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The Iron Pillar within the mosque at the Qutb Minar (left), The waterfall, the overflow from the Hauz-i-Shamsi, near the Qutb Minar (right)

The Iron Pillar within the mosque at the Qutb Minar (left), The waterfall, the overflow from the Hauz-i-Shamsi, near the Qutb Minar (right)

Author: Metcalfe, Sir Thomas Theophilus (1795-1853)

Medium: Ink and colours on paper

Date: 1843

Shelfmark: Add.Or.5475

Item number: ff. 77v-78

Length: 25.8

Width: 42.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript

[From 'Reminiscences of Imperial Delhi’, an album consisting of 89 folios containing approximately 130 paintings of views of the Mughal and pre-Mughal monuments of Delhi, as well as other contemporary material, with an accompanying manuscript text written by Sir Thomas Theophilus Metcalfe (1795-1853), the Governor-General’s Agent at the imperial court. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund and of the National Art-Collections Fund.]

The Iron Pillar at the Kootoob is said to have been erected by Rana Pirthee Raj commonly called Rae Pittorah page 77 [f. 75v]. He succeeded to the throne about A.D. 1131, fifteen years afterwards he defeated Shahaboodeen Ghoree, on his first invasion of India. He was equally successful a short time afterwards in a contest with the Raja of Kanouj, on which occasion he erected this pillar as a trophy.
Tradition states that the soothsayers of the court represented to the King that if the pillar were sunk in a particular spot it would rest on the head of a serpent, and that until it was removed, the King’s Dynasty would remain on the throne. The proper site was selected but the King less superstitious than his Men of Oracles subsequently directed the Pillar to be taken up with a view to ascertain, if as was asserted, the end of the shaft would be found to be stained with the blood of the victim.
Such is said to have been case, and the pillar was immediately recommitted to the earth, but it had once been removed, the charm was broken, and soon after Shahaboodeen Ghoree again invaded India and Rae Pittorah and his Dynasty passed from the earth.
This very singular pillar is situated near to the Kootoob Meenar, and is about [blank] feet in height, and those deeply learned in antiquarian lore record their belief that its length is as great below as it rises above the earth.
[The Iron Pillar at the Qutb. The Iron Pillar, with a height of 7.2 m and diameter of 32 cm, is dated to the Gupta period with Sanskrit inscriptions from the 4th or 5th century. This pillar was taken from a Vishnu temple and placed at this site before the construction of the complex. ]
Inscribed: naqsha-i minar-i ahani dar qutb.
The Jhurna or Waterfall at the Kootoob
[The tank known as the Jharna, with cascades. This Mughal garden was built around 1700 and additions were made by subsequent rulers. It derives it name Jharna, from the waterfall, which once drained surplus water from the Hauz-i-Shamsi. Akbar Shah II (r.1806-37) constructed pavilions to the north and Bahadur Shah (r.1837-57) added the baradari in the centre.]
Inscribed: naqsha-i chharna dar qutb.
constructed during the reign of the Emperor Mohummud Shah (vide page 12 [f. 15) who reigned between the years A.D. 1719 and 1748. It is much resorted to by the present King and the ladies of his family, and is supplied from the Houz Shumshee described at page 77 [f. 76].

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