Dan Cruickshank is an art historian and BBC television presenter, with a special interest in the history of architecture. As a young child he lived for years in Warsaw. His father was a communist Daily Worker journalist based in Warsaw, holidays were spent in his mothers native Wales. In 2014 he was appointed President of Subterranea Britannica, a UK-based society for all interested in man-made and man-used underground structures. Cruickshank began his career with the BBC as consultant and presenter on the architectural programmes One Foot in the Past and he contributed films to the Timewatch and Omnibus strands. The BBC subsequently stated that Cruickshank was not responsible and that it was an error by researchers, channel 4s head of history programming, Hamish Mykura, commented that When a programme claims to have an authors voice, it should be that authors voice and no one elses. The BBC subsequently made a payment to Morris in recognition of the error. In 2006, Cruickshank presented Marvels of the Modern Age, a series focusing on the development of modernism in design, from Greek and Roman architecture, to Bauhaus and the present.
Dan Cruickshanks Adventures in Architecture, a 2008 series in which he travelled around the world visiting what he considered to be the worlds most unusual, the series was entitled Great Railway Adventures and first appeared on UK television in the spring of 2010. In 2014, he appeared in The Life of Rock with Brian Pern as himself, Cruickshank was previously in a relationship with Lucinda Lambton over a four-year period. Cruickshank lives in a Georgian house in Spitalfields, which he shares with his partner, national Trust and the Irish Georgian Society Guide to Georgian Buildings of Britain and Ireland. Cruickshank, Tony Rivers, Gillian Darley & Martin Pawley, the Name of the Room, History of the British House and Home. Banister Fletchers A History of Architecture, the Royal Hospital Chelsea, The Place and the People. Cruickshank, Nicola Jackson & Ricky Burdett, building the BBC, A Return to Form. Brunel, The Man Who Built the World, around the World in Eighty Treasures. The Secret History of Georgian London, How the Wages of Sin Shaped the Capital, Dan Cruickshank at the Internet Movie Database Cruickshanks comments on visiting Iraq, post-U. S
Buddhism is a religion and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to the Buddha. Buddhism originated in India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, from where it spread through much of Asia, two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars and Mahayana. Buddhism is the worlds fourth-largest religion, with over 500 million followers or 7% of the global population, Buddhist schools vary on the exact nature of the path to liberation, the importance and canonicity of various teachings and scriptures, and especially their respective practices. In Theravada the ultimate goal is the attainment of the state of Nirvana, achieved by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path, thus escaping what is seen as a cycle of suffering. Theravada has a following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Nichiren Buddhism, rather than Nirvana, Mahayana instead aspires to Buddhahood via the bodhisattva path, a state wherein one remains in the cycle of rebirth to help other beings reach awakening.
Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian siddhas, may be viewed as a branch or merely a part of Mahayana. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth century India, is practiced in regions surrounding the Himalayas, Tibetan Buddhism aspires to Buddhahood or rainbow body. Buddhism is an Indian religion attributed to the teachings of Buddha, the details of Buddhas life are mentioned in many early Buddhist texts but are inconsistent, his social background and life details are difficult to prove, the precise dates uncertain. Some hagiographic legends state that his father was a king named Suddhodana, his mother queen Maya, and he was born in Lumbini gardens. Some of the stories about Buddha, his life, his teachings, Buddha was moved by the innate suffering of humanity. He meditated on this alone for a period of time, in various ways including asceticism, on the nature of suffering. He famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya in Gangetic plains region of South Asia.
