The Iron Pillar of Delhi, India is Fashioned (Allegedly)
The iron pillar of Delhi, India is a 7 meter (22 feet) high pillar in the Qutb complex which is a curiosity because of the composition of the metals used in its construction.
The pillar—weighing more than six tons—was allegedly fashioned at the time of Chandragupta II Vikramaditya (375–413), though other authorities give dates as early as 912 BCE. The pillar initially stood in the centre of a Jain temple complex housing twenty-seven temples that were destroyed by Qutb-ud-din Aybak, and their material was used in building the Qutub Minar and Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque. The pillar and ruins of the temple stand all around the Qutb complex today. The pillar is 98% wrought iron of pure quality, and is a testament to the high level of skill achieved by ancient Indian ironsmiths. It has attracted the attention of both archaeologists and metallurgists, as it has withstood corrosion for over 1600 years in the open air.
The name of the city of Delhi is thought to be based on a legend associated with the pillar.
Made up of 98% wrought iron of pure quality, it is 7.21m (23 feet 8 inches) high, with 93 cm (36.6 inches) buried below the present floor level, and has a diameter of 41 cm (16 inches) at the bottom which tapers towards the upper end. The pillar was manufactured by forge welding. The temperatures required to form such a pillar by forge welding could only have been achieved by the combustion of coal. The pillar is a testament to the high level of skill achieved by ancient Indian iron smiths in the extraction and processing of iron.
A fence was erected around the pillar in 1997 in response to damage caused by visitors. There is a popular tradition that it was considered good luck if you could stand with your back to the pillar and make your hands meet behind it.