Qutab Minar , New Delhi
About Qutab Minar
Located in the Mehrauli area of Delhi, the Qutub Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site attracts hordes of local and international tourists. The 73m tall tower keeping an eye on the entire city, is made of red sandstone and marble. It is the highest brick minaret in the world. The construction of this tower of victory was started by the founder of the Mamluk Dynasty in Delhi, Qutb ud-Din Aibak in 1192. It was completed by his successor and son-in-law Iltutmish in 1220.
Qutub Minar (also known as, Qutab/Qutb minar) is one of the tallest monument in contemporary India. Qutab Minar dates back further than the other Mughal structures such as Humayun’s Tomb and the Red Fort. The Minar ranges from an approximate of 15m at the bottom to a mere 2.5 at its peak. It has five storeys with five different architectural designs and projecting balconies. The first three stories are a product of red sandstone; the 4th and 5th of marble and sandstone. Qutbu l-Din Aibak, the first Mughal ruler of India, was the one to commission the minaret and the construction was further completed by his successor, Iltutmish. However, claims have been made of its construction way before the Hindu Empire.
It is said that Aibak constructed the minaret as a memoir for the Muslim Sufi scholar and mystic of the Chishti Order, Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki. There a variety of beliefs and legends which surround the origin of this minaret. While some scholars believe it is an architectural symbol which marks the beginning of Muslim rule in India others say the muezzins used to pray from there. It is believed that at one time the minaret solved the purpose of issuing of the ajhan – call to pray.
The soaring monument marks the victory of Qutbu l-Din Aibak against the last Hindu emperor and the dawn of the Muslim rule in India.
Many other monuments and buildings share a significant historical bond with the minaret and are located near it. All such monuments and buildings form the Qutb Complex. The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque (the first mosque built in India), The Iron Pillar, Iltutmish’s Tomb are some sites which tourist can visit at the Qutub Complex.
Entry inside the Qutub Minar itself is closed to public since 1981, while Qutub archaeological area remains open for public. The premises also have 7m tall Ashoka Iron Pillar. It is said that if one can encircle it with their hands, with their back facing the pillar, their wish will be fulfilled.
To make their trip memorable visitors could also purchase souvenirs from various stalls found in and around the complex. They could also visit nearby places like the Lodhi Garden, Khan Market, and Delhi Haat.
In the past, the monument has been subjected to earthquakes and lightening, yet it still stands tall, all mighty and glorious. It is a wonderful work of Mughal architecture and a touristy place. It is located 2.2 km away from the nearest metro station and harbours a green and peaceful environment. If you’re in Delhi make sure this is in your list.