A report on Ashoka

A c. 1st century BCE/CE relief from Sanchi, showing Ashoka on his chariot, visiting the Nagas at Ramagrama.
Ashoka's Major Rock Edict at Junagadh contains inscriptions by Ashoka (fourteen of the Edicts of Ashoka), Rudradaman I and Skandagupta.
King Ashoka visits Ramagrama, to take relics of the Buddha from the Nagas, but in vain. Southern gateway, Stupa 1, Sanchi.
The Major Rock Edict No.13 of Ashoka, mentions the Greek kings Antiochus, Ptolemy, Antigonus, Magas and Alexander by name, as recipients of his teachings.
The Aramaic Inscription of Taxila probably mentions Ashoka.
The Saru Maru commemorative inscription seems to mention the presence of Ashoka in the area of Ujjain as he was still a Prince.
Kanaganahalli inscribed panel portraying Asoka with Brahmi label "King Asoka", 1st–3rd century CE.
Stupa of Sanchi. The central stupa was built during the Mauryas, and enlarged during the Sungas, but the decorative gateway is dated to the later dynasty of the Satavahanas.
Illustration of the original Mahabodhi Temple temple built by Asoka at Bodh Gaya. At the center, the Vajrasana, or "Enlightenment Throne of the Buddha", with its supporting columns, being the object of adoration. A Pillar of Ashoka topped by an elephant appears in the right corner. Bharhut relief, 1st century BCE.
The rediscovered Vajrasana, or "Enlightenment Throne of the Buddha", at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya. It was built by Ashoka to commemorate the enlightenment of the Buddha, about two hundred years before him.
Ashoka and Monk Moggaliputta-Tissa at the Third Buddhist Council. Nava Jetavana, Shravasti.
A king - most probably Ashoka - with his two queens and three attendants, in a relief at Sanchi. The king's identification with Ashoka is suggested by a similar relief at Kanaganahalli, which bears his name.
Ashoka with his queen, at Kanaganahalli near Sannati, 1st–3rd century CE. The relief bears the inscription "Rāya Asoko" (𑀭𑀸𑀬 𑀅𑀲𑁄𑀓𑁄, "King Ashoka") in Brahmi script. It depicts the king with his queen, two attendants bearing fly-whisks, and one attendant bearing an umbrella.
Emperor Ashoka and his Queen at the Deer Park. Sanchi relief.
The word Upāsaka (𑀉𑀧𑀸𑀲𑀓, "Buddhist lay follower", in the Brahmi script), used by Ashoka in his Minor Rock Edict No.1 to describe his affiliation to Buddhism (circa 258 BCE).
Territories "conquered by the Dhamma" according to Major Rock Edict No.13 of Ashoka (260–218 BCE).
Distribution of the Edicts of Ashoka, and location of the contemporary Greek city of Ai-Khanoum.
The Kandahar Edict of Ashoka, a bilingual inscription (in Greek and Aramaic) by King Ashoka, discovered at Kandahar (National Museum of Afghanistan).
The Minor Rock Edict of Maski mentions the author as "Devanampriya Asoka", definitively linking both names, and confirming Ashoka as the author of the famous Edicts.
A c. 1910 painting by Abanindranath Tagore (1871–1951) depicting Ashoka's queen standing in front of the railings of the Buddhist monument at Sanchi (Raisen district, Madhya Pradesh).
The Ashokan pillar at Lumbini, Nepal, Buddha's birthplace
The Diamond throne at the Mahabodhi Temple, attributed to Ashoka
Front frieze of the Diamond throne
Mauryan ringstone, with standing goddess. Northwest Pakistan. 3rd century BCE. British Museum
Rampurva bull capital, detail of the abacus, with two "flame palmettes" framing a lotus surrounded by small rosette flowers.
Caduceus symbol on a Maurya-era punch-marked coin
A punch-marked coin attributed to Ashoka<ref>{{cite book |last=Mitchiner |first=Michael |date=1978 |title=Oriental Coins & Their Values: The Ancient and Classical World 600 B.C. - A.D. 650 |publisher=Hawkins Publications |page=544 |isbn=978-0-9041731-6-1}}</ref>
A Maurya-era silver coin of 1 karshapana, possibly from Ashoka's period, workshop of Mathura. Obverse: Symbols including a sun and an animal Reverse: Symbol Dimensions: 13.92 x 11.75 mm Weight: 3.4 g.
The Lion Capital of Ashoka in Sarnath, showing its four Asiatic lions standing back to back, and symbolizing the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, supporting the Wheel of Moral law (Dharmachakra, reconstitution per Sarnath Museum notice). The lions stand on a circular abacus, decorated with dharmachakras alternating with four animals in profile: horse, bull, elephant, and lion. The architectural bell below the abacus, is a stylized upside down lotus. Sarnath Museum.

Indian emperor of the Maurya Empire, son of Bindusara, who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from c. 268 to 232 BCE.

- Ashoka
A c. 1st century BCE/CE relief from Sanchi, showing Ashoka on his chariot, visiting the Nagas at Ramagrama.

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Territories of the Maurya Empire conceptualized as core areas or linear networks separated by large autonomous regions in the works of scholars such as: historians Hermann Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund; Burton Stein; David Ludden; and Romila Thapar; anthropologists Monica L. Smith and Stanley Tambiah; archaeologist Robin Coningham; and historical demographer Tim Dyson.

Maurya Empire

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Geographically extensive ancient Indian Iron Age historical power in South Asia based in Magadha, having been founded by Chandragupta Maurya in 322 BCE, and existing in loose-knit fashion until 185 BCE.

Geographically extensive ancient Indian Iron Age historical power in South Asia based in Magadha, having been founded by Chandragupta Maurya in 322 BCE, and existing in loose-knit fashion until 185 BCE.

