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1872 photograph of the Hindu Iron Pillar, from the Qutb complex west, colonnade of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque in the background

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1872 photograph of the Hindu Iron Pillar, from the Qutb complex west, colonnade of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque in the background

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Summary

A Henry Cole 1871 publication. Page 39.
The image is of an ancient iron pillar, dated by 19th-century archaeologist Cunningham to 4th century, but earlier or later by others. James Prinsep states that the pillar's Sanskrit inscription is in the style of the third or fourth century CE Nagari script, but because the use of script in official inscriptions usually comes later, this pillar must have been set up from the 5th to the 8th century. The inscription's third line, translates James Prinsep, mentions the Hindu god Vishnu twice, confirming that this was a Hindu monument. (Prinsep in Indian Antiquities; also Thomas, vol. I pp. 318-320)
The iron pillar without rust is remarkable for its age. It consists of a circular shaft of iron. Its visible height is 22.5 feet from the ground, and at the base measures 5.25 feet in circumference. It was taken out of one of many demolished Hindu and Jain temples and reinstalled in the mosque by Delhi Sultanate.

The photo shows it before the masonry base was added after site excavations in 1871 and restorations. The pillar photograph shows white dots on the lower part, each mark is separated by 5 feet. In the back is the pillared corridor of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque built from the ruins of medieval temples.

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Date

1880 - 1900
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historical images of the qutb minar and its monuments
historical images of the qutb minar and its monuments