East Gate of the Great Stupa


The upper portion of the East Gate, shown here, represents the 7 Manushi Buddhas (previous Buddhas, of which the historical Buddha is latest in the series) on the upper architrave. The middle architrave shows the Great Departure of Buddha from his palace at Kapilavastu, while the lower architrave depicts a royal visit of Ashoka to the Bodhi tree under which Buddha obtained enlightenment. The decorative scheme includes elephants and shalabhanjikas (several of which have been removed), winged lions, and peacocks. The endparts of the architraves are marked by solar spirals, and the right post is topped by a nandipada. Originally the left post would have held a similar finial.