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History of Ashokan Pillar

History of the Ashokan Pillar near the Hindu Rao Hospital

The History of the Ashokan Pillar dates back to the third century B.C. Developed by Ashoka this pillar was there in Meerut until Feroze Shah Tughlaq decided to transfer it to Delhi. He liked this structure immensely and so it was brought down the Yamuna River near his Hunting Lodge.

Unfortunately this magnificent structure was severely damaged in 1973. It broke to five pieces because of a gun powder explosion.

A century passed after that. There was no one to restore it. Finally in the year 1838, Hindu Rao took charge of this matter so long neglected. He decided to transfer the broken pieces to the Asiatic society in Kolkata.

Finally in the year 1867 a group of individuals took upon themselves the responsibility of putting together these broken pieces and re-erecting the pillar. It was then reinstalled in its earlier location.

The History of the Ashokan Pillar is unique. It has been to three different places in India, sometimes in whole and sometimes in pieces.

History of the Ashokan Pillar at Feroz Shah Kotla

The History of the Ashokan Pillar at the Feroz Shah Kotla is not any less interesting. It was transported from Topra in Ambala district. A lot of care was taken to transfer it so that it would not be damaged in any way. Firstly the pillar was wrapped with silk cotton. It was then kept in a bed made of reed and raw skin. The bed was placed in a big carriage with 42 wheels and drawn by 200 men to the banks of the river Yamuna. Large boats were finally used to reach it to its final destination.

A three storied structure was then built by Feroz Shah Tughlaq to install this pillar. After the installation was complete it was architecturally ornamented with black and white stones. A Kalash was placed on top of it.

The pillar made of very good quality stone shines like metal. The teachings of Buddha were inscribed in it. Later the records of many travelers and pilgrims were inscribed in it. The pillar also informs us of the conquests of Visala, a Chauhan king.

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