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Patronized learning in the Mauryan empire was mainly facilitated by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd Century BC. He created and mainstreamed  approximately 85,000 stupas or dome shaped monuments  for the purpose of vastly spreading the teachings of Buddhism.

Ashoka Maurya
Sanchi Gate    

These dome shaped monuments were engraved in and on rocks and large pillars. A commonly mentioned  stupa of the Mauryan Empire is the Sanchi Gate and Stupa which was used for the worship of Buddhism.

One of the most famous of these huge pillars is the famous Asoka Pillar at Sarnath in Madhya Pradesh. This huge pillar of polished sandstone is symbolic of the hieratic art under the time of the Mauryan Empire.
Ashoka pillar
Lion capital

The Indian Republic has adopted the lion capital of the pillar as thei
r  official emblem. The Lion had four heads looking in all directions and was erected at the top of the Asoka  pillar..

The Indian Republic also represent the sacred wheel of law or the dharmachakra, symbolic of the first sermon that Buddha  delivered at Sarnath. The dharmachakra is also represented in the flag of India.
The dharmachakra

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