The Mysterious Iron Pillar of Dhar
The Iron Pillar of Delhi is a metallurgical wonder and a historical marvel situated in the Qutb Minar complex in Mehrauli, 28 km from the city of Delhi. But did you know that this famous pillar has an equally fascinating, even if a far less glamorous, cousin in the town of Dhar in Madhya Pradesh? The Iron Pillar of Dhar, originally almost twice as tall as its counterpart in Delhi, is preserved in the compound of the Lat Masjid (‘lat’ means ‘pillar’).
The Dhar pillar is in three pieces, placed horizontally on a platform in the mosque compound. When standing vertically, the pillar would have soared 43 feet, 4 inches high. It would have tapered from top to bottom, changing shape at different points. While the bottom fragment has a square cross-section, the middle fragment has square and octagonal cross-sections, and the top fragment has an octagonal cross-section with a small circular portion at the top. It is believed that this circular part was the base of a fourth, missing piece, which was probably a trishul (trident) or a garuda (a mythical bird) that crowned the pillar. Today the 3 existing fragments of the pillar are approximately 24, 11 and 7 ft in length respectively.