The 72.5 m high lofty tower, Qutub Minar in Delhi is a world heritage site. It is the tallest brick minaret in the world. The eminent conical minaret is an exquisite example of Indo Islamic Afghan architecture. The minaret was construed by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak and later the construction was completed by his successor Iltutmish.
Qutub Minar – India’s Tallest Stone Tower
Qutub Minar was hit by lightening couple of time and was damaged by the subsequent rulers repaired it, hence it has survived the ravages of time impressively. The minaret is surrounded by ancient and medieval monuments which altogether forms the Qutub complex.
Hisory of the Minaret
Qutub-ud-Din Aibak, the founder of the Delhi Sultanate commenced the construction of Qutub Minar in 1199 A.D. It is said that the minar was built with the ruins of 27 Hindu Temples. Qutub-ud-Din Aibak could finish only the basal part of the minaret, rest of the construction work was set afoot by his successor, Iltutmish. The inscriptions on the minaret say that it was repaired by Feroz Shah Tughlaq and later by Sikander Lodi.
The monument was damaged by lightening in 1368 and Feroz Shah Tughlaq repaired and rebuilt damaged storey. In 1505 Qutub Minar was ravaged by earthquake and was repaired by Sikander Lodi. The mending and restoration was further carried on by Major Robert Smith and Lord Haringe and thus the minaret stands mightily til the present day. It is believed by a few that it was erected as victory tower to mark the beginning of Muslim rule in India. It is also said that it Muezzins to call the devotees to prayer.
Architecture & Design
Qutub Minar is an excellent example of Indo-Islamic architecture accompanied with Afghan traits. Qutub Minar stands tall with a height of 72.5 m (237.8 ft). The minaret is so high that 379 steps are needed to be climbed to reach the top. The base of the Minar has a diameter of 14.32 meters and the top of the structure measures 2.75 m in diameter.
The Minar is constructed out of dark red sandstone with iron carvings and verses from the holy Quran. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone while the fourth, fifth and sixth storey are of marble and sandstone. The development of architectural styles from Aibak to Tughlaq is quite evident in the minar.
The tower is ornamented by bands of inscriptions and by four projecting balconies supported by elaborately decorated brackets the entire monuments contains numerous inscriptions in Arabic and Nagari. Even though in ruins, the Quwat-ul-Islam Mosque at the base of Qutub Minar is still one of the magnificent structures in the world.
Other Attractions of Qutub Complex
Qutub Minar is surrounded by several monuments of historic significance, which are historically connected to the Minar. These monuments include the Quwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the Iron Pillar of Delhi, Alai Darwaza, the Tomb of Iltutmish, Alai Minar, Alauddin’s Madarsa & Tomb and the Tomb of Imam Zamin. Other minar monuments are Major Smith’s Cupola and Sanderson’s sundial.
Location & Access
The tall Minaret is located on the Aurobindo Marg in Mehrauli – New Delhi.
The monument is located on the capital city of India hence is accessible from all parts of the country. Delhi is well connected by all states and cities through air, rail and road routes. The monument can be reached through metro transit system. The place easily accessible locally through buses. The monument is a must visit for history buffs, photo fanatics and experience seekers.
When to Visit
The Minar is open to visitors from 6:30 A.M to 6:30 P.M throughout the week.
The place can be visited at any time of the year but if you are planning to visit Qutub Minar then October and March are the best months to visit as the weather is pleasant at this time and you can enjoy sightseeing to the fullest.
The entry fee is Rs.10 per person for Indians and Rs.250 per person for foreign tourists.
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