india Home

iron pillar


Iron Pillar belongs to 4th century. It is enclosed in the Qutub Minar complex of New Delhi. The Sanskrit inscription in Gupta script and the peculiar style of its 'Amalaka' capital confirms the date. As evident from these inscriptions, this pillar was originally set up as a flag, or 'dhvaja', of Lord Vishnu on the hill known as 'Vishnupada'. It was a tribute to King Chandragupta II (375-413) of the imperial Gupta dynasty. It is also suggested that a deep hole on the top of the pillar was used to fit the image of 'Garuda' as the Vehicle of Lord Vishnu. Iron Pillar is said to be brought to Delhi by Anangpal, the Tomar king who founded Delhi.

The base of the pillar is tied to its foundations by small pieces of iron. It rises to a height of 7.20 m, with 93 cm buried below the present floor level. It is a wonder that iron has not rusted despite the sixteen centuries that have passed since then. Thus, the pillar is an excellent example of advanced metallurgy of those times and is a marvel in itself. The metal of the pillar is identified to be almost pure malleable iron. However, the portion below the ground shows some signs of rusting at a very slow rate. According to the traditional belief, any one who can encircle the entire column with their arms, with their back towards the pillar, can have their wish granted. However, tourists are kept off from the pillar to avoid damage to this historical relic.