He reached enlightenment, discovering what Buddhists call the Middle Way, as an enlightened being, he attracted followers and founded a Sangha. Now, as the Buddha, he spent the rest of his teaching the Dharma he had discovered. Dukkha is a concept of Buddhism and part of its Four Noble Truths doctrine. It can be translated as incapable of satisfying, the unsatisfactory nature, the Four Truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism, we crave and cling to impermanent states and things, which is dukkha, incapable of satisfying and painful. This keeps us caught in saṃsāra, the cycle of repeated rebirth, dukkha
A chaitya is a Buddhist shrine or prayer hall with a stupa at one end. In modern texts on Indian architecture, the term chaitya-griha is often used to denote an assembly or prayer hall houses a stupa. Chaityas were probably constructed to hold large numbers of devotees and to shelter for them. An ancient practice, rock-cut architecture has had a tradition in Buddhism. Ancient Buddhist chaityas can be found in parts of Maharashtra. Over the course of time, the wall separating the stupa from the hall was removed to create a hall with a colonnade around the nave. The chaitya at Bhaja Caves was constructed in the first century BCE and it consisted of an apsidal hall with stupa. The columns sloped inwards in the imitation of wooden columns that would have been necessary to keep a roof up. The ceiling was vaulted with wooden ribs set into them. The walls were polished in the Mauryan style and it was faced by a substantial wooden facade. This created the appearance of an ancient Indian mansion, in Bhaja, as in other chaityas, the entrance acted as the demarcation between the sacred and the profane.
The stupa inside the hall was now removed from the sight of anyone outside. In this context, in the 1st century CE, the veneration of the stupa changed to the veneration of an image of Gautama Buddha. Chaityas were commonly part of a complex, the vihara. In Nepal, chaityas are constructed and worshiped by the Sherpas, Gurungs and Newars, the Newars in the Kathmandu Valley, mainly after the 12th century, started adding images of four Dhyani Buddhas on the chaityas four directions. They are constructed with carved stone and mud mortar. They are said to consist of the five basic elements — earth, fire, each is constructed in memory of a dead person by his or her family. On average, each is four to eight feet in height, chaityas show similarities to ancient Roman architectural concepts of column and arch
The spiritual capital of India, it is the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism. Varanasi lies along National Highway 2, which connects it to Kolkata, Kanpur and Delhi, Varanasi is one of 72 districts in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. At the time of the 2011 census, there were a total 8 blocks and 1329 villages in this district, Varanasi grew as an important industrial centre, famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, ivory works, and sculpture. Buddha is believed to have founded Buddhism here around 528 BC when he gave his first sermon, The Setting in Motion of the Wheel of Dharma, at nearby Sarnath. The citys religious importance continued to grow in the 8th century, Tulsidas wrote his epic poem on Ramas life called Ram Charit Manas in Varanasi. Several other major figures of the Bhakti movement were born in Varanasi, including Kabir, Guru Nanak Dev visited Varanasi for Shivratri in 1507, a trip that played a large role in the founding of Sikhism.
The kingdom of Benares was given official status by the Mughals in 1737, silk weaving and crafts and tourism employ a significant number of the local population, as do the Diesel Locomotive Works and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited. Varanasi Hospital was established in 1964, Varanasi has been a cultural centre of North India for several thousand years, and is closely associated with the Ganges. Hindus believe that death in the city will bring salvation, making it a centre for pilgrimage. The city is known worldwide for its ghats, embankments made in steps of stone slabs along the river bank where pilgrims perform ritual ablutions. Of particular note are the Dashashwamedh Ghat, the Panchganga Ghat, the Manikarnika Ghat and the Harishchandra Ghat, the last two being where Hindus cremate their dead. The Ramnagar Fort, near the bank of the Ganges, was built in the 18th century in the Mughal style of architecture with carved balconies, open courtyards. Among the estimated 23,000 temples in Varanasi are Kashi Vishwanath Temple of Shiva, the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, the Kashi Naresh is the chief cultural patron of Varanasi, and an essential part of all religious celebrations.
