It was added to the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1993.
This is the highest brick tower in India. It is one of the must-visit tourist attractions in New Delhi.
It is the first Indian monument to have an E-ticket facility. Qutub Minar is the world’s tallest brick minaret with a height of 237.8 ft (72.5 m), 47.2 ft (14.3 m) base diameter, 8.8 ft (2.7 m) at the peak. It has five stories with projected balconies. There are 379 stairs inside Qutb Minar that lead to the top.
History Of Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar was built on the demolished ruins of an ancient Hindu site. It is called the Tower of Victory, built by Qutub Ud-Din-Aibak, the first Islamic ruler of north India and the founder of the Delhi Sultanate. It was built in the 12th century to mark the victory of the Delhi Sultanate over a rival kingdom, and it was constructed to mark the beginning of Muslim rule in India.
The making of the first story of Qutub Minar began under Qutub Ud-Din-Aibak around 1192. Iltutmish completed its construction in 1220 to three stories.
Lighting damaged it in 1326 and 1369. Firoz Shah Tughlaq replaced the damaged story. He further added one more story. Qutub-ud-din Aibak finished one story. Shams-ud-din Iltutmish built three more stories. Firoz Shah Tughlak constructed the fifth and final story in the 14th century.
A stampede due to electricity failure occurred at Qutub Minar on December 4, 1981. The tower’s staircase was plunged in darkness, and repeated shouts announced that the minaret was collapsing. People started fumbling inside the dark stone staircase, and in the melee, 45 people were crushed to death.
Architecture Of Qutub Minar
The Minar is a wonderful symbol of Indo-Islamic Afghan architecture.
The main construction material is red and buff sandstone. The top floors are made up of white marble. Verses from the holy Quran are carved on it.
Each story has a balcony. Visitors were not allowed to climb up the tower after the accident in 1981. It is said that the Minar is not erect. It is a leaning tower due to past construction and deconstruction. The construction of the Minar was completed by three rulers of Delhi in three stages.
Ala’i Minar is an incomplete tower that is a solid stable of rubble. The tower was 88.5 ft (27 m) high at the time of Alaud-din khilji’s death.
In AD 1311, the Alai Darwazawas built by Alaud din Khilji.
Iron Pillar of Delhi, the inscription of King Chandragupta II. The iron pillar weighs around 13227. 7 lb (6,000 kg). It is made up of 98% wrought iron and has been standing without being damaged by rust for over 2000 years.
Significance Of Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar is well known for its strength and greatness that has helped it withstand numerous natural distasters without damage.
In 1368 A.D., a major lightning bolt struck the Qutub Minar for the first time. Tughlaq Sultan made the restoration and reconstruction.
When an earthquake disrupted the previous renovations in the 19th century, British officials like Lord Harding and Robert Smith took up the conservation work.
On the Minar, we can see various inscriptions which give us the details of several historical events and names. It also gives information from its initiation until the period it was repaired by Sikander Lodi.
Compared to a mosque, the cultural art forms of the Qutub Minar complex are mostly Islamic.
Visiting Qutub Minar
To know more about these historical monuments, one should visit the Qutub Minar complex, located in Mehrauli, in South Delhi. One can take a DTC bus to this monument from anywhere in Delhi NCR. Delhi residents can take a metro, get down at Qutab Minar Metro Station, and hire an auto as the monument is a six-minute drive from the metro exit.
The Qutb Minar complex is open from sunrise until sunset. Ideally, the best time to visit the Minar is from November to March, with February being the ideal time. The complex gets crowded during the day, and especially on weekends.
The Qutub Minar is part of a Qutub complex incorporating several other related historical monuments, including a collection of tombs. The most significant of these is the Quwwat ul Islam mosque (the Might of Islam), considered the first surviving mosque and a seat of religious power in India. Even though it is in ruins, its architecture is still magnificent, especially the Alai Darwaza.
The Iron Pillar is another enigmatic monument in the Qutub Minar complex. No one knows why it’s there. Hindu artisans have determined that it was constructed during the early period of the Gupta reign between the fourth and fifth centuries, based on its inscription. It is thought to have been made for a king in honor of Hindu Lord Vishnu and was originally located at Vishnupadagiri (Udaygiri) in Madhya Pradesh. The unusual fact about the iron pillar is that it hasn’t rusted due to the unique iron-making process of the ancient Indians.
The minor monuments in the Qutb complex are those of Ala-ud-din Khilji (regarded as the most powerful ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, who died in 1316), Shams ud-Din Iltutmish (who died in 1236), and Imam Zamin (an Islamic priest from Turkestan who died in 1539). The remains of a madrasa belonging to Ala-ud-din Khilji are also seen.
Another notable monument is the incomplete Alai Minar. Ala-ud-din Khilji wanted to build this tower to be twice the height of the Qutb Minar. However, work on the tower came to a halt after his death.
Located on the outskirts of Delhi, Qutub Minar is a ‘must-visit’ attraction that should be included on a visit to the Indian capital. The beautiful religious buildings of the Qutub Minar complex form one of Delhi’s most spectacular sights. One of the finest examples of Indo Islamic architecture, Qutub Minar is the highest brick minaret in the world.
Historians have conflicting views with regard to the name of the tower. Many historians believe that it was named after Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of India while the others contend that it was named in honor of Khwaja Qutb-ud-din Bakhtiar Kaki, a saint from Baghdad, who was highly venerated by Iltutmish. It is believed that the construction of this heavenly monument was a result of several events that occurred in the past.
However, the most important reason for the construction of this historical monument was for making calls for prayers. Moreover, the Qutub complex is also surrounded by many other architectural marvels. This fascinating structure is