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The Mauryan Empire


Patronage of The Arts


       The
Mauryan empire supported the arts heavily. The main art that was focused on was the art of stone cutting, engraving and ceramics. During the reign of Asoka, he himself poured lots of money from the treasury into the arts programs. He was especially interested in the building of the large pillars. These pillars can be found all over India. He ordered these massive pillars to be built, and on them are written the some of the sacred scriptures of the Buddhist religion . These pillars were about forty feet high and weighed about forty tons. They were constructed of a hard sandstone and were buffed and polished untill they had a lusterious shine. The gaint pillars were topped with animal sculptures that had an importance in the buddhist religion. These animals included the lion, like the Buddha's preaching; the horse, the Buddha's renunciation; the elephant, his conception by mother; the bull, the Buddha's strength  and finally the goose, because it is said that Buddha was the king of the geese. These pillars are the paragon of Mauryan art and architecture.                                   

                                                                                                                                                      Asokan Pillar with mounted Lion Sculpture
                                                                                                                                                  pillar