Territories of the Maurya Empire conceptualized as core areas or linear networks separated by large autonomous regions in the works of scholars such as: historians Hermann Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund; Burton Stein; David Ludden; and Romila Thapar; anthropologists Monica L. Smith and Stanley Tambiah; archaeologist Robin Coningham; and historical demographer Tim Dyson.
Pataliputra, capital of the Mauryas. Ruins of pillared hall at Kumrahar site.
Territories of the Maurya Empire conceptualized as core areas or linear networks separated by large autonomous regions in the works of scholars such as: historians Hermann Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund; Burton Stein; David Ludden; and Romila Thapar; anthropologists Monica L. Smith and Stanley Tambiah; archaeologist Robin Coningham; and historical demographer Tim Dyson.
The Pataliputra capital, discovered at the Bulandi Bagh site of Pataliputra, 4th–3rd c. BCE.
A silver coin of 1 karshapana of the Maurya empire, period of Bindusara Maurya about 297–272 BC, workshop of Pataliputra. Obv: Symbols with a sun. Rev: Symbol. Dimensions: 14 × 11 mm. Weight: 3.4 g.
Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath. c. 250 BCE.
Ashoka pillar at Vaishali.
Fragment of the 6th Pillar Edict of Ashoka (238 BCE), in Brahmi, sandstone, British Museum.
Statuettes of the Mauryan era
Maurya statuette, 2nd century BCE.
Bhadrabahu Cave, Shravanabelagola where Chandragupta is said to have died
The stupa, which contained the relics of Buddha, at the center of the Sanchi complex was originally built by the Maurya Empire, but the balustrade around it is Sunga, and the decorative gateways are from the later Satavahana period.
The Dharmarajika stupa in Taxila, modern Pakistan, is also thought to have been established by Emperor Asoka.
Mauryan architecture in the Barabar Caves. Lomas Rishi Cave. 3rd century BCE.
An early stupa, 6 meters in diameter, with fallen umbrella on side. Chakpat, near Chakdara. Probably Maurya, 3rd century BCE.
The two Yakshas, possibly 3rd century BCE, found in Pataliputra. The two Brahmi inscriptions starting with Gupta ashoka y.svgGupta ashoka khe.jpg... (Yakhe... for "Yaksha...") are paleographically of a later date, circa 2nd century CE Kushan.
Mauryan ringstone, with standing goddess. Northwest Pakistan. 3rd Century BCE
A map showing the north western border of Maurya Empire, including its various neighboring states.
Figure of a foreigner, found in Sarnath, 3rd century BCE. This is a probable member of the West Asian Pahlava or Saka elite in the Gangetic plains during the Mauryan period.
The Kandahar Edict of Ashoka, a bilingual edict (Greek and Aramaic) by king Ashoka, from Kandahar. Kabul Museum. (See image description page for translation.)
Hoard of mostly Mauryan coins.
Silver punch mark coin of the Maurya empire, with symbols of wheel and elephant. 3rd century BCE.{{citation needed|date=July 2017}}
Mauryan coin with arched hill symbol on reverse.{{citation needed|date=July 2017}}
Mauryan Empire coin. Circa late 4th-2nd century BCE.{{citation needed|date=July 2017}}
Mauryan Empire, Emperor Salisuka or later. Circa 207-194 BCE.<ref>CNG Coins {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170827130159/https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=304898 |date=27 August 2017 }}</ref>
Remains of the Ashokan Pillar in polished stone (right of the Southern Gateway).
Remains of the shaft of the pillar of Ashoka, under a shed near the Southern Gateway.
Pillar and its inscription (the "Schism Edict") upon discovery.
The capital nowadays.<ref>Described in Marshall p.25-28 Ashoka pillar.</ref>
The distribution of the Edicts of Ashoka.<ref>Reference: "India: The Ancient Past" p.113, Burjor Avari, Routledge, {{ISBN|0-415-35615-6}}</ref>
Map of the Buddhist missions during the reign of Ashoka.
Territories "conquered by the Dharma" according to Major Rock Edict No. 13 of Ashoka (260–218 BCE).{{sfn|Kosmin|2014|p=57}}<ref name=ME368>Thomas Mc Evilly "The shape of ancient thought", Allworth Press, New York, 2002, p.368</ref>

During Ashoka's rule (ca.

