One of India's ancient monuments, Ashoka Pillar in central Delhi's Ferozeshah Kotla, is slowly bearing the brunt of the damage. A major part of the inscriptions on the pillar has flaked off completely.

The monument was erected by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka originally in Haryana's Ambala area between circa 273 and 236 BCE. The exact reason behind the damage is still unknown, says this report by The Times of India.

According to sources, despite the pillar deteriorating and flaking for months, ASI did not take any steps to conserve it. Speaking to the newspaper, ASI director general Rakesh Tewari said, "This is a matter of grave concern and we will inspect the monument at the earliest and take appropriate action."

Why it is special?

Out of the two Ashokan pillars erected in Delhi, this pillar has a set of seven edicts unlike others which have set of six edicts. The edicts are messages from Emperor Ashoka related to the protection of living beings.

The pillars were transported  in the 14th century CE from their original sites in Meerut and Ambala to Delhi during the reign of Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq.