The back-to-back lions supporting the Southern Gateway, the oldest gateway, form the state emblem of India, which can be seen on every banknote. The gateway narrates Ashoka’s life as a Buddhist, with scenes of Buddha’s birth and another representation of the Great Departure.
Also featured is the Chhaddanta Jataka, a story in which Bodhisattva (Buddha before he had reached enlightenment) took on the form of an elephant king who had six tusks. The less favoured of the elephant king’s two wives was so jealous of the other that she decided to starve herself to death, vowing to come back to life as the queen of Benares in order to have the power to avenge her husband’s favouritism. Her wish came true, and as queen she ordered hunters to track down and kill the elephant king. A hunter found the great elephant but before he could kill it, the elephant handed over his tusks, an act so noble it led to the queen dying of remorse.