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Sannathi intro slide

There is something special about rustic India, where almost every experience is a romance in itself. I am travelling down from Yadagiri, a small town in north Karnataka towards Kanaganahalli in Sannathi, a nondescript village on the banks of the Bheema River. My interest in the small hamlet is courtesy Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya dynasty, who left his mark here several centuries ago. It is believed that the emperor sent his son Mahinda and daughter Sanghamitra as his emissaries to spread Buddhism in this region. The remains of a Buddhist stupa were excavated here by the Archaeological Survey of India almost two decades ago.

When I met Emperor Ashoka in Sannathi

13 April 2012

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

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