|Founded by||Mauryan Empire|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
Topra, combined name for the larger Topra Kalan and adjacent smaller Topra Khurd, is a Mauryan Empire-era village in Yamunanagar district of Harayana state in India. It lies 14 km west of Yamunanagar, 14 km from Radaur and 90 km from Chandigarh.
Topra Ashokan Pillar
Situated in Pong valley of is the original home of Delhi-Topra Ashokan pillar, one of many pillars of Ashoka, that was moved from Topra to Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi in 1356 CE by Firuz Shah Tughlaq (1309-1388 CE).
The original inscription on the Delhi-Topra Ashokan obelisk is primarily in Brahmi script but language was prakrit, with some Pali and Sanskrit added later. The inscription was successfully translated in 1837 by James Prinsep. This and other ancient lats (pillars, obelisk) have earned Firoz Shah Tughlaq and Delhi Sultanate fame for its architectural patronage.
The Sultanate had wanted to break and reuse the Ashokan pillar for a minaret. Firoz Shah Tuhglaq, however decided to erect it near the mosque instead. At the time of re-installation of the obelisk in Delhi, in 1356, no one knew the meaning of the script engraved in the stone.
The inscription on the 3rd century pillar describe King Devanampiya Piyadasi's policies and appeal to the people and future generations of the kingdom in matters of dharma (just, virtuous life), moral precepts and freedoms. Some extracts of the translation, per James Prinsep, are as follows:
Among high roads, I have caused fig trees to be planted that they may be for shade to animals and men...
...And let these and others the most skillful in the sacred offices discreetly and respectfully use their most persuasive efforts, acting on the heart and eyes of the children, for the purposes of imparting enthusiasm and instruction in dharma (religion).
And whatsoever benevolent acts have been done by me, the same shall be prescribed as duties to the people who follow after me, and in this manner shall their influence and increase be manifest - by service to father and mother, by service to spiritual pastors, by respectful demeanor to the aged and full of years, by kindness to learned, to the orphan and destitute and servants and minstrel tribe.
And religion increaseth among men by two separate processes - by performance of religious offices, and by security against persecution. (...) And that religion may be free from the persecution of men, that it may increase through the absolute prohibition to put to death (any) living beings or sacrifice aught that draweth breath. For such an object is all this done, that it may endure to my sons and sons' sons - as long the sun and the moon shall last.
Let stone pillars be prepared and let this edict of dharma (religion) be engraven thereon, that it may endure unto the remotest ages.— -Inscription on Ashoka Pillar, Translated by James Prinsep in 1837
Topra Ashokan Edicts Archaeological Park and Museum
In 2015 April, Manohar Lal Khattar, the Chief Minister of Haryana, announced an allocation of INR 50 crore (INR 500 million) to build an Ashokan Edicts Archaeological Park at Topra Kalan village where seven Ashoka Pillars, eight Rock Edicts and other ancient structures of Mauryan Time will be constructed. It was all started back in 2011 when Sidhartha Gauri and Dr. Satyadeep Neil Gauri, Founders of The Buddhist Forum initiated the project of Topra Asoka Edicts Park along with INTACH, Gram Panchayat, Topra Kalan and other social organizations. Village panchayat has given away 28 acres land for the construction of park, museum and monastery.
- Rural Housing Report for Financial year 2012-2013
- Prinsep, J (1837). "Interpretation of the most ancient of inscriptions on the pillar called lat of Feroz Shah, near Delhi, and of the Allahabad, Radhia and Mattiah pillar, or lat inscriptions which agree therewith". Journal of the Asiatic Society. 6: 600–609.
- William Jeffrey McKibben, The Monumental Pillars of Fīrūz Shāh Tughluq, Ars Orientalis, Vol. 24, (1994), pp. 105-118
- HM Elliot & John Dawson (1871), Tarikh I Firozi Shahi - Records of Court Historian Sams-i-Siraj The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians, Volume 3, Cornell University Archives, pp 352-353
- another name for Ashoka
- Khattar announces Rs100 cr to develop Saraswati, Topra Kalan, The Tribune, 11-Apr-2015
- Park for Ashoka stalled?, DNA India News, 7-Nov-2016
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