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
To know more about Ashokan Pillar in Delhi, visit the following links:
» History of Ashokan Pillar
» Ashokan Pillar Nearby Attractions
» Ashokan Pillar Fast Facts
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.
Indianholiday.com offers online information on the Ashokan pillars, Delhi and other monuments in India. For more information on the must visit destinations of India, please, enter your queries in the form below.