One of Asias largest residential universities is Banaras Hindu University, the Hindi-language nationalist newspaper, Aj, was first published in 1920. The old city is located on the shores of the Ganges, bounded by Varuna. The name was used by pilgrims dating from Buddhas days. Hindu religious texts use many epithets to refer to Varanasi, such as Kāśikā, Avimukta, Ānandavana, according to legend, Varanasi was founded by the god Shiva. It is regarded as one of seven cities which can provide Moksha, Ayodhyā, Mathurā, Gayā, Kāśi, Kañchi, Avantikā
Dhamek Stupa is a massive stupa located at Sarnath,13 km away from Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Stupas originated as pre-Buddhist tumuli, in which ascetics were buried in a seated position, after the parinirvana of the Buddha, his remains were cremated and the ashes divided and buried under eight mounds with two further mounds encasing the urn and the embers. Little is known about these early stupas, particularly since it has not been possible to identify the ten monuments. However, some stupas, such as at Sarnath and Sanchi, stupas originated as circular mounds encircled by large stones. King Ashoka built stupas to enshrine small pieces of calcinated bone and other relics of the Buddha, an Ashoka pillar with an edict engraved on it stands near the site. This is nothing but the place to visit in Varanasi. Anyone who is planning to visit Varanasi, he should surely be going out there, the Dhamek Stupa is said to mark the spot where the Buddha gave the first sermon to his five disciples after attaining enlightenment, revealing his Eightfold Path leading to nirvana.
In several of the ancient sources the site of the first sermon is mentioned to have been at a ″Mriga-dayaa-vanam″ or a sanctuary for animals, the last royal endowment at the site is dated to about 12th c. CE, after which the location of the Mrigadayavanam seems to have been lost even to the devout, the stupa was enlarged on six occasions but the upper part is still unfinished. While visiting Sarnath in 640 CE, Xuanzang recorded that the colony had over 1,500 priests, in its current shape, the stupa is a solid cylinder of bricks and stone reaching a height of 43.6 meters and having a diameter of 28 meters. It is the most massive structure in Sarnath, the basement seems to have survived from Ashokas structure, the stone facing is chiseled and displays delicate floral carvings of Gupta origin. The wall is covered with carved figures of humans and birds. The Dhamek Stupa features in the 2014 Indian mystery thriller novel The Emperors Riddles by Satyarth Nayak
Brahmi is the modern name given to one of the oldest writing systems used in South and Central Asia from the 1st millennium BCE. Brahmi is an abugida that thrived in the Indian subcontinent and uses a system of marks to associate vowels with consonant symbols. It evolved into a host of other scripts that continue in use, Brahmi is related to the ancient Kharosthi script, which was used in what is now eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan. Kharosthi died out in ancient times, the best-known Brahmi inscriptions are the rock-cut edicts of Ashoka in north-central India, dating to 250–232 BCE. The script was deciphered in 1837 by James Prinsep, an archaeologist, Brahmi was at one time referred to in English as the pin-man script, that is stick figure script. Thence the name was adopted in the work of Georg Bühler. The Gupta script of the 5th century is sometimes called Late Brahmi, the Brahmi script diversified into numerous local variants, classified together as the Brahmic scripts. Dozens of modern scripts used across South Asia have descended from Brahmi, one survey found 198 scripts that ultimately derive from it.
The script was associated with its own Brahmi numerals, which provided the graphic forms for the Hindu–Arabic numeral system now used through most of the world. The Brahmi script is mentioned in the ancient Indian texts of Hinduism and Buddhism, for example, the Lipisala samdarshana parivarta lists 64 lipi, with the Brahmi script starting the list. The Lalitavistara Sūtra states that young Siddhartha, the future Buddha, mastered philology and other scripts from Brahmin Lipikara, a shorter list of eighteen ancient scripts is found in the texts of Jainism, such as the Pannavana Sutra and the Samavayanga Sutra. These Jaina script lists include Brahmi at number 1 and Kharoshthi at number 4 but Javanaliya, while the contemporary Kharosthi script is widely accepted to be a derivation of the Aramaic alphabet, the genesis of the Brahmi script is less straightforward. Salomon reviewed existing theories in 1998, while Falk provided an overview in 1993, an origin in Semitic scripts has been proposed by some scholars since the publications by Albrecht Weber and Georg Bühlers On the origin of the Indian Brahma alphabet.