Edicts of Ashoka

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Brahmi script consonants, and their evolution down to modern Devanagari, according to James Prinsep, as published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, in March 1838. All the letters are correctly deciphered, except for two missing on the right: 𑀰(ś) and 𑀱(ṣ).
The first known inscription by Ashoka, the Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription, in Greek and in Aramaic, written in the 10th year of his reign (260 BCE).
The full title Devanampiyasa Piyadasino Asokaraja in the Gujarra inscription.
The four scripts used by Ashoka in his Edicts: Brahmi (top left), Kharoshthi (top right), Greek (bottom left) and Aramaic (bottom right).
The Prakrit word "Dha-ṃ-ma" (𑀥𑀁𑀫, Sanskrit: Dharma) in the Brahmi script, as inscribed by Ashoka in his Edicts. Topra Kalan pillar, now in New Delhi.
Animals pervade imperial Mauryan art. Rampurva bull capital established by Ashoka, 3rd century BCE. Now in the Rashtrapati Bhavan Presidential Palace, New Delhi.
Ashoka and his two queens, visiting the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, in a relief at Sanchi (1st century CE). The identification with Ashoka is confirmed by the similar relief from Kanaganahalli inscribed "Raya Asoka".
The words "Bu-dhe" (𑀩𑀼𑀥𑁂, the Buddha) and "Sa-kya-mu-nī " ( 𑀲𑀓𑁆𑀬𑀫𑀼𑀦𑀻, "Sage of the Shakyas") in Brahmi script, on Ashoka's Rummindei Minor Pillar Edict (circa 250 BCE).
The Barabar caves were built by Ashoka for the ascetic sect of the Ajivikas, as well as for the Buddhists, illustrating his respect for several faiths. Lomas Rishi cave. 3rd century BCE.
The Seleucid king Antiochos ("Aṃtiyakā", "Aṃtiyako" or "Aṃtiyoga" depending on the transliterations) is named as a recipient of Ashoka's medical treatments, together with his Hellenistic neighbours.
"Aṃtiyako Yona Rājā" ("The Greek king Antiochos"), mentioned in Major Rock Edict No.2, here at Girnar. Brahmi script.
The Kalsi rock edict of Ashoka, which mentions the Greek kings Antiochus, Ptolemy, Antigonus, Magas and Alexander by name (underlined in color).
The word Yona for "Greek" in the Girnar 2nd Major Rock Edict of Ashoka. The word is part of the phrase "Amtiyako Yona Raja" (The Greek King Antiochus).
Territories "conquered by the Dharma" according to Major Rock Edict No.13 of Ashoka (260–232 BCE).
Top: Wheels in Egyptian temples according to Hero of Alexandria. Bottom: Possible wheel and trisula symbol on Ptolemaic tombstones in Egypt.
The word Lipī (𑀮𑀺𑀧𑀻) used by Ashoka to describe his "Edicts". Brahmi script (Li= La+ i; pī= Pa+ ii).
The same word was "Dipi" in the northwest, identical with the Persian word for writing, as in this segment "Dhrama-Dipi" (𐨢𐨿𐨪𐨨𐨡𐨁𐨤𐨁, "inscription of the Dharma") in Kharosthi script in the First Edict at Shahbazgarhi. The third letter from the right reads "Di" Kharoshthi letter Di.jpg and not "Li" Kharoshthi letter Li.jpg.
The same expression Dhamma Lipi ("Dharma inscriptions") in Brahmi script (𑀥𑀁𑀫𑀮𑀺𑀧𑀺), Delhi-Topra pillar.
The numerals used by Ashoka in his Edicts
The number "256" in Ashoka's Minor Rock Edict No.1 in Sasaram
The Edicts of Ashoka started a tradition of epigraphical inscriptions. 1800 years separate these two inscriptions: Brahmi script of the 3rd century BCE (Major Pillar Edict of Ashoka), and its derivative, 16th century CE Devanagari script (1524 CE), on the Delhi-Topra pillar.
Seleucid king Antiochus II Theos of Syria (261–246 BCE).
Ptolemy II Philadelphos of Egypt (285–247 BCE) with his sister Arsinoe II.
Antigonus II Gonatas of Macedon (278–239 BCE).
Magas of Cyrene (300–258 BCE).
Alexander II of Epirus (272–258 BCE) on a cameo of agate.

The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of more than thirty inscriptions on the pillars, as well as boulders and cave walls, attributed to Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Empire who reigned from 268 BCE to 232 BCE.

Statue of Gautama Buddha, preaching his first sermon at Sarnath; B(b) 181, Archaeological Museum Sarnath, Gupta period, ca. 475 CE.

Gautama Buddha

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Ascetic and spiritual teacher of South Asia who lived during the latter half of the first millennium BCE.

Ascetic and spiritual teacher of South Asia who lived during the latter half of the first millennium BCE.

