Tribune News Service
Yamunanagar, October 21 Yamunanagar district will soon have India’s biggest Ashoka Chakra with a diameter of 30 ft. This chakra made of iron is ready and is likely to be erected at Topra Kalan village
of the district in the next couple of days. The aim is to revive ancient Buddhist heritage and to attract spiritual tourism from across the world. A local NGO, the Buddhist Forum, which has been working for the promotion of ruined ancient Buddhist heritage sites scattered all across the world for the past several years, had planned to develop an Ashoka Edicts Park in this historical village four years ago.
“Ashoka Chakra is part of the Ashoka Edicts Park. It was started on 25 acres that were provided by the village panchayat for the project,” said Sidhartha Gauri, president of the Buddhist Forum. He said that the Ashoka Edicts Park would have a replica of all major Ashokan pillars and rock edicts in the Indian subcontinent, largest collection of bodily relics of the Buddha in the world, reconstruction of the Lumbini and Mahabodhi temples and statue of Emperor Ashoka. Dr Rajpal Singh, a retired professor of history from MLN College, Yamunanagar, said that during the reign of Emperor Ashoka, a pillar was erected in Topra Kalan village. But in the 14th century, Feroz Shah Tughlaq transported this massive pillar from Topra Kalan to Delhi. “Presently, the pillar is standing in Kotla, New Delhi. It is the only pillar having seven Ashokan edicts on it. Later on, some minor edicts were added by Anagpal, King of Delhi in the 10th century,” said Dr Rajpal. Sidhartha said, “From last year, construction work on this chakra of 24 spokes has been going on. We are expecting to erect it within a couple of days. The diameter of this chakra is 30 ft and it weighs around 6 tonnes.” He said that the uniquenessof this chakra was that it was non-armature structure. He added that the Buddhist Forum has made the chakra with its resources, but Anil Kumar, owner of Kamal Engineering Company, Yamunanagar, has helped them in the fabrication work.
Manish Kumar, sarpanch of the village, said that they were feeling proud that their village was among 5,97,464 villages in India to get this honour. This feat would be registered in the Limca Book of Records too. One of the founders of this park, Dr Satyadeep Neil Gauri, said that the park would rekindle India’s glorious image globally. Roshan Lal Kamboj, adviser member, Buddhist Forum, said, “The chakra has been painted golden like the majority of Buddha idols as it is considered a highly spiritual colour.”