The most disputed point about the origin of the Brahmi script has long been whether it was an indigenous development or was borrowed or derived from scripts that originated outside India. Most scholars believe that Brahmi was likely derived from or influenced by a Semitic script model, the issue is not settled due to the lack of direct evidence and unexplained differences between Aramaic and Brahmi. Virtually all authors accept that regardless of the origins, the degree of Indian development of the Brahmi script in both the form and the structure has been extensive. It is accepted that theories of Vedic grammar probably had a strong influence on this development. In contrast, some reject the idea of foreign influence
A tumulus is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Tumuli are known as barrows, burial mounds or kurgans, a cairn, which is a mound of stones built for various purposes, may originally have been a tumulus. Tumuli are often categorised according to their external apparent shape, in this respect, a long barrow is a long tumulus, usually constructed on top of several burials, such as passage graves. A round barrow is a tumulus, commonly constructed on top of burials. The internal structure and architecture of both long and round barrows has a range, the categorization only refers to the external apparent shape. The method of inhumation may involve a dolmen, a cist, a mortuary enclosure, examples of barrows include Duggleby Howe and Maeshowe. The funeral of Patroclus is described in book 23 of the Iliad, Patroclus is burned on a pyre, and his bones are collected into a golden urn in two layers of fat. The barrow is built on the location of the pyre, achilles sponsors funeral games, consisting of a chariot race, wrestling, running, a duel between two champions to the first blood, discus throwing and spear throwing.
Beowulfs body is taken to Hronesness, where it is burned on a funeral pyre, during cremation, the Geats lament the death of their lord, a widows lament being mentioned in particular, singing dirges as they circumambulate the barrow. Afterwards, a mound is built on top of a hill, overlooking the sea, a band of twelve of the best warriors ride around the barrow, singing dirges in praise of their lord. Parallels have drawn to the account of Attilas burial in Jordanes Getica. Jordanes tells that as Attilas body was lying in state, the best horsemen of the Huns circled it, as in circus games. An Old Irish Life of Columcille reports that every funeral procession halted at a mound called Eala, whereupon the corpse was laid, archaeologists often classify tumuli according to their location and date of construction. Some British types are listed below, Bank barrow Bell barrow Bowl barrow D-shaped barrow - round barrow with a flat edge at one side often defined by stone slabs. Disc barrow Fancy barrow - generic term for any Bronze Age barrows more elaborate than a hemispherical shape.
Long barrow Oval barrow - a Neolithic long barrow consisting of an elliptical, platform barrow - The least common of the recognised types of round barrow, consisting of a flat, wide circular mound that may be surrounded by a ditch. They occur widely across southern England with a concentration in East and West Sussex. Pond barrow - a barrow consisting of a circular depression, surrounded by a bank running around the rim of the depression
Uttar Pradesh, abbreviated as UP, is the most populous state in the Republic of India as well as the most populous country subdivision in the world. The state, located in the region of the Indian subcontinent, has over 200 million inhabitants. It was created on 1 April 1937 as the United Provinces during British rule, Lucknow is the capital city of Uttar Pradesh. Ghaziabad, Bhadohi, Moradabad, Aligarh, Sonbhadra, on 9 November 2000, a new state, was carved out from the Himalayan hill region of Uttar Pradesh. It covers 243,290 square kilometres, equal to 7. 33% of the area of India. Hindi is the official and most widely spoken language in its 75 districts, Uttar Pradesh is the third largest Indian state by economy, with a GDP of ₹9,763 billion. Agriculture and service industries are the largest parts of the states economy, the service sector comprises travel and tourism, hotel industry, real estate and financial consultancies. Uttar Pradesh was home to powerful empires of ancient and medieval India, the two major rivers of the state, the Ganges and Yamuna, join at Allahabad and flow as the Ganges further east.
