The iron pillar in India that never rusts

Epic/ Belief/ History, April 19th, 2021
illustration by Manish

The famous Iron Pillar situated in Qutb complex, Mehrauli (Qutub Minar in Delhi) has never rusted although scientific studies reveal that the metal from which the column is made, is full of impurities. How is it possible? Many are still groping in the dark to the truth. Mehrauli, few kilometers drive from New Delhi, is known not only for its vast landscape and malls but because of the Iron Pillar. It was built as a memorial to a king named Chandragupta II.

The height of this massive pillar is 23 feet 8 inches It has a diameter of about 4 ½ t and is a solid shaft of wrought iron with an ornamental top. Its metallurgical skill haunts artistic genius for the workers and the era in which it was constructed. Scholars believe that it must have been constructed in the 5th century.

This Iron Pillar attracts attention not because of the ancient time in which it was constructed, but because of its undying. Despite years of exposure to wind and rain, it has not rusted or has worn out.

Many theories have been put forward regarding the pillar not having rusted. The most acceptable theory is that of Erich Von Daniken. In his book, “Chariots of God”, he has written that structures like Pyramids and Iron pillar could not have been constructed or built without the “Super Intelligent” forces.

However, this theory is something which is open to criticism. The startling fact is that how can the Iron Pillar stand erect strongly without any patch of rust, even though scientific tests have proved that the iron used is not hundred percent pure. And when science fails, myths and legends obviously take birth.

It is true that the actual nature of the material used has not been known. But this also does not mean that science should give way to myths and suppositions. Maybe, some day scientists will be able to know the true nature of the metal from which the column is made of. And the curtain of mystery would be raised away from the dark, tall, round and slippery Iron Pillar.

his pillar was erected in the honor of the Hindu god Vishnu who is one of the Trimurti (Three gods who represent the life cycle of the Universe: Brahma-The Creator, Vishnu-The Maintainer, Shiva-The Destroyer)

It is also interesting to note that  ancient Indians knew about the process of iron rusting more than 2300 years ago! “Buddha” is cited in the ancient Buddhist book Dhammapada saying: As rust, sprung from iron, eats itself away when arisen, even so his own deeds lead the transgressor to states of woe.

References- Wikipedia, VS Publishers

Manish Pushkar Jha
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