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.