Modern human hunter-gatherers have been in Uttar Pradesh since between around 85,000 and 72,000 years ago, the kingdom of Kosala, in the Mahajanapada era, was located within the regional boundaries of modern-day Uttar Pradesh. According to Hindu legend, the divine king Rama of the Ramayana epic reigned in Ayodhya, the aftermath of the Mahabharata yuddh is believed to have taken place in the area between the Upper Doab and Delhi, during the reign of the Pandava king Yudhishthira. The kingdom of the Kurus corresponds to the Black and Red Ware and Painted Gray Ware culture, most of the invaders of south India passed through the Gangetic plains of what is today Uttar Pradesh. Control over this region was of importance to the power and stability of all of Indias major empires, including the Maurya, Gupta. Following the Huns invasions that broke the Gupta empire, the Ganges-Yamuna Doab saw the rise of Kannauj, during the reign of Harshavardhana, the Kannauj empire reached its zenith. It spanned from Punjab in the north and Gujarat in the west to Bengal in the east and it included parts of central India, north of the Narmada River and it encompassed the entire Indo-Gangetic plain.
Many communities in parts of India claim descent from the migrants of Kannauj. Kannauj was several times invaded by the south Indian Rashtrakuta Dynasty, in the Mughal era, Uttar Pradesh became the heartland of the empire. Mughal emperors Babur and Humayun ruled from Delhi, in 1540 an Afghan, Sher Shah Suri, took over the reins of Uttar Pradesh after defeating the Mughal king Humanyun. Sher Shah and his son Islam Shah ruled Uttar Pradesh from their capital at Gwalior, after the death of Islam Shah Suri, his prime minister Hemu became the de facto ruler of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and the western parts of Bengal
A stupa is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics that is used as a place of meditation. Stupas originated as pre-Buddhist tumuli in which śramaṇas were buried in a position called chaitya. After the parinirvana of the Buddha, his remains were cremated, the earliest archaeological evidence for the presence of Buddhist stupas dates to the late 4th century BCE in India. Buddhist scriptures claim that stupas were built at least a century earlier, some stupas, such as at Sarnath and Sanchi, seem to be embellishments of earlier mounds. The earliest evidence of monastic stupas dates back to the 2nd century BCE and these are stupas that were built within Buddhist monastic complexes and they replicate in stone older stupas made of baked bricks and timber. Sanchi, Sarnath and Bharhut are examples of stupas that were shaped in stone imitating previously existing wooden parts, the stupa was elaborated as Buddhism spread to other Asian countries, for example, the chörten of Tibet and the pagoda in East Asia.
The pagoda has varied forms that include bell-shaped and pyramidal styles, in the Western context, there is no clear distinction between a stupa and a pagoda. Stupas were built in Sri Lanka soon after Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura converted to Buddhism, the first stupa to be built was the Thuparamaya. Later, many more were built over the years, some like the Jetavanaramaya in Anuradhapura being one of the tallest ancient structures in the world, the earliest archaeological evidence for the presence of Buddhist stupas dates to the late 4th century BCE. In India, Sarnath and Bharhut are among the oldest known stupas, the tallest is the Phra Pathommachedi in Nakhon Pathom Province, Thailand, at a height of 127 metres. The Swat Valley hosts a well-preserved stupa at Shingardar near Ghalegay, another stupa is located near Barikot, in Sri Lanka, the ancient city of Anuradhapura includes some of the tallest, most ancient and best preserved stupas in the world, such as Ruwanwelisaya. The most elaborate stupa is the 8th century Borobudur monument in Java, the upper rounded terrace with rows of bell-shaped stupas contained Buddha images symbolizing Arūpajhāna, the sphere of formlessness.