Statue of Gautama Buddha, preaching his first sermon at Sarnath; B(b) 181, Archaeological Museum Sarnath, Gupta period, ca. 475 CE.
Seated Buddha from Tapa Shotor monastery in Hadda, Afghanistan, 2nd century CE
Ancient kingdoms and cities of India during the time of the Buddha (c. 500 BCE)
Inscription "The illumination of the Blessed Sakamuni" (Brahmi script: 𑀪𑀕𑀯𑀢𑁄 𑀲𑀓𑀫𑀼𑀦𑀺𑀦𑁄 𑀩𑁄𑀥𑁄, Bhagavato Sakamunino Bodho) on a relief showing the "empty" Illumination Throne of the Buddha in the early Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya. Bharhut, c. 100 BCE.
One of the earliest anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha, here surrounded by Brahma (left) and Śakra (right). Bimaran Casket, mid-1st century CE, British Museum.
Māyā miraculously giving birth to Siddhārtha. Sanskrit, palm-leaf manuscript. Nālandā, Bihar, India. Pāla period
The legendary Jataka collections depict the Buddha-to-be in a previous life prostrating before the past Buddha Dipankara, making a resolve to be a Buddha, and receiving a prediction of future Buddhahood.
Map showing Lumbini and other major Buddhist sites in India. Lumbini (present-day Nepal), is the birthplace of the Buddha, and is a holy place also for many non-Buddhists.
The Lumbini pillar contains an inscription stating that this is the Buddha's birthplace
The "Great Departure" of Siddhartha Gautama, surrounded by a halo, he is accompanied by numerous guards and devata who have come to pay homage; Gandhara, Kushan period
Prince Siddhartha shaves his hair and becomes a sramana. Borobudur, 8th century
The gilded "Emaciated Buddha statue" in Wat Suthat in Bangkok representing the stage of his asceticism
The Mahabodhi Tree at the Sri Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya
The Enlightenment Throne of the Buddha at Bodh Gaya, as recreated by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE.
Miracle of the Buddha walking on the River Nairañjanā. The Buddha is not visible (aniconism), only represented by a path on the water, and his empty throne bottom right. Sanchi.
Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath, India, site of the first teaching of the Buddha in which he taught the Four Noble Truths to his first five disciples
The chief disciples of the Buddha, Mogallana (chief in psychic power) and Sariputta (chief in wisdom).
The remains of a section of Jetavana Monastery, just outside of ancient Savatthi, in Uttar Pradesh.
Mahāprajāpatī, the first bhikkuni and Buddha's stepmother, ordains
This East Javanese relief depicts the Buddha in his final days, and Ānanda, his chief attendant.
Mahaparinirvana, Gandhara, 3rd or 4th century CE, gray schist
Mahaparinibbana scene, from the Ajanta caves
Buddha's cremation stupa, Kushinagar (Kushinara).
Piprahwa vase with relics of the Buddha. The inscription reads: ...salilanidhane Budhasa Bhagavate... (Brahmi script: ...𑀲𑀮𑀺𑀮𑀦𑀺𑀥𑀸𑀦𑁂 𑀩𑀼𑀥𑀲 𑀪𑀕𑀯𑀢𑁂...) "Relics of the Buddha Lord".
The Bodhisattva meets with Alara Kalama, Borobudur relief.
Gandharan Buddhist birchbark scroll fragments
Buddha meets a Brahmin, at the Indian Museum, Kolkata
Schist Buddha statue with the famed Ye Dharma Hetu dhāraṇī around the head, which was used as a common summary of Dependent Origination. It states: "Of those experiences that arise from a cause, The Tathāgata has said: 'this is their cause, And this is their cessation': This is what the Great Śramaṇa teaches."
Gandharan sculpture depicting the Buddha in the full lotus seated meditation posture, 2nd-3rd century CE
Buddha Statues from Gal Vihara. The Early Buddhist texts also mention meditation practice while standing and lying down.
The Buddha on a coin of Kushan ruler Kanishka I, c. 130 CE.
Buddhist monks from Nepal. According to the earliest sources, the Buddha looked like a typical shaved man from northeast India.
Buddha depicted as the 9th avatar of god Vishnu in a traditional Hindu representation
Christ and Buddha by Paul Ranson, 1880
A Royal Couple Visits the Buddha, from railing of the Bharhut Stupa, Shunga dynasty, early 2nd century BC.
Adoration of the Diamond Throne and the Bodhi Tree, Bharhut.
Descent of the Buddha from the Trayastrimsa Heaven, Sanchi Stupa No. 1.
The Buddha's Miracle at Kapilavastu, Sanchi Stupa 1.
Bimbisara visiting the Buddha (represented as empty throne) at the Bamboo garden in Rajagriha
The great departure with riderless horse, Amaravati, 2nd century CE.
The Assault of Mara, Amaravati, 2nd century CE.
Isapur Buddha, one of the earliest physical depictions of the Buddha, c. 15 CE.<ref>{{cite book |last1=Quintanilla |first1=Sonya Rhie |title=History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE – 100 CE |date=2007 |publisher=BRILL |isbn=9789004155374 |pages=199–206, 204 for the exact date |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=X7Cb8IkZVSMC&pg=PA204}}</ref> Art of Mathura
The Buddha attended by Indra at Indrasala Cave, Mathura 50-100 CE.
Buddha Preaching in Tushita Heaven. Amaravati, Satavahana period, 2d century CE. Indian Museum, Calcutta.
Standing Buddha from Gandhara.
Gandharan Buddha with Vajrapani-Herakles.
Kushan period Buddha Triad.
Buddha statue from Sanchi.
Birth of the Buddha, Kushan dynasty, late 2nd to early 3rd century CE.
The Infant Buddha Taking A Bath, Gandhara 2nd century CE.
6th century Gandharan Buddha.
Buddha at Cave No. 6, Ajanta Caves.
Standing Buddha, c. 5th Century CE.
Sarnath standing Buddha, 5th century CE.
Seated Buddha, Gupta period.
Seated Buddha at Gal Vihara, Sri Lanka.
Chinese Stele with Sakyamuni and Bodhisattvas, Wei period, 536 CE.
The Shakyamuni Daibutsu Bronze, c. 609, Nara, Japan.
Amaravati style Buddha of Srivijaya period, Palembang, Indonesia, 7th century.
Korean Seokguram Cave Buddha, c. 774 CE.
Seated Buddha Vairocana flanked by Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani of Mendut temple, Central Java, Indonesia, early 9th century.
Buddha in the exposed stupa of Borobudur mandala, Central Java, Indonesia, c. 825.
Vairocana Buddha of Srivijaya style, Southern Thailand, 9th century.
Seated Buddha, Japan, Heian period, 9th-10th century.
Attack of Mara, 10th century, Dunhuang.
Cambodian Buddha with Mucalinda Nāga, c. 1100 CE, Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia
15th century Sukhothai Buddha.
15th century Sukhothai Walking Buddha.
Sakyamuni, Lao Tzu, and Confucius, c. from 1368 until 1644.
Chinese depiction of Shakyamuni, 1600.
Shakyamuni Buddha with Avadana Legend Scenes, Tibetan, 19th century
Golden Thai Buddha statue, Bodh Gaya.
Gautama statue, Shanyuan Temple, Liaoning Province, China.
Burmese style Buddha, Shwedagon pagoda, Yangon.
Large Gautama Buddha statue in Buddha Park of Ravangla.

In the mid-3rd century BCE the Emperor Ashoka determined that Lumbini was Gautama's birthplace and thus installed a pillar there with the inscription: "...this is where the Buddha, sage of the Śākyas (Śākyamuni), was born."

Medieval stone relief at Digambara pilgrimage site Shravanabelagola, Karnataka. It has been interpreted as Bhadrabahu and Chandragupta Maurya, but some disagree.

Chandragupta Maurya

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Ruler of Iron Age South Asia who expanded a geographically-extensive kingdom based in Magadha and founded the Maurya dynasty.

Ruler of Iron Age South Asia who expanded a geographically-extensive kingdom based in Magadha and founded the Maurya dynasty.

Medieval stone relief at Digambara pilgrimage site Shravanabelagola, Karnataka. It has been interpreted as Bhadrabahu and Chandragupta Maurya, but some disagree.
Statue of Shepherd Chandragupta Maurya at Parliament of India
7th-century Bhadrabahu inscription at Shravanabelagola (Sanskrit, Purvahale Kannada script). This is the oldest inscription at the site, and it mentions Bhadrabahu and Prabhacandra. Lewis Rice and Digambara Jains interpret Prabhacandra to be Chandragupta Maurya, while others such as J F Fleet, V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar, and Svetambara Jains state this interpretation is wrong.
Chandragupta's guru was Chanakya, with whom he studied as a child and with whose counsel he built the Empire. This image is a 1915 artistic portrait of Chanakya.
Chandragupta had defeated the remaining Macedonian satrapies in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent by 317 BCE.
A modern statue depicting Chandragupta Maurya, Laxminarayan Temple, Delhi
Silver punch mark coin of the Maurya empire, with symbols of wheel and elephant (3rd century BCE)
1,300 years Old Shravanabelagola relief shows death of Chandragupta after taking the vow of Sallekhana. Some consider it about the legend of his arrival with Bhadrabahu.
A statue depicting Chandrgupta Maurya (right) with his spiritual mentor Acharya Bhadrabahu at Shravanabelagola.
Chandragupta Maurya having 16 auspicious dreams in Jainism
The Footprints of Chandragupta Maurya on Chandragiri Hill, where Chandragupta (the unifier of India and founder of the Maurya Dynasty) performed Sallekhana.

