tendency was highlighted again by increasing the height of each such
component. Consequently, the circular base was transformed into a tall
cylindrical drum. The whole structure again was raised on a square plinth,
sometimes with a single projection, or more, on each face. The crowning
chatra, originally one, gradually increased in number in a tapering row of flat
discs, the topmost usually ending in a point. Side by side with these additions
there was a corresponding elevation of the component parts, each of the
lower components forming the substructure was subdivided into a number of
stages for the sake of balance.
     This evolutionary process is elucidated by the few fragmentary remains
of the post-Christian epoch, the stone representations of votive stupas found
in sacred Buddhist sites and rock-cut chaityas in chaitya sanctuaries. This is
corroborated by the graphic description of the Kanishka stupa at Peshawar
left by the Chinese pilgrims who record that it consisted of a basement in five
stages and a superstructure of carved wood in thirteen storeys surmounted by
an iron column with 13 to 25 gilt copper umbrellas. Representations of stupas
on toranas at Mathura appear to suggest that the superstructure over the
basement comprised a lofty drum supporting a comparatively small dome.
The Kanishka stupa at Peshawar signifies a transition from the simple stupa
to the pagoda of the Far Eastern countries.
     Several stupas were originally constructed at Amaravati, Jaggayyapeta,
Bhattiprolu, Ghantasala and Nagarjunikonda in the lower course of the
Krishna. Though most of them have perished, the surviving sculptured
replicas on their casing slabs help us to determine the shape and form of these
southern stupas which show interesting developments. A distinctive feature is
the rectangular projection on each face of the lofty drum of which the front is
in the form of an altar-piece supporting five free-standing pillars, known as
ayaka-khambas (worshipful columns). This feature is exclusive to India,
having perhaps a parallel in the vahalkada projection in the Ceylonese
dagobas. The method of constructing these stupas is also different. The body
of the stupa consisted of two circular walls, one at the hub and the other at
the outer end, with radiating partition walls joining the two. The intervening
spaces were packed with earth and the monument was given the required
shape. This inner body was next encased in richly carved slabs usually of
limestone. With the free-standing   ayaka pillars ranged on the front faces and