The main stupa itself is empty, symbolizing complete perfection of enlightenment, borobudurs unique and significant architecture has been acknowledged by UNESCO as the largest buddhist monument in the world. It is the world’s largest Buddhist temple, as well as one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world. Object stupa, in which the items interred are objects belonged to the Buddha or his disciples, such as a bowl or robe. Commemorative stupa, built to commemorate events in the lives of Buddha or his disciples, symbolic stupa, to symbolise aspects of Buddhist theology, for example, Borobudur is considered to be the symbol of the Three Worlds and the spiritual stages in a Mahayana bodhisattvas character. Votive stupa, constructed to commemorate visits or to gain spiritual benefits, the shape of the stupa represents the Buddha and sitting in meditation posture on a lion throne. His crown is the top of the spire, his head is the square at the base, his body is the vase shape, his legs are the four steps of the lower terrace
The Gupta Empire was an ancient Indian empire founded by Sri Gupta. The empire existed at its zenith from approximately 320 to 550 CE, the peace and prosperity created under the leadership of the Guptas enabled the pursuit of scientific and artistic endeavors. Chandragupta I, and Chandragupta II were the most notable rulers of the Gupta dynasty, the high points of the period is great cultural developments which took place during the reign of Chandragupta II. Science and political administration reached new heights during the Gupta era, strong trade ties made the region an important cultural center and set the region up as a base that would influence nearby kingdoms and regions in Burma, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. The earliest available Indian epics are thought to have committed to written texts around this period. After the collapse of the Gupta Empire in the 6th century, a minor line of the Gupta clan continued to rule Magadha after the disintegration of the empire. These Guptas were ultimately ousted by Vardhana ruler Harsha, who established his empire in the first half of the 7th century, according to many historians, the Gupta dynasty was a Vaishya dynasty.
Historian Ram Sharan Sharma asserts that the Vaishya Guptas appeared as a reaction against oppressive rulers, the rise of the Gupta Empire was one of the most prominent violations of the caste system in ancient India. There is controversy among scholars about the homeland of the Guptas. Jayaswal has pointed out that the Guptas were originally inhabitants of Prayaga, Uttar Pradesh, in north India, another scholar, Gayal supported the theory of Jaiswal, suggesting that the original home of the Guptas was Antarvedi embracing the regions of Oudh and Prayag. However another historian of this time in Indian history, has offered a different view about the original Gupta homeland, according to him the Guptas homeland is further south, the Murshidabad region of Bengal, and not Magadha in Bihar. He based his theory on the statement of the Chinese Buddhist monk, Yijing and other historians however criticize Gangulis theory because Sri Gupta ruled during the end of the 3rd century, but Yijing placed him at the end of the 2nd century.
Hence the theory of historians, who have provided their views based on the accounts of Yijing, are considered less valid than theories based on sources such as coinage. From these theories, several conflicting opinions about the original homeland, according to Allan and a few other scholars, the Guptas were initially concentrated in the region of Magadha and from there they extended their sway to Bengal. According to other groups, the homeland of the Guptas was Varendri or the Varendra Bhumi in Bengal. Whatever the theory is, the rule of the Guptas initiated the Golden Age in history of ancient India, bengali historians like HC Raychoudhuri the Guptas originated from the Varendri region which is now part of Rangpur and Rajshahi Division of modern-day Bangladesh. DC Ganguly, on the hand, considers the surrounding region of Murshidabad as the original home of the Guptas. The most likely time for the reign of Sri Gupta is c, the Murundas who were feudal lords of Kushans provided or granted land to Srigupta
Sanchi the Buddhist complex, famous for its Great Stupa, is located on a hilltop at Sanchi Town in Raisen District of the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is 46 km north-east of Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh, the Great Stupa at Sanchi is the oldest stone structure in India and was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE. Its nucleus was a hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. It was crowned by the chatra, a parasol-like structure symbolising high rank, the original construction work of this stupa was overseen by Ashoka, whose wife Devi was the daughter of a merchant of nearby Vidisha. Sanchi was her birthplace as well as the venue of her, in the 1st century BCE, four elaborately carved toranas and a balustrade encircling the entire structure were added. The sanchi stupa built during Mauryan period was made of bricks, the complex flourished until the 11th century. Sanchi is the center of a region with a number of stupas including Satdhara, Morel Khurd, Mawas, the Great Stupa at Sanchi is the oldest structure and was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BCE.
