Ashoka Pillar

The imposing Ashokan Pillar in Delhi was a gift to Delhi by the third Sultan of the Tughlak dynasty, Firoz Shah Tughlak, who was known for his liking for structures of sorts.

About Ashokan pillars in Delhi

There are two Ashoka pillars in Delhi. One of the pillars was transported from Topra on Firozshah Tughlaq's orders. The other pillar, brought from Meerut, is seen installed near Bara Hindu Rao Hospital near Delhi University.

Ashoka Pillar near Delhi Gate:

The Ashoka Pillar near Delhi Gate was wrapped in silk cotton when it was brought to Delhi. It was lowered on a soft bed, encased in reed and raw skins and placed on a 42-wheel carriage. It was pulled by two hundred men and placed on the Yamuna bank. The column was then transferred to large boats and carried down to Firozabad and then to Kushak. After completion of each storey, the pillar was raised on to it, till it reached the top.

Ashoka Pillar near Hindu Rao Hospital:

Just 100 meters south of Hindu Rao Hospital along the ridge is another Ashokan Pillar belonging to 3rd century BC. It was brought by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 1356 A.D. The Ashoka Pillar was transported to his hunting lodge in Delhi from Meerut. Like the one in Feroz Shah Kotla, this pillar too has seven main inscriptions or edicts of Emperor Ashoka apart from some figures and many minor inscriptions.

However, the pillar was damaged by a gunpowder explosion in 1713. The Ashoka Pillar was broken into five pieces. In 1838, Hindu Rao took possession of these pieces and donated them to the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta (Kolkata).

Architecture of Ashokan Pillar in Delhi

Made from polished sandstone, Ashokan Pillar in Delhi which is 14 feet high, tapers towards its top. Here you can find the specimen third century Ashoka Brahmic script, the forerunner of the modern Devnagri script. Some of Ashoka’s message of promoting peace and harmony in the world through the teachings of Lord Buddha is also inscribed at the base of the Ashokan Pillar in Delhi.

Features of Ashokan pillars in Delhi

The four lions of the Ashokan Pillar in Delhi are the main features of the historic monument. There are also non-religious interpretations to the symbolism of the pillars, describing the four lions as the symbol of Ashoka's rule over the four directions. The wheels at Ashokan Pillar in Delhi are symbols of enlightened rule (Chakravartin), and the four animals as symbols of four surrounding territories of India:

  • The Lion of the north.
  • The Elephant of the east.
  • The Bull of the south.
  • The Horse of the west.

Ashokan Pillar in Delhi is a vehicle of religious proselytism rather that just a symbol of royal power. More Information on Ashokan Pillar in Delhi.

History:

The imposing Ashokan Pillar in Delhi was a gift to Delhi by the third Sultan of the Tughlak dynasty, Firoz Shah Tughlak, who was known for his liking for structures of sorts.

There are two Ashoka pillars in Delhi. One of the pillars was transported from Topra on Firozshah Tughlaq's orders. The other pillar, brought from Meerut, is seen installed near Bara Hindu Rao Hospital near Delhi University.

Ashokan Pillar in Delhi was transported in Delhi by Firoz Shah Tughlak, who ruled Delhi from 1351 to 1388. Some historians are of the opinion that this magnificent structure was developed by the Mauryan emperor, Ashoka in the third century. And that is perhaps how it derives its name.

The sultan is also said to have found this Ashokan Pillar in Meerut in the 14th century and had got it transported to Delhi. Later he brought it down the Yamuna River and installed near his hunter’s lodge, very close to where Hindu Rao hospital stands today.

Ashokan Pillar in Delhi is not in a very good condition in comparison to the one at Feroz Shah Kotla but still this ancient pillar is worth a visit because of its unique history.

Fast - Facts:

The imposing Ashokan Pillar in Delhi was a gift to Delhi by the third Sultan of the Tughlak dynasty, Firoz Shah Tughlak, who was known for his liking for structures of sorts. 

The fast facts about Ashokan Pillar in Delhi include:

Location of Ashokan Pillar:

100 meters south of Hindu Rao Hospital along the ridge, north of Old Delhi.  

Special Feature of Ashokan Pillar:

The four lions surmounting the capital symbolize the kingship of the Buddha and his roar over the four directions.  

How to reach Ashokan Pillar:

Tourists can either take local buses to reach this monument or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or metro rail.

Nearest International Airport from Ashokan Pillar: Indira Gandhi International Airport

Nearest Metro Station of Ashokan Pillar: Kashmiri Gate

Nearest Railway Station of Ashokan Pillar: Old Delhi Railway Station

Best time to visit Ashokan Pillar: Sunrise to sunset everyday.

Ashokan Pillar open on: On all days

Nearby Attractions:

The imposing Ashokan Pillar in Delhi was a gift to Delhi by the third Sultan of the Tughlak dynasty, Firoz Shah Tughlak, who was known for his liking for structures of sorts. 

Make good use of your visit to Ashokan Pillar in Delhi. While on your tour to the church you can pay a visit the nearby attractions. 

Tourist Attractions near Ashokan Pillar in Delhi

The important tourist attractions near Ashokan Pillar in Delhi include:

Hindu Rao House:

Built in the early 19th century as a residence of William Fraser.  

Pir Ghaib:

Built around 1630 AD by Feroz Shah Tughlaq as a part of his either Kushk-i-Shikar (hunting lodge) or Kushk-i-Jahan Numa (world showing palace)

Mutiny Memorial:

Built by the British in 1863, it is now known as Ajitgarh.  

Chauburja Masjid:

Built by Feroz Shah Tughlaq (1351-88) as a part of his palace called Kushk-i-Shikar (the hunting lodge) or Kushk-i-Jahan-Numa.

Nicholson Cemetery:

One of the earliest British cemeteries in Delhi was named after the renowned British Brigadier General John Nicholson

Qudsia Bagh:

Laid by Nawab Qudsia Begum in 1748, the dancing girl who later became wife of Emperor Muhammad Shah, the garden once housed a palace, waterfall, a mosque, a summer lodge and a beautiful flower and fruit garden

Shopping Venues near Ashokan Pillar in Delhi

Delhi is a shopper’s paradise. You can visit the shopping areas near Ashokan Pillar in Delhi and make some good purchase from the following shopping centers:

  • Kamla Nagar Market
  • Model Town Market
  • Mukherji Nagar Market
  • Ashok Vihar Market 

Ashokan Pillar in Delhi is not in a very good condition in comparison to the one at Feroz Shah Kotla but still this ancient pillar is worth a visit because of its unique history.

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