Stambha

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In the context of Hindu mythology, stambha, also spelled as Skambha, is believed to be a cosmic column. It is believed[by whom?] that the stambha functions as a bond, which joins the heaven (Svarga) and the earth (prithvi). A number of Hindu scriptures, including the Atharva Veda, have references to stambha. In the Atharva Veda, a celestial stambha has been mentioned, and that has been described as a scaffold, which supports the cosmos and material creation.

In Indian architecture, different types of Stambhas have been mentioned and they serve different purpose, including the following:

  • Flagstaffs, called dhvaja stamnhas, are placed opposite the main shrine, on an axis with the main deity.
  • Kirttistambhas, erected to commemorate victories.
  • Most well known stambhas of India are the ones erected during the reign of Ashoka the Great, and they bear different types of royal edicts.

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