Places To See - Iron Pillar


This pure wrought-iron pillar was built in the fourth century. From its inscriptions we gather that it was built by a king named Chandra, and erected on the Vishnupada Hill. How it came to Delhi is a mystery, but all the kings that followed have retained it. The Turks stationed it in a mosque complex. It could've also been that they built the mosque near the pillar, without having to move it.

Topped with an inverted lotus capital, the pillar stands seven metres tall and its 30cm in diameter at the top and 40cm at the base. It also has a 20-inch bulbous base under the surface. The melting, purifying and casting of the iron must have taken a class of craftsmen not found in any other part of the world at that time.

There are very few signs of rusting on the pillar. It is possible only because of the layer of misawite on the surface. It was formed by the action of high contents of phosphorus in the iron, with oxygen and hydrogen.