By Anil Kr. Pujara
On 5th Of April, under the caption \’Anatomy of Special Cover\’,the 1st Special Cover of 2012 released by Bihar Circle was posted n I had decided to study the details of each n every image printed on the said cover.I now give the details of 1st image.
From left, the first image is of Pillar with lion sitting on the top of it.It is Asokan Pillar excavated at Kolhua(Vaishali).Kolhua is an integral part of ancient city Vaishali, known as Capital city of Lichchhavi, a Confedration of Republic.The ancient city Vaishali, falling under the jurisdiction of 2 Distts. of North Bihar i.e. Vaishali n Muzzafar Pur.Lot of important events as per the Budhist texts are associated with the life of Buddha and impacted Buddhism, are linked to this place Kolhua e.g. it is here that Monkey Chief had offered Bowl of Honey to Lord Buddha. The miracle is regarded as one of the four important events associated with life of Buddha.At this place Lord Buddha spent many rainy seasons of his life., allowed entry of Nuns in Sangha for the first time and His foster mother Gautmi, wife Yashodhara and Amrapali, the Nagarvadhu of Vaishali joined the ranks, thus converted Amrapali from a proud court Dancer to a Nun.
It stood on the Royal road leading from Patliputra to Nepal, the line marked by 4 Ashokan Pillars and other notable ancient remains. The Pillar is locally known as Bhim Sen ki Lathi. It is about 12.00 meter high from the present surface level.Monolithic polished sandstone column with a square abacus is surmounted with a Lion Capital. The statue of seated Lion is North facing, with its mouth open as if it is snarling and its Tongue slightly protruding. It is one of the earliest six Pillars erected by Ashoka probably to mark the different stages of the journey to Nepal which he undertook in the 21st year of his reign in order to visit some of the Holy sites of Budhism.The Pillar does not bear the usual Maurayan edict. But there are a few letters in Brahami n Shell characters(Shankhlipi)of Gupta period and few scribbled over by visitors including Reuben Burrow(1792) a distinguished Mathematician and Astronomer and one of the early members of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. (Special thanks to Dr Sanjay k Manjul)