaulted chambers, these architecturally built caves own everything which certainly surprise their visitors. Considering the time these caves were made, they assuredly deserve to be under the category of archaeological wonders.
You can also visit Nagarjuni Hill Caves which are located in the vicinity of Barabar Caves and were built a few decades after the formation of Barabar Caves. If you are looking to witness the ancient beauty of prehistoric times, then Barabar Caves should be your next stoppage.
Located at a distance of around 13 km from the holy city of Varanasi in the religious town of Sarnath, Dhamek Stupa is one of the massive brick structures in India and was built to replace the structure built by Mauryan King Ashoka in the 3rd century before the Christ Era.
The current architecture of the stupa is in the shape of a cylinder and was built in the early decades of the 6th century. It collects several relics of Lord Buddha and is an important site in Buddhism. From floral carvings to figures of humans and animals and several inscriptions to numerous edicts, there are a lot of things which can be explored within the complex of Dhamek Stupa.
You can also visit the Ashoka Pillar located inside the compound and spend few relaxing moments amid its green surroundings.
There are numerous Ashoka pillars which are scattered all over the Indian subcontinent. From Ashoka Pillar at Vaishali to Ashoka Pillar at Lumbini, each and every structure is a magnificent example of Mauryan architecture.
Inscribed with commandments, these pillars were built under the reign of King Ashoka during the 3rd century BCE. Even though several pillars have been the victim of time and invasion, they still shine brightly depicting the times of India during the Mauryan dynasty. The capitals of Ashoka's pillars in the form of lions, elephant and bulls are all major attractions.
Today, the capital of four lions is the national emblem of India. How about taking a tour of all these Ashoka pillars in India and studying their magnificence and splendour?