The Maurya kingdom expanded to become an empire that reached its peak under the reign of his grandson, Ashoka, from 268 BCE to 231 BCE.

A silver coin of 1 karshapana of the Maurya empire, period of Bindusara Maurya about 297-273 BC, workshop of Pataliputra. Obv: Symbols with a Sun Rev: Symbol Dimensions: 14 x 11 mm Weight: 3.4 g.

Bindusara

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Bindusara ((r.

Bindusara ((r.

A silver coin of 1 karshapana of the Maurya empire, period of Bindusara Maurya about 297-273 BC, workshop of Pataliputra. Obv: Symbols with a Sun Rev: Symbol Dimensions: 14 x 11 mm Weight: 3.4 g.
Territorial evolution of Magadha and the Maurya Empire between 600 and 180 BCE, including possible expansion under Bindusara prior to 273 BCE.

He was the son of the dynasty's founder Chandragupta and the father of its most famous ruler Ashoka.

Pillars of Ashoka

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The "Lion Capital of Ashoka", from Sarnath.
were used as funerary steles
Ashoka called his own pillars Silā Thabhe (𑀲𑀺𑀮𑀸𑀣𑀪𑁂, Stone Stambha, i.e. stone pillars). Lumbini inscription, Brahmi script.
Geographical spread of known pillar capitals.
Abacus of the Allahabad pillar of Ashoka, the only remaining portion of the capital of the Allahabad pillar.
The horse motif on the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka, is often described as an example of Hellenistic realism.
The elephant-crowned pillar of Ashoka at the Mahabodhi Temple, Gaya. Bharhut relief, 100 BCE.
Ashoka also called his pillars "Dhaṃma thaṃbhā" (𑀥𑀁𑀫𑀣𑀁𑀪𑀸, Dharma stambha), i.e. "pillars of the Dharma". 7th Major Pillar Edict. Brahmi script.
Fragment of the 6th Major Pillar Edict, from the Delhi-Meerut Pillar of Ashoka, British Museum.
Vaishali lion
Depiction of the four lions capital surmounted by a Wheel of Law at Sanchi, Satavahana period, South gateway of stupa 3.
Rediscovery of the Ashoka pillar in Sarnath, 1905.
Vaishali
Lauriya-Nandangarh
Lauriya-Araraj
Delhi-Meerut (originally from Meerut, broken in pieces during transportation).
Delhi-Topra (originally from Topra Kalan).
Allahabad (originally from Kosambi)
Lumbini (broken in half). Capped for protection in the 20th century.
Sarnath
Sanchi
Rampurva
Nigali Sagar
Fragment of pillar with inscription, Amaravati.<ref>{{cite book |last1=Sircar |first1=D. C. |title=Asokan studies |date=1979 |page=118 |url=https://archive.org/stream/in.gov.ignca.67068/67068#page/n129/mode/2up}}</ref>
Kausambi
Gotihawa, possible base of the Nigali Sagar pillar
Bodh Gaya (originally near Sujata Stupa, brought from Gaya in 1956).<ref>{{cite book |last1=Geary |first1=David |title=The Rebirth of Bodh Gaya: Buddhism and the Making of a World Heritage Site |date=2017 |publisher=University of Washington Press |isbn=9780295742380 |page=209 Note 1 |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=meA5DwAAQBAJ&pg=PA209 |language=en}}</ref>
Portion of an Ashokan pillar, found in Pataliputra.
Bhawanipur Rupandehi.
Sankissa elephant.
Rampurva zebu bull original (now in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi).
Lauria Nandangarh lion.
Rampurva lion.
Four lions, once possibly crowned by a wheel, from Sanchi.
Kosambi-Allahabad Schism Edict.
Sanchi Schism Edict.
Sarnath Schism Edit.
Rummindei, in Lumbini.
Nigali Sagar.
Major Pillar Edicts I, II, III (Delhi-Topra)
Major Pillar Edicts IV (Delhi-Topra)
Major Pillar Edicts V-VII (Delhi-Topra)
Major Pillar Edicts VII, second part (Delhi-Topra)
Lion Capital of Ashoka from Sarnath, with Wheel of the Moral Law (reconstitution). 3rd century BCE.

The pillars of Ashoka are a series of monolithic columns dispersed throughout the Indian subcontinent, erected or at least inscribed with edicts by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka during his reign from c.

Sanchi

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Buddhist complex, famous for its Great Stupa, on a hilltop at Sanchi Town in Raisen District of the State of Madhya Pradesh, India.

Buddhist complex, famous for its Great Stupa, on a hilltop at Sanchi Town in Raisen District of the State of Madhya Pradesh, India.

