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Emblem of India

The emblem of India is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath, preserved in the Sarnath Museum. In the original Sarnath capital (which is currently situated in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh) there are four Asiatic lions standing back to back - symbolizing power, courage, pride, and confidence - mounted on a circular abacus. The abacus is girded with a frieze of sculptures in high relief of an elephant (of the east), a horse (of the south), a bull (of the west), and a lion (of the north), separated by intervening wheels, over a lotus in full bloom, exemplifying the fountainhead of life and creative inspiration. Carved out of a double block of polished sandstone, the capital is crowned by the Wheel of the Law (Dharma Chakra). In the emblem adopted by the government in 1950 only three lions are visible, the fourth being hidden from view. The wheel appears in relief in the centre of the abacus, with a bull on the right and a galloping horse on the left, and outlines of Dharma Chakras on the extreme right and left. The bell-shaped lotus beneath the abacus has been omitted.[1] Emperor Ashoka the Great erected the capital to mark the spot where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma and where the Buddhist Sangha was founded. Forming an integral part of the emblem is the motto inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script: Satyameva jayate ?? (English: Truth Alone Triumphs).[2] This is a quote from Mundaka Upanishad,[3] the concluding part of the sacred Hindu Vedas. This National Emblem

was adopted on 26 January 1950, the day that India became a republic.[4] The emblem forms a part of the official letterhead of the Government of India, and appears on all Indian currency as well. It also sometimes functions as the national emblem of India in many places and appears prominently on Indian passports. The "Ashoka Chakra" (wheel) from its base has been placed onto the center of the National Flag of India. The Lion capital of Ashoka is a sculpture of four "Indian lions" standing back to back. It was originally placed atop the Asoka pillar at Sarnath, now in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India by Emperor Ashoka c. 250 BCE. The pillar, sometimes called the Asoka Column is still in its original location, but the Lion Capital is now in the Sarnath Museum. This Lion Capital of Ashoka from Sarnath was adopted as the National Emblem of India in 1950.[3] The wheel "[[Ashoka Chakra The capital contains four lions (Indian/Asiatic Lions), standing back to back, mounted on an abacus, with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion, separated by intervening spoked chariot-wheels over a bell-shaped lotus. Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, the capital was believed to be crowned by a 'Wheel of Dharma' (Dharmachakra popularly known in India as the "Ashoka Chakra"), which has now been lost. There is a similar intact Ashoka pillar in Thailand (see photo) with a similar four lion capital intact and crowned with Ashoka Chakra / Dharmachakra.