Ashoka Pillar in PrayagrajAshoka pillars are series of pillars or columns which are spread all over the northern Indian sub- continent region. These pillars signify the Mauryan Empire. These pillars were constructed in various cities of India, including, Varanasi, Delhi, Champaran in Bihar, Bhopal. Some of the pillars were also constructed in Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, from various pillars constructed, currently only few of them exist. Allahabad or popularly known as Prayag Raj has one of the famous Ashoka Pillars. Each of the Ashoka Pillars is about 40 to 50 feet in height and each of them weighs approximately 50 tons. All these pillars are erected at Buddhist monasteries, important places of Buddha and at various pilgrimage places.
Structure of Ashoka Pillar
Each pillar constructed is a four component part that is divided into two pieces. Each piece has three sections of capital. The lower parts of the pillars have a gentle arch which is in a bell-shaped form. It resembles lotus petals.
History of Ashoka Pillar
Ashoka Pillar was originally built by king Ashoka. He ruled the Mauryan Empire from 272 BC to 231 BC. He got converted to Buddhism after he made a successful conquest of Kalinga region in Odisha.
After following Buddhism, he spent the rest of his life propagating the new religion called Buddhism. He strongly believed in Buddhism and with the aim of spreading the same, he got the laws or scripts inscribed on various rocks, caves, pillars in the entire Mauryan Dynasty. These inscriptions are written in various vernacular languages. These rocks are nothing but the famous Ashoka pillars. Hence, the entire series of Ashoka pillars have various kinds of inscriptions on it. According to the researchers, these inscriptions depict the tolerant and benevolent nature of mighty king Ashoka.
Ashoka Pillar at Allahabad Fort
Ashoka Pillar was built in 16th century by Akbar. This pillar is situated in Allahabad fort. The Asoka pillar in Allahabad has inscriptions from Ashoka, Samudragupta and Jehnagir. This pillar was first erected at Kaushambi, which is town about 30 kilometres away from Allahabad. This pillar was then moved to Allahabad under the Muslim rule. The famous pillar has various inscriptions on it. The inscriptions include the Ashokan inscription and inscription attributed to the second king of the Gupta Empire, Samudragupta and few inscriptions of Jehangir. Ashoka Pillar in Allahabad is one of the most important attractions of the city.
The famous Ashoka Pillar is situated in Allahabad fort. Currently, the fort is occupied by the Indian Army and therefore special permission is required to see the pillar.
Timings of Fort
The fort remains open from 7.00 am to 6.00 pm on all seven days of the week. The entry to this marvellous fort requires a special permission. However, you can take a special permit from the government to view this fort and the pillar.
How to Reach Ashoka Pillar Allahabad
As the pillar is located in the fort, one need to visit the fort with special permit to view the Asoka pillar. This fort is situated about six to seven kilometers from Prayagraj railway station. It is right in the centre of the city.