Plan of the monuments of the hill of Sanchi, numbered 1 to 50.
The Ashoka pillar at Sanchi.
The capital of the Sanchi pillar of Ashoka, as discovered (left), and simulation of original appearance (right). It is very similar to the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath, except for the abacus, here adorned with flame palmettes and facing geese, 250 BCE. Sanchi Archaeological Museum.
by later illustrations among the Sanchi reliefs
The Great Stupa under the Sungas. The Sungas nearly doubled the diameter of the initial stupa, encasing it in stone, and built a balustrade and a railing around it.
Foreigner on a horse, circa 115 BCE, Stupa No2.
Sunga period railings were initially blank (left: Great Stupa), and only started to be decorated circa 115 BCE with Stupa No.2 (right).
Sunga pillar No25 with own capital on the side.
Siri-Satakani inscription
Cave No.19
The Worship of the Bodhisattva's hair
Vedisakehi damtakārehi rupakammam katam
The Great Stupa at the time of the Satavahanas.
Temptation of the Buddha, with the Buddha on the left (symbolized by his throne only) surrounded by rejoicing devotees, Mara and his daughters (center), and the demons of Mara fleeing (right).
War over the Buddha's Relics, kept by the city of Kushinagar, South Gate, Stupa no.1, Sanchi.
King Ashoka visits Ramagrama, to take relics of the Buddha from the Nagas, but he failed, the Nagas being too powerful. Southern gateway, Stupa 1, Southern Gateway, Sanchi.
Ashoka in grief, supported by his two queens, in a relief at Sanchi. Stupa 1, Southern gateway. The identification with Ashoka is confirm by a similar relief from Kanaganahalli inscribed "Raya Asoko".
Bodhi tree temple depicted in Sanchi, Stupa 1, Southern gateway.
Temple for the Bodhi Tree (Eastern Gateway).
foreigners illustrated at Sanchi worshiping the Great Stupa
Foreigners worshiping Stupa
Greek travelling costume
Another one
Miracle at Kapilavastu
Miracle of the Buddha walking on the river Nairanjana
Procession of king Suddhodana from Kapilavastu
"The promenade of the Buddha", or Chankrama, used to depict the Buddha in motion in Buddhist aniconism.
Bimbisara with his royal cortege issuing from the city of Rajagriha to visit the Buddha
Foreigners making a dedication at the Southern Gateway of Stupa No 1
Stupas and monasteries at Sanchi in the early centuries of the current era. Reconstruction, 1900
Sanchi inscription of Chandragupta II.
Temple 17: a Gupta period tetrastyle prostyle temple of Classical appearance. 5th century CE
Statue of Padmapani (5th c.or 9th c.) Victoria and Albert Museum.
Pillar 26: one of the two four-lions stambha capitals at Sanchi, with lions, central flame palmette and Wheel of Law (axis, stubs of the spokes and part of the circumference only), initially located at the Northern Gateway of the Great Stupa. Sanchi Archaeological Museum.
Pillar 26: lion pillar capital at time of discovery, with Dharmachakra wheel (reconstitution). Northern Gateway.
this image
Pillar 35 column stump (right), and bell capital with abacus, positioned upside down.
Vajrapani statue of pillar 35, 5th c. CE. Sanchi Archaeological Museum.
Temple 18 at Sanchi, an apsidal hall with Maurya foundations, rebuilt at the time of Harsha (7th century CE).
Temple 45
The Great Stupa as breached by Sir Herbert Maddock in 1822. Watercolor by Frederick Charles Maisey, in 1851.
Ruins of the Southern Gateway, Sanchi in 1875.
A Gate to the Stupa of Sanchi 1932
Chetiyagiri Vihara
Inscribed panel from Sanchi in Brahmi script in the British Museum
The last two letters to the right of this inscription in Brahmi form the word "dǎnam" (donation). This hypothesis permitted the decipherment of the Brahmi script by James Prinsep in 1837.
General view of the Stupas at Sanchi by F.C. Maisey, 1851 (The Great Stupa on top of the hill, and Stupa 2 at the forefront)
The Great Stupa (Stupa No.1), started in the 3rd century BCE
Stupa No.2
Stupa No.3
Buddhist Temple, No.17
Remains of the Ashokan Pillar in polished stone (right of the Southern Gateway), with its Edict.
Sanchi Minor Pillar Edict of Ashoka, in-situ (detail of the previous image).
Remains of the shaft of the pillar of Ashoka, under a shed near the Southern Gateway.
Side view of the capital. Sanchi Archaeological Museum.<ref name="p.25-28 Ashoka pillar"/>
Shunga balustrade and staircase.
Shunga stonework.
Shunga vedika (railing) with inscriptions.
Deambulatory pathway.
Summit railing and umbrellas.
Flame palmette.
Flame palmette and lotus.
Peacock.
Woman riding a Centaur.
Lotus.
Half lotus.
Lion.
Elephant.
Elephant with branch.
Floral motif.
Lakshmi with lotus and two child attendants, probably derived from [[:File:Venus with two cupids 2.jpg|similar images of Venus]]<ref>An Indian Statuette From Pompeii, Mirella Levi D'Ancona, in Artibus Asiae, Vol. 13, No. 3 (1950) p. 171</ref>
Griffin with Brahmi script inscription.
Female riding a Centaur.
Lotus within beads and reels motif.
Stairway and railing.
Lotus medallions.
Floral designs.
Post relief.<ref>Marshall p. 82</ref>
Relics of Sariputra and Mahamoggallana.
Detail of the foreigners, in Greek dress and playing carnyxes and aolus flute. Northern Gateway of Stupa I (detail).
Foreigners holding grapes and riding winged lions, Sanchi Stupa 1, Eastern Gateway.<ref>"The Diffusion of Classical Art in Antiquity, John Boardman, 1993, p. 112 Note 91</ref>
Foreigners riding horses.
Foreign heroe fighting a Makara
Foreigners on horses, wearing headbands, caps and boots. Western gate of Stupa 1.
Hero with headband wrestling a Makara.
Indians riding horses.
Indians riding bulls.
Indians riding bulls.
Queen Maya lustrated by Elephants.
The Buddha represented by the Dharmacakra.
Bodhi Tree.
Winged lion.
Winged lions.
The Buddha represented by the Dharmacakra.
Men and Women on Elephants.
Men and Women on Elephants.
Stupa representing a Buddha.
Lakshmi lustrated by Elephants.
Men on lions.
Men on lions.
2nd panel
3rd panel
Second panel
Bottom panel Dvarapala guardian deity or devotee.
Second panel
Possibly demons, or the attack of Mara.
Second panel
Bottom panel Dvarapala guardian deity or devotee.
2nd panel
3rd panel
A Seated Buddha statue (Gupta temple).
Buddha Statue (Great Stupa).
Seated Buddha (Great Stupa).
Pillar 34 with lion.<ref>Marshall p. 52 Pillar 34</ref>
The winged lion capital of pillar 34 (lost).
Great Stupa, Eastern Gateway, in 1875.
West Gateway in 1882.
South Gateway in 1882.
Great Stupa, Northern Gateway in 1861.
Temple 18 in 1861.
A vision of ancient Indian court life, using motifs from Sanchi (wood engraving, 1878).

It was originally commissioned by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BCE.

