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Indian Monuments » Ashoka Pillar

About 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.

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
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.

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.


The summer season begins from April and ends in the month of June. During the summers the average maximum temperature is 40°C and minimum temperature is 25ºC. The monsoon arrives the city in early July and continues till the end of September. The winter extends from late November to February. The temperature in winters varies between 21°C to 5°C. January is the coldest month when the temerature drops to a minimum of 0 °C.


  • Air Delhi has an extensive network of international and domestic flights. All the major airlines in the world fly through Delhi and it is easily accessible from anywhere in the world. Domestic air links cover Delhi from all the major cities in the country.
  • Train The Indian Railway with their modern and organized network connects Delhi to major and minor destination in India. There are three important railway stations in Delhi to all major and minor destinations in India, namely New Delhi Rly. Station, Old Delhi Rly. Station and Hazrat Nizamuddin Rly. Station. Trains run from all the parts of the country to Delhi. For nearby places like Chandigarh, Dehradun, Gwalior, Bhopal, Lucknow and Kanpur, the Shatabdi Express is recommended.
  • Bus Delhi is well connected by road to all major destinations in North India. The Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) is located at Kashmiri Gate, Sarai Kale-Khan and Anand Vihar. Delhi Transport Corporation and Road Transport Corporations of the neighboring States provide frequent bus services through Air Conditioned, Deluxe and Ordinary Coaches. Buses from all the major places in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are available for getting to Delhi. During summer months, air-conditioned coaches are recommended.
  • Airports - Delhi has two airports. Indira Gandhi International Airport, is 20km away towards city in the same area. Palam is city bound Internal Terminal Airport. Between the two shuttle coach service is in operation. SBI is the banker of both the terminals, for hotel's booking ITDC and serving the tourists with information is Tourist Booth with round the clock service, besides there are other arrangements. Indira Gandhi links Delhi with the whole world. Flights of almost all Airways of the World come to Delhi besides Air India. IAC, Alliance Air, Vayudoot and such other Airlines serve from Palam to all parts of the country. They have Airbuses, Boeings, Dornier and other planes. From both the terminals, Ex-Servicemen Air Link Transport Service (EATS) brings passengers to city at cheap rate. On the way they stop on request. Delhi Transport Corporation's buses also bring Air passengers to New Delhi, Delhi Jn and Kashmiri Gate bus std. Passenger bus (780) runs from outside the Airport, Taxis (prepaid) is available.
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