What did Emperor Ashoka look like? A sculpture dating back to the Ashokan period depicts the monarch surrounded by queens and courtesans. This is arguably the sole surviving portrait of the 'Chakravartin' who shaped the history of Buddhism in India. Discoveries from the Buddhist stupa at Sannathi, a village on the banks of the Bhima River in northern Karnataka, may aid in rewriting entire chapters of history as we know it.
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY LAKSHMI SHARATH