Sri Lanka

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Island country in South Asia.

Island country in South Asia.

Ptolemy's world map of Ceylon, first century CE, in a 1535 publication
The Avukana Buddha statue, a 12 m standing Buddha statue from the reign of Dhatusena of Anuradhapura, 5th century
The Sigiriya ("Lion Rock"), a rock fortress and city, built by King Kashyapa (477–495 CE) as a new more defensible capital. It was also used as a Buddhist monastery after the capital was moved back to Anuradhapura.
The seated image of Gal Vihara in Polonnaruwa, 12th century, which depicts the dhyana mudra, shows signs of Mahayana influence.
A 17th-century engraving of Dutch explorer Joris van Spilbergen meeting with King Vimaladharmasuriya in 1602
Sri Vikrama Rajasinha of Kandy, the last ruling native Sri Lankan monarch
British appointed Kandyan chief headmen in 1905.
The formal ceremony marking the start of self-rule, with the opening of the first parliament at Independence Square
Topographic map of Sri Lanka
A view of Sripada from Maskeliya
Sri Lanka map of Köppen climate classification
The Sri Lankan elephant is one of three recognised subspecies of the Asian elephant. The 2011 elephant census estimated a population of 5,879.
The Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) is an endangered subspecies of leopard native to Sri Lanka.
Maha rath mala (Rhododendron arboreum ssp. zeylanicum) is a rare sub-species of Rhododendron arboreum found in Central Highlands of Sri Lanka.
The old Sri Lankan Parliament building, near the Galle Face Green. It now serves as the Presidential Secretariat's headquarters.
The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, Colombo
President J. R. Jayewardene gifting a baby elephant to US President Ronald Reagan in 1984
Development of real GDP per capita, 1820 to 2018
A proportional representation of Sri Lanka exports, 2019
The Colombo World Trade Center in Colombo. Presidential Secretariat, Bank of Ceylon and Galadhari Hotel are also visible in the image.
Sri Lanka's most widely known export, Ceylon tea, which ISO considers the cleanest tea in the world in terms of pesticide residues. Sri Lanka is also the world's 2nd largest exporter of tea.
Sri Lanka's population, (1871–2001)
Development of life expectancy
The Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology is a research institute specialising in the field of nanotechnology.
Hindu devotees engaging in Kavadi at a temple in Vavuniya
Sri Lankan rice and curry
Female dancers in traditional Kandyan dress
The Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre was constructed as a major venue for the performing arts
A Low Country drummer playing the traditional Yak Béra
R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
A 1595 map of Sri Lanka created by Dutch cartographer Petrus Plancius

In 250 BCE, Mahinda, a bhikkhu and the son of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka arrived in Mihintale carrying the message of Buddhism.

Ancient kingdoms and cities of India during the time of the Buddha (circa 500 BCE) – modern-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan

Buddhism

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Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on a series of original teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha.

Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on a series of original teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha.

Ancient kingdoms and cities of India during the time of the Buddha (circa 500 BCE) – modern-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan
The gilded "Emaciated Buddha statue" in an Ubosoth in Bangkok representing the stage of his asceticism
Enlightenment of Buddha, Kushan dynasty, late 2nd to early 3rd century CE, Gandhara.
The Buddha teaching the Four Noble Truths. Sanskrit manuscript. Nalanda, Bihar, India.
Traditional Tibetan Buddhist Thangka depicting the Wheel of Life with its six realms
Ramabhar Stupa in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India is regionally believed to be Buddha's cremation site.
An aniconic depiction of the Buddha's spiritual liberation (moksha) or awakening (bodhi), at Sanchi. The Buddha is not depicted, only symbolized by the Bodhi tree and the empty seat.
Dharma Wheel and triratna symbols from Sanchi Stupa number 2.
Buddhist monks and nuns praying in the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple of Singapore
A depiction of Siddhartha Gautama in a previous life prostrating before the past Buddha Dipankara. After making a resolve to be a Buddha, and receiving a prediction of future Buddhahood, he becomes a "bodhisattva".
Bodhisattva Maitreya, Gandhara (3rd century), Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Sermon in the Deer Park depicted at Wat Chedi Liam, near Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.
Buddhist monks collect alms in Si Phan Don, Laos. Giving is a key virtue in Buddhism.
An ordination ceremony at Wat Yannawa in Bangkok. The Vinaya codes regulate the various sangha acts, including ordination.
Living at the root of a tree (trukkhamulik'anga) is one of the dhutaṅgas, a series of optional ascetic practices for Buddhist monastics.
Kōdō Sawaki practicing Zazen ("sitting dhyana")
Seated Buddha, Gal Viharaya, Polonnawura, Sri Lanka.
Kamakura Daibutsu, Kōtoku-in, Kamakura, Japan.
Statue of Buddha in Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, Phitsanulok, Thailand
An 18th century Mongolian miniature which depicts the generation of the Vairocana Mandala
A section of the Northern wall mural at the Lukhang Temple depicting tummo, the three channels (nadis) and phowa
Monks debating at Sera Monastery, Tibet
Tibetan Buddhist prostration practice at Jokhang, Tibet.
Vegetarian meal at Buddhist temple. East Asian Buddhism tends to promote vegetarianism.
A depiction of the supposed First Buddhist council at Rajgir. Communal recitation was one of the original ways of transmitting and preserving Early Buddhist texts.
Gandhara birchbark scroll fragments (c. 1st century) from British Library Collection
The Tripiṭaka Koreana in South Korea, an edition of the Chinese Buddhist canon carved and preserved in over 81,000 wood printing blocks
Buddhist monk Geshe Konchog Wangdu reads Mahayana sutras from an old woodblock copy of the Tibetan Kanjur.
Mahākāśyapa meets an Ājīvika ascetic, one of the common Śramaṇa groups in ancient India
Ajanta Caves, Cave 10, a first period type chaitya worship hall with stupa but no idols.
Sanchi Stupa No. 3, near Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Map of the Buddhist missions during the reign of Ashoka according to the Edicts of Ashoka.
Extent of Buddhism and trade routes in the 1st century CE.
Buddhist expansion throughout Asia
A Buddhist triad depicting, left to right, a Kushan, the future buddha Maitreya, Gautama Buddha, the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, and a monk. Second–third century. Guimet Museum
Site of Nalanda University, a great center of Mahāyāna thought
Vajrayana adopted deities such as Bhairava, known as Yamantaka in Tibetan Buddhism.
Angkor Thom build by Khmer King Jayavarman VII (c. 1120–1218).
Distribution of major Buddhist traditions
Buddhists of various traditions, Yeunten Ling Tibetan Institute
Monastics and white clad laypersons celebrate Vesak, Vipassakna Dhaurak, Cambodia
Chinese Buddhist monks performing a formal ceremony in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
Tibetan Buddhists practicing Chöd with various ritual implements, such as the Damaru drum, hand-bell, and Kangling (thighbone trumpet).
Ruins of a temple at the Erdene Zuu Monastery complex in Mongolia.
Buryat Buddhist monk in Siberia
1893 World Parliament of Religions in Chicago
Interior of the Thai Buddhist wat in Nukari, Nurmijärvi, Finland
Percentage of Buddhists by country, according to the Pew Research Center, as of 2010
A painting by G. B. Hooijer (c. 1916–1919) reconstructing a scene of Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world.
Frontispiece of the Chinese Diamond Sūtra, the oldest known dated printed book in the world
The Dharmachakra, a sacred symbol which represents Buddhism and its traditions.
An image of a lantern used in the Vesak Festival, which celebrates the birth, enlightenment and Parinirvana of Gautama Buddha.

