What Is A ‘Kos Minar’?

Mile Stones,Mile Pillars

The 'Kos Minar' at The Veer Tejaji Circle in Mansarovar,Jaipur

Kos Minars or Mile pillars  used to be the mile stones on the Mughal Highways or trade routes which  inter-connected the Mughal Empire . They were first made by Sher Shah Suri to mark the distance. A kos  measures 2 miles of distance. The distance between two Kos Minars was approximately 4 miles. They were more than 30 feet high round pillars of masonry. The design might have varied slightly but their function was the same. They were later on instrumental  in day to day governance of the Mughal Empire as they had horses and riders and drummers stationed there for relying royal messages at speed. They also developed as travelers hubs as step-wells & ‘sarais’ were built nearby. The routes on which these Kos Minars were built had been there for ages. Consequently they are near famous battlefields and monuments and ancient cities. Also modern highways have taken place of the ancient tracks used by Mughal horsemen. They were mostly built during 1556-1707 AD.

In 1575  Emperor Akbar issued an order, as stated in  Akabarnama by Abulfazal,  that Kos Minars should be built on the way from Agra to Ajmer to  act as guide posts  to travelers. Later on Jahangir & ShahJahan had these pillars built along the major routes connecting the Mughal Empire. One of these Kos Minars  still exists  in Mansarovar  near the Veer Tejaji  Road Circle in Jaipur.

There were about 3000 km of highways in the Mughal Empire. So there should have been about 1000 Kos Minars in the Mughal Empire. Their numbers have diminished over the years due to urbanization etc. Nowadays these monuments are protected by the Government of  India, coming under the purview of the ASI.

In February, 2005, a first day cover was issued depicting, a renovated, Kos Minar as a symbol for Heritage Conservation.

Kos Pillar,Mile Stone

Another view of the Kos Minar situated near the VT circle in Mansarovar in Jaipur.

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One response to “What Is A ‘Kos Minar’?

  1. Pingback: JEWELS IN THE CROWN OF JAIPUR | Karan’s Guest House

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