Dr Krishnamurthy will explore the origins and antiquity of the tradition of erecting monolithic pillars in India, based on pillars that were erected from circa 3rd century BCE. to 6th century CE. Monolithic pillars comprise two components - the shaft, made of a single block of stone, and the crowning capital part in the form of a deity or royal insignia or any other animal figure made of another block of stone. The earliest example of erecting a pillar-like structure is from the Vedic Age. There were many purposes behind the creation and erection of a free-standing monolithic pillar. Often the intended purpose of its erection can be more than one. The present talk examines the various causes for the installation of a pillar, analyses the inscriptional evidence and archaeological context with suitable examples. well as the importance of studying the archaeological context in collaboration with the inscriptions engraved on them to reveal their purpose. The Speaker: Dr. S. Krishnamurthy is an Assistant Epigraphist in the office of the The Director (Epigraphy) Archaeological Survey of India, Mysuru. He obtained a Masters degree in Ancient History and Archaeology from University of Madras in 2007 and completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from Institute of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi. In 2019, he was awarded a Ph.D. by the University of Madras for his work on the “Social and Cultural History of Pallava Period as Gleaned through sculptural art (from selective temples)”. Dr Krishnamurthy, has undertaken epigraphical surveys in different states of India. He has published 28 research articles in the fields of epigraphy and art, co-authored one book entitled “Monolithic Pillars of the Gupta Period”. He has participated in numerous seminars and workshops. Currently, he is editing a North Indian Inscriptions volume, a departmental publication of the Epigraphy Branch, Archaeological Survey of India. He is the Secretary of The Place Names Society of India (Regd.), Mysuru and was the Assistant Editor of Studies in Indian Epigraphy, Vols. XLII - XLVI published by The Epigraphical Society of India (ESI), Mysuru.