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Delhi Travel Sites

Delhi The Story
The Mughal Delhi, The Modern Delhi, Ashoka Pillar, Ghoonidarwaza 

Places to see: Asoka Pillar, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, Raj Ghat, Purana Qila, Humayun's tomb, India Gate, Birla House (Gandhi Smriti), Indira Gandhi Museum, Teen Murthi, Qutab Minar, Chhattarpur temple, Kalka Mandir, Bahaii temple, ISCON temple, Jantar Mantar, Hanuman Mandir, Connaught Place

Ashoka Pillar

     The pyramidal structure in three storeys, seen in what is known today as Firozshah Kotla, near Delhi Gate, was built by Firozshah Tughlaq, to instal the Ashokan column, seen on top. There are two Ashoka pillars in Delhi. This stone pillar of Ashoka (273-236 BC) was transported from Topra, in Ambala district (now in Haryana), on Firozshah Tughlaq's orders. The other pillar, brought from Meerut, is seen installed near Bara Hindu Rao Hospital ,at the Ridge, near Delhi University.

Ashoka Pillar near Delhi Gate

     In order to bring this pillar to Delhi, silk cotton was wrapped around it and it was then lowered on top a soft bed, encased in reed and raw skins and placed on a 42-wheel carriage. Two hundred men pulled the carriage with strong ropes to the Yamuna bank, the column was 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. Once installed, ornamental friezes in black and white stones were placed around the capital and over it was raised a guided copper cupola (kalash).

     The Ashoka edict is in Brahmi script containing ten commandments of Buddha. In later centuries, minor records of pilgrims and travellers were inscribed on it. A Sanskrit engraving records the conquests of Chauhan king Visala (1163 AD).

-RM Nair

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