Lauriya pillar, Bihar erected by emperor Ashoka (249 BC)

Lauriya Pillar ,Bihar Silent Pages - blogger
 Lauriya Pillar,Bihar  WikipediaSilent Pages - blogger

Lauriya Pillar in West Champaran district of Bihar erected by the famous Mauryan Emperor Ashoka in 249 BC is a popular monument that attracts a lot of tourists. Located on the banks of the Burhi Gandak river in Lauria Nandangarh village,  through  the pillar here, emperor  Ashoka had delivered his orders to maintan   peace in his nation and, being the followers of the preachings of Buddha,he also put forward  his  sermons. This Lofty stone column  in  Lauriya under Areraj subdivision is  on the left side of  Areraj – Bettiah road. 

Ashkka pillar and four lions, Laur pillar. Bihar, Revolvy

The pillar, known as “Stambh dharma lekh”, is well preserved and  has  six letters written from his edits on  a single block of polished sandstone - 36 ½ feet in height above the ground with a base diameter of 41.8 inches and 37.6 inches diameter at the top. The weight of this portion only is about  34 tons, and several feet of this pillar is sunk into the earth so that this heavy pillar could stand upright firmly above the ground.  So, the  actual weight of the whole block must be about 40 tons. This pillar has no Capital. According to a report the  pillar was crowned with a statue of an animal but it was transferred to Kolkata museum.  

Lauriya Pillar ,Bihar, Location map.

A note-worthy feature of Lauriya Pillar is the  column surmounted by a well-defined capital. It  consists 
of a awning representing an inverted bell-shaped lotus flower, a short cylindrical abacus that has  alternating four 24-spoked Dharma wheels with four animals (an elephant, a bull, a horse, a lion in this order), and  a four lions facing the four cardinal directions.

The four animals, it is believed,  symbolize different phases of  Gautama Buddha's  eventful life: The Elephant represents his life in his mother's womb;  Bull- Buddha's life as a prince enjoying the royal trappings and desires;  Horse - symbolic of his ride / departure from the  princely, materialistic life and  Lion represents the attainment of universal brotherhood.  The four lions surmounting the capital symbolize the kingship of the Buddha and his voice over the four directions. As for non - religious interpretation of the pillar and the capital the four lions suggest Ashka's rule  over the four cardinal directions, the wheels as symbols of Sovereign rule and the four animals - elephant.bull, etc., as symbols of four surrounding territories of India.

The Archaeological Survey of India has classified the Ashokan pillar as a protected monument.