The Fort with a Mathematics Milestone

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You wouldn’t look twice at this temple on the path to the much more popular Hathi Pol or Elephant Gate of the Gwalior Fort. But when you go there next, do take a closer look. On a wall of the Chaturbhuj temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is a plaque, which dates back to around 875 CE and has a circle, considered one of the earliest representations of the number zero in the world!
The plaque on the temple wall mentions a land grant of 270 hastas ( a unit of measure used for land ) for a flower garden as well as a daily grant of 50 flower garlands. The circular symbol that we know of as zero appears in ‘270’ as well as ’50’. This is the oldest known inscription of zero in India and perhaps the second oldest in the world. While few local tourists walk into this temple, math enthusiasts from across the globe have been flocking to this temple for years.

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