The emblem of India is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath, preserved in the Sarnath Museum.
In the original Sarnath capital (which is currently situated in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India) there are four Asiatic lions standing back to back - symbolizing power, courage, pride, and confidence - mounted on a circular abacus. The abacus is girded with a frieze of sculptures in high relief of an elephant (of the east), a horse (of the south), a bull (of the west), and a lion (of the north), separated by intervening wheels, over a lotus in full bloom, exemplifying the fountainhead of life and creative inspiration. Carved out of a double block of polished sandstone, the capital is crowned by the Wheel of the Law (Dharma Chakra).
In the emblem adopted by the government in 1950 only three lions are visible, the fourth being hidden from view. The wheel appears in relief in the centre of the abacus, with a bull on the right and a galloping horse on the left, and outlines of Dharma Chakras on the extreme right and left. The bell-shaped lotus beneath the abacus has been omitted.