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HomeNews Reports2000-year-old Mauryan structure discovered in Meerut, historians hopeful of finding lost Ashoka pillar site

2000-year-old Mauryan structure discovered in Meerut, historians hopeful of finding lost Ashoka pillar site

Brajsundar Gadnayak said that the bricks used to construct the platform are unique to the Mauryan period and have a specific dimension.

The Meerut circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered a structure in Meerut which they have identified as a 2000-year-old Mauryan-era brick platform.

“A large part of the structure is in the form of a 30m by 35m platform at Vikas Puri. The ancient site is undoubtedly one from the Mauryan period because the bricks are typical of the era,” Brajsundar Gadnayak, superintending archaeologist of the Meerut circle of ASI, was quoted by TOI as saying.

Despite the fact that a portion of the remains was destroyed due to the construction of a power plant, the Meerut circle of the Archaeological Survey of India has closely inspected it and its discovery has raised hopes of gaining fresh insights into the significant period of ancient Indian history that dates back to the Mauryan empire, the largest South Asian empire in history and its Emperor Ashoka.

Importantly, this platform may provide crucial information on the “lost” Ashoka Pillar site from the third century BCE.

Adding more specifics, Brajsundar Gadnayak said that the bricks used to construct the platform are unique to the Mauryan period and have a specific dimension. Their measurements are 42cm x 26cm x 8cm. He added that the department has also discovered pottery and ceramics from those times. An ancient canal path has also been uncovered, which most likely connects to the Kali river, said Gadnayak.

Throwing light on this discovery, historian Dr KK Sharma said: “The Gazetteer (of 1904) mentions the reinstallation of Meerut’s pillar at the Delhi Ridge but we have not been able to find the original site here.”

The Meerut Gazetteer mentioned by him states: “The earliest historical connection which can be made with the (Meerut) district is the erection of an Asoka pillar near Meerut … On the ridge at Dehli (Delhi) now stands a pillar which, according to Shams-i-Siraj, was removed from near the town of Meerut and set up in the Kushak Shikar or hunting palace. The site occupied by the pillar has not been identified.”

Ashoka pillar or the Delhi-Meerut pillar was carried to Delhi from Meerut by Firoz Shah and placed outside his hunting palace, between the Chauburji-Masjid and Hindu Rao Hospital, on the northern crest of Delhi. During the reign of Farrukshiar (1713–19), it was destroyed in an explosion, and five broken sections were eventually sent to the Asiatic Society of Bengal in Calcutta (now Kolkata). Brought back in 1866 it was re-erected in 1887.

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