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First labelled portraiture of king Asoka

Here is some breaking news. King Asoka (Chandragupta Maurya’s grandson and the hero of Santosh Sivan’s film) does not look like Shah Rukh Khan. Not even a bit. We can say this for sure since we have an actual labelled portraiture of king Asoka and his queen. This information comes to us via the excavations conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India at Kanganhalli in Gulbarga district of Karnataka.

The site has yielded more than 145 short and 1lengthy donatory inscriptions of which the one referring to Asoka the Great (Rayo Asoka) is inscribed on a carved slab depicting king Asoka and his queen keeping in the view the international importance of the site the Archaeological Survey of India has initiated a project to reconstruct the stupa in its original form. It is also proposed to extend the archaeological excavations to expose the monastic complex, if any, which is a usual feature of the Buddhist sites in India [Kanganhalli]

Here are the pictures and the women in the carvings seem to be bare breasted. This means that Santosh Sivan’s movie was so factually incorrect

Besides this, two other statues of Asoka were also unearthed in Orissa in 2001

One of the two finds is the first individual statue of Asoka bearing an inscription ever to be discovered in India.Dr DR Pradhan, secretary of the state-run Institute of Maritime and South East Asian studies, told the BBC the ancient inscription translates as: “The statue was unveiled by the auspicious hands of Asoka”.Dr Pradhan said the second statue, depicting the king with two of his queens, bore the simple inscription: “The King Asoka”. [Asoka statues unearthed in India]

3 Responses to First labelled portraiture of king Asoka

  1. froginthewell December 10, 2005 at 7:02 pm #

    So what about the Orissa statues? Wouldn’t one of them be the first labelled portraitures? And secondly, are the two sets of statues ( Orissa and Bangalore ) similar? Sorry for the late comment, saw this entry only now.

  2. JK December 12, 2005 at 11:49 am #

    froginthewell, yes, that should be the first one.

  3. The Palm Leaf January 20, 2006 at 7:00 am #

    Found: A missing State

    Usually archaeologists find artifcats like terracota idols, amphorae or the first labelled portaiture of Emperor Asoka. They also find old temples, forts, boats, and sometimes even skeletons. But it is only once in a blue moon that they find an…

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