Saturday, October 25, 2008

Heliodorous Pillar - 2000 year old Garuda Pillar

I had read about the Helidorous pillar in Vidisha close to Sanchi, Madhya prdesh, India and was determined to see it when I visited Sanchi earlier this year.
The Pillar may not look very impressive - but when you consider that it was erected in 100 BC and that too by a Greek (Heliodorous) who came as an ambassador from the Greek King of Takshashila to the court of King Bhagabhadra of Vidisha., you cannot deny its historical importance. It seems Helidorous was a Vishnu devotee and erected this Garuda pillar dedicated to Vishnu (as per the Brahmi inscription in the pillar).

But it took me a long time to find the pillar - the locals did not seem to know much about it, but finally after a couple of hours of searching, I found the dirt road leading to the pillar.

And who says religion is of no use? the pillar has been worshipped in the past and maybe that is why the pillar survived the 2100 years. There was an Asoka pillar nearby which was broken up by an ‘enterprising’ business man and used in his jute mill!

So Heliodorous survived while Asoka perished!!!!