Qutab Minar spells the history of Mughal rule in India. Located on the fringes of Delhi, this is one of the must visit places when you take a trip down to the capital city of India. The magnitude of this building stumps you as it’s the tallest brick minaret in the world. The area of Mehrauli that houses the Minar has now become a swanky hangout spot with several fine dining restaurants that have sprung up offering surreal moonlit view of the Minar. The minaret has been defaced, reimposed and expanded over the centuries by different ruling dynasties.
The five storey construction of this tower is done with redstone and was started by the first Turkish ruler Qutub-ud-din Aibak in 1198 hence the monument is named after him. This was completed later by his successor Iltutmish who added three more storeys to it. However it was Firoz shah Tughlak who added the last fifth storey to it in 1220 respectively. Around 3 centuries later the monument suffered acute damages due to an earthquake, which was again repaired by Major Robert Smith, a member of the British Indian Army. The idea of setting up a minar is believed to be inspired by the victory tower of Ghazni, situated in Ghazni City, Afghanistan. Its purpose was to establish victory and supremacy of the Muslim rule in Delhi.
The Minar further also served as an announcing tower to call for prayers at the adjacent mosque. Additionally there are a few other historical structures also adjoining the minar and all of them put together form the entire Qutab Minar Complex. This tower has been declared as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993 owing to its historical significance and rich architectural genius. It has been resilient enough to survive the worst calamities over the centuries.
Qutub Minar is recognised as the symbol of great architectural style in India with a blend of Persian, Arabic and Indian designs. The Indian influence came from the fact that it was built on the ruins several Hindu and Jain temples, as inscribed by the builders themselves.
To describe this wonder further let us take you step by step through the details of its magnificence. The height of Qutub Minar is 73 meters, with five storeys and 379 stairs inside the minaret. The entrance to the tower is through the doorway towards the North, and a spiralling stairway leads up to each balcony. The lower three decks are made of cylindrical shafts of redstone whereas the fourth column is made of marble and fifth of sandstone and marble. Texts from the Holy Quran and beautiful floral motifs engraved on the tower clearly define the expertise of the artisans. As one of the inscriptions on the Eastern Gate goes, the construction material for the minar was taken from the previous existing structures.
According to a legend attached to it, if anybody encircles the pillar of the Minar with both arms with his back towards it, all the wishes are fulfilled.
The Iron Pillar which is one of the most ancient structures in Delhi lies within the Qutub Minar complex. Built in 4th century, 24 feet tall, weighing above 6 tonnes bears testimony to 1600 years of craftsmanship as it stands intact till date without rusting. The jaw dropping fact is that the corrosion across centuries has not been able to touch it.
Close to Qutub Minar lies Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque meaning the ‘Might of Islam’ the first ever mosque that was built in India. This mosque was constructed over a Hindu temple to represent the predominance of Muslim religion over any other. The pretty lotus borders carvings, garlands and looped bells adorn the walls of the monument and a treat to watch.
Further, the ruins of Alai Minar stand close to Qutab Minar. The construction of this was started by the Mughal emperor Alaudin Khilji in pursuit of making it twice higher than the Qutab Minar and named it after self. The construction got stalled after his death as the following rulers didn’t show interest in the Minar’s completion.
You can book online tickets for Qutab Minar on Travolook to avoid inconvenience later. The visiting hours are from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm all days of the week. However entry inside the Minar is prohibited due to an unfortunate accident that took place in 1981 leading to several deaths in a stampede.
To begin with, flight ticket booking to the Nearest Airport is Indira Gandhi International Airport and the nearest Railway Station is Old Delhi Railway Station when you land in New Delhi. Once you are in the city there are several ways and means to reach this mighty monument. Metro connects the whole of city very well and the nearest Metro Station is Qutab Minar Metro Station. Likewise, the DTC buses ply within the city and the Nearest Bus Stand is Kashmiri Gate Bus Stand.
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