Located within the Qutub Minar complex in Mehrauli area of New Delhi, the Iron Pillar has been posing as one of the foremost metallurgical curiosities of the world due to its prowess to not exhibit a speck of rust despite being thousands of years old. Made with 98% wrought iron and withstanding over 1600 years of withering, the pillar still stands sturdy and resists corrosion. However, it was suggested in a few studies that the monument remains rust-free till date due to a thin layer of crystalline iron hydrogen phosphate hydrate that forms on the high-phosphorus-content iron, which serves to protect it from the effects of the humid climate and weather conditions.
Dating back to sometime during the 4th century AD, the inscriptions borne on the pillar suggest that the pillar was originally constructed as a flagstaff in honour of the Hindu God Vishnu and in the memory of the famous Gupta King Chandragupta II. It is conjectured that the pillar was initially installed in Madhya Pradesh; however, how and why it came to be a part of Delhi is still questionable.
The magnificent pillar is 7.21 metres in height above the ground and 1.12 metres below, to maintain the weight and balance of the 6000 kgs of metal. The top tip of the pillar is bell-shaped with a bulb patterned base. The entire structure rests on an elevated stone platform circumference by a fence of metal bars, which was constructed in 1997 to prevent visitors from touching it. A deep socket at the tip of the pillar suggests that probably an image of the mythological bird Garuda was fixed into it as was common in such pillar in ancient times.
TIMIINGS & ENTRY FEES
The timings of the Iron Pillar Mehrauli are between 10 AM to 5 PM. The entry fees for Indian tourists are INR 10, however, for foreign tourists the entry fee is INR 250.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT IRON PILLAR
- The pillar has attracted the attention of archaeologists because of its high resistance to corrosion.
- The pillar carries a number of inscriptions of different dates from history, some of which have not been studied to date.
- The oldest inscription on the pillar bears the name of a king Chandra, who is believed to be Chandragupta II.
PLACES TO VISIT
- Tomb of Balban – The Tomb of Ghiyās-Ud-din Balban is located in Mehrauli, New Delhi, India. Built in circa 1287 CE in rubble masonry, the tomb is a building of historical importance in the development of Indo-Islamic architecture, as it was here that first Islamic arch made its appearance in India.
- Rajon Ki Baoli – A renowned stepwell in Mehrauli Archeological Park of Delhi, India, Rajon ki Baoli was commissioned by the administrator of the Lodi Dynasty, Daulat Khan in 1506 CE. The monument has a hint of medieval period and has a courtyard surrounded by verandah with intricately carved pillars. The stepwell is located at the center of the structure and the steps leading to the stepwell are made in such a way that it gets cooler as reaches down near the stepwell.
- Jamali Kamali Tomb – Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb is located in the Archaeological Village complex in Mehrauli, Delhi, India, and comprises of two monuments adjacent to each other; one is the mosque and the other is the tomb of Jamali and Kamali. Their names are so called as "Jamali Kamali" for the mosque as well as the tomb because they are buried adjacent to each other. The mosque and the tomb were constructed in 1528-1529, and Jamali was buried in the tomb after his death in 1535.
- Qutub Minar – The Qutb Minar, which is spelled Qutub Minar and Qutab Minar, is a minaret and "victory tower" that forms part of the Qutb complex. It lies at the site of Delhi’s oldest fortified city, Lal Kot, founded by the Tomar Rajputs. The Victory tower is a sheer example of traditional Islamic architecture and South western Asian design. It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Mehrauli area of South Delhi, India.
- Jahaz Mahal – Located in the Mandu region of Madhya Pradesh, Jahaz Mahal was once a royal consortium that was built by the Sultan of Mandu, Ghiyās-Ud-din Khilji in the second half of the 15th century. The structure repletes with the medieval history of Mandu. The name “Jahaz Mahal” was so kept because the structure is surrounded by water and gives an impression of floating gently above the surface of the water. Jahaz Mahal is an architectural marvel with splendid details on it. The monument is a sheer example of the stunning Mughal architecture. Interestingly, Jahaz Mahal was built with the purpose of accommodating the 15,000 women consorts of the Sultan.
- Tomb of Iltutmish – The tomb of Iltutmish, in the Qutub Minar Complex, was built in 1235 A.D. It is situated just outside the north-west corner of the Quwwat-ul-Islam near the Qutub Minar. The central one of these is located higher than the other two and is profusely decorated with marble.
- Alai Darwaza – The Alai Darwaza is the only entrance remaining of four added to the Qutub Complex by Ala al-Din Khalji (reg. 1296 - 1316). Located on the southeastern edge of the complex, its elaborate treatment suggests that it may have been used as a gate to the city itself through the extension of the Qutub mosque.
- The Garden of Five Senses – The Garden of Five Senses is a paradise for all the nature lovers. It appeals to all your senses and has various theme parks, a section of Mughal baghs, pools of water lilies, cascades of sparkling water, a solar energy park, an Amphitheatre, a humongous yet charming food court, in addition to umpteen sculptures, rock carvings and themed decor.
- Chhatarpur Temple – Chhatarpur Temple is dedicated to Goddess Katyayani, a part of Navadurga. It was founded by Baba Sant Nagpal Ji in the year 1974. The shrine is popular for its fabulous lattice screen work (jaali design), and is a masterpiece of spectacular architecture which is an amalgamation of South and North Indian designs.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
It is recommended to visit the Iron Pillar either during Winters, early Spring or Late Autumn, the summers can get scorching and sultry, and your visit can get unbearable and really uncomfortable.
HOW TO REACH
The nearest metro station to the Qutub Minar complex is Qutub Minar Metro station situated on the yellow line connecting Samaypur Badli and Huda City Centre. You can also opt for a bus to reach the destination. The nearest bus stop to Qutub Minar complex is Mehrauli Bus Terminal. You can get down either at the bus stop or the metro station and can hire shared auto rickshaws or battery rickshaws to get to your destination.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Where is the Iron Pillar located?
Iron Pillar is situated within the Qutub Minar complex.
What is the best time to visit the Iron Pillar?
The best time to visit the Iron Pillar is during winters, early spring or late autumn.
Is there any entry fees levied to see the Iron Pillar?
The entry fees for Indian tourists are INR 10, however, for foreign tourists the entry fee is INR 250.