Buddhism may have spread only slowly throughout India until the time of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka (304–232 BCE), who was a public supporter of the religion.

The Piprahwa stupa is one of the earliest surviving stupas.

Stupa

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Mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics (such as śarīra – typically the remains of Buddhist monks or nuns) that is used as a place of meditation.

Mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics (such as śarīra – typically the remains of Buddhist monks or nuns) that is used as a place of meditation.

The Piprahwa stupa is one of the earliest surviving stupas.
Buddha's ashes Stupa built by the Licchavis, Vaishali and one of the earliest stupas
An early stupa, 6 m in diameter, with fallen umbrella on side at Chakpat, near Chakdara; probably Maurya, 3rd century BCE
an inscribed dedication
ButkaraStupa
The Ahin Posh stupa was dedicated in the 2nd century CE under the Kushans, and contained coins of Kaniska I.
The Chinese Songyue Pagoda
Row of stupas on roadside east of Leh, Ladakh.jpg (523 CE) is thought to derive from the Gandharan tower-stupa model.
Borobudur bell-shaped stupas
A Jain stupa, Mathura, 1st century CE
Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal
View of the Wat Phra Kaew complex from the northeast, temple complex of the Emerald Buddha with stupas
The sharing of the relics of the Buddha. Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, 2-3rd century CE. ZenYouMitsu Temple Museum, Tokyo.
Buddha relics from Kanishka's stupa in Peshawar, Pakistan. These surviving relics are now housed in Mandalay, Myanmar.
The Eight Great Stupas
Row of chortens at roadside near Leh, Ladakh
Enlightenment Stupa at Ogoy Island, Russia
Sanchi Stupa No.2, the earliest known stupa with important displays of decorative reliefs, circa 125 BCE<ref name="Bell 15">Didactic Narration: Jataka Iconography in Dunhuang with a Catalogue of Jataka Representations in China, Alexander Peter Bell, LIT Verlag Münster, 2000 p.15ff</ref>
East Gateway and Railings of Bharhut Stupa. Sculptured railings: 115 BCE, toranas: 75 BCE.
The Great Stupa at Sanchi<ref name="Alī Jāvīd p.50">World Heritage Monuments and Related Edifices in India, Volume 1 p.50 by Alī Jāvīd, Tabassum Javeed, Algora Publishing, New York </ref> Decorated toranas built from the 1st c. BCE to the 1st c. CE.
Amaravati stupa, 1st-2nd century CE
A model resembling the Saidu Sharif Stupa, with square base and four columns (1st century CE).<ref>Le Huu Phuoc, Buddhist Architecture, Grafikol 2009, p.174-176</ref>
Loriyan Tangai decorated stupa, in the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara (2nd century CE).
A tower-shaped stupa, thought to be the design of the second (rebuilt) Kanishka stupa, Jaulian monastery
Stupa-shaped reliquary, Kushan period, about 2nd century CE
Chilas petroglyphs, Buddhist stupa, circa 300-350 CE based on paleography<ref>Dated "between A.D. 300-350 based on Kharosthi, Brahmi, and Sodian inscriptions written before and after the drawing was completed (fig.3) In the center of the triptych, a spectacular stupa with a relatively small dome [anda], a chattravali with seven disks, columns, banners, and multiple bells illustrates a trend towards decorative profusion." {{cite journal |journal=Bulletin of the Asia Institute |date=2002 |title=Chital petroglyphs|page=152 |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=RuhtAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA152 |publisher=Wayne State University Press |language=en}}</ref>
The Great Stupa at Sanchi, which contained the relics of Buddha, the oldest known stupa
An early stupa at Guntupalle, probably Maurya Empire, third century BCE
Buddha statue inside a votive stupa, Sarnath
Abayagiri Dageba, Sri Lanka
Chorten near Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet
The white stupa in Miaoying Temple, China
The Kalachakra stupa in Karma Guen, Spain
Stupa of Kantha Bopha
Stupa of King Norodom Suramarit
Main stupa at Wat Phnom
Stupa at Wat Botum
Stupa at Oudong
Golden stupa at Wat Ounalom
thumb|Roadside stupa. Kathmandu 1979
Swayambhunath
Boudhanath Stupa
Kaathe Swyambhu
Stupa
Mahabaudha
Tahiti stupa
Yetkha Stupa
thumb|Small stupa in Kathmandu street

According to Buddhist tradition, Emperor Ashoka (rule: 273—232 BCE) recovered the relics of the Buddha from the earlier stupas (except from the Ramagrama stupa), and erected 84,000 stupas to distribute the relics across India.