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Rampurva bull capital side.jpg
Bull capital at Rampurva, one of the Pillars of Ashoka, 3rd century BCE.
Rampurva is located in India
Shown within India
Rampurva is located in Bihar
Shown within India
Location West Champaran district, Bihar, India.
Coordinates 26°50′34″N 84°41′46″E / 26.8429°N 84.6960°E / 26.8429; 84.6960Coordinates: 26°50′34″N 84°41′46″E / 26.8429°N 84.6960°E / 26.8429; 84.6960
Type Settlement
Lion Capital found at Rampurva. The abacus is decorated with hamsa geese.

Rampurva is an archaeological site in the West Champaran district of the Indian state of Bihar, situated very close to the border with Nepal.[1] It is known for the discovery of a pair of Ashoka Pillars in c. 1876 by A.C.L. Carlleyle.[2][3]

Buddhist signification[edit]

Waddell in 1896 suggested that the death and parinirvana of Gautama Buddha was in the region of Rampurva: "I believe that Kusīnagara, where the Buddha died may be ultimately found to the North of Bettiah, and in the line of the Açōka pillars which lead hither from Patna (Pāțaliputra)."[4] Modern scholarship, based on archaeological evidence, believes that the Buddha died in Kushinagar (Uttar Pradesh).[5][6][7]

Rampurva bull capital[edit]

The Rampurva bull capital is noted as one of the seven remaining animal capitals from the Pillars of Ashoka, it is composed of a lotiform base, with an abacus decorated with floral designs, and the realistic depiction of a zebu bull.

"Flame palmettes" around a lotus, Rampurva bull capital, detail of the abacus.

The abacus in particular displays a strong influence of Greek art: it is composed of honeysuckles alternated with stylized palmettes and small rosettes.[8] A similar kind of capital can be seen at the basis of the Sankassa elephant capital, these design likely originated in Greek and Near-Eastern arts.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rampurva". Bihar Tourism. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Rampurva". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Allen, Charles (2010). The Buddha and Dr. Führer: An Archaeological Scandal. Penguin Books India. pp. 66–67. ISBN 0143415743. 
  4. ^ "A Tibetan Guide-book to the Lost Sites of the Buddha's Birth and Death", L. A. Waddell. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1896, p. 279.
  5. ^ United Nations (2003). Promotion of Buddhist Tourism Circuits in Selected Asian Countries. United Nations Publications. pp. 23–24. ISBN 978-92-1-120386-8. 
  6. ^ Kevin Trainor (2004). Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide. Oxford University Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-19-517398-7. 
  7. ^ Elizabeth Lyons; Heather Peters; Chʻeng-mei Chang (1985). Buddhism: History and Diversity of a Great Tradition. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-934718-76-9. ;
    Fred S. Kleiner (2009). Gardner's Art through the Ages: Non-Western Perspectives. Cengage. pp. 13, 31. ISBN 0-495-57367-1. 
  8. ^ "Buddhist Architecture" by Huu Phuoc Le, Grafikol, 2010, p.40 [1]
  9. ^ "Buddhist Architecture" by Huu Phuoc Le, Grafikol, 2010, p.44 [2]