The Pillars and the Stupas were important architectural feature in Indian history.
Stambhas or pillars were developed in the Buddhist sacred places mainly during the reign of Emperor Ashoka in the Ancient Age and during the Gupta Period. Stambha is actually the circular column or shaft slightly tapering towards the top, inverted lotus shaped base is present on the top of the pillar. Crowning sculpture rests on the base present on the summit of the pillar.
All the three portions namely the circular column, base on the column and crowning sculpture on the base are built of the single type of stone.
Few of the finest samples of Stambhas or Ashoka Pillars present in India are the Saranath Stambha with its four lions as its crowning sculpture. Famous Iron pillar which is standing without any rust depicts the mastery of Indian metal-casting in the Ancient Age.
Stupa architecture was initiated in India during the Mauryan Period of the Ancient Age. It is actually a solid dome shaped hemispherical monument which was used as commemorative monument for storing sacred remains of the Buddhist monks and teachers. Stupas were made of stone with the boundary (vedika) surrounding it.
Stupas were basically the Buddhist form of architecture and Emperor Ashoka built large number of stupas across the India. Few of the best specimens of Stupa architecture in India are Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh, Amaravathi in Andhra Pradesh, Nagarjunakonda, Jaggayapetta and Ghantasala in South India.