Its nucleus was a brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. It was crowned by the chatra, a parasol-like structure symbolising high rank, the old stupa was covered when it was expanded under the Shungas. A pillar of finely polished sandstone was erected, the bottom part of the pillar still stands. The upper parts of the pillar are placed under a canopy nearby, the pillar has an Ashokan inscription and an inscription in the ornamental Sankha Lipi from the Gupta period. It has been suggested that Pushyamitra may have destroyed the original stupa, the original brick stupa was covered with stone during the Shunga period. During the rule of the Shunga, the stupa was expanded with stone slabs to almost twice its original size, the dome was flattened near the top and crowned by three superimposed parasols within a square railing. With its many tiers it was a symbol of the dharma, the dome was set on a high circular drum meant for circumambulation, which could be accessed via a double staircase. A second stone pathway at ground level was enclosed by a balustrade with four monumental gateways facing the cardinal directions.
The buildings which seem to have been commissioned during the rule of the Shungas are the Second and Third stupas, from the 1st century BCE, the gateways and the balustrade were built and colored, the work being apparently commissioned by the Satavahana. The gateways and toranas are generally dated to the 1st century CE, kharavela in his inscription mentions one Satakarni, who is identified as Satakarni II, who is identical to the one who inscribed in Sanchi. If this is true, the dating of Sanchi gateway, although made of stone, they were carved and constructed in the manner of wood and the gateways were covered with narrative sculptures
The Emperor's Riddles
The Emperors Riddles is a mystery thriller debut novel by Indian author Satyarth Nayak. The novel consists of a trail of cryptic riddles scattered across India that must be solved one by one to unveil an ancient Indian secret. This journey plays out in the context of a legend involving one of the most iconic Emperors of the history of India. The book was first released at the New Delhi World Book Fair in February 2014 and it turned out to be a bestselling thriller with the media calling it a hit with young readers. The novel opens with the murder of historian Ram Mathur at the Ganga ghat in Varanasi. Meanwhile, Chief Officer Parag Suri and journalist Alia Irani are chasing the killer branded as Scorpion by the due to his choice of weapon. At the same time a holy Buddhist Bhikkhu urges his young Samanera Tathagata to make an important journey that promises to alter his life, the surfing yielded an obscure but fascinating conspiracy theory involving one of the greatest Emperors of ancient India.
Nayak was intrigued by the Emperors legend and the imperial secret believed to be alive and functioning. The first draft took about six months and was ready in 2011, the manuscript was accepted by Red Ink Literary Agency and subsequently underwent another round of editing. Nayak received publishing offers from Rupa & Co. and Amaryllis, the book was first released at the New Delhi World Book Fair in February 2014. The human quest for answers is the theme of the book. The characters are on a personal quest and the destination may or may not be as per their expectations. More than the answers, its the pursuit itself that matters, the riddles in the thriller based on Indian history and mythology become successively complicated and difficult to heighten the mystery. They symbolize the human quest for truth. Buddhism plays an important role in the book and this is probably one of the first Indian thrillers to predominantly use Buddhist mythology and iconography. Structurally the book is divided into three sections titled Buddham and Sangham based on the concept of Triratna, Ancient science and technology is a crucial theme.
The book explores the scientific advancement made in Ancient India investigating the technological literature. The Book Geeks review states that Satyarth Nayak has taken our rich ancient knowledge of science, the Emperors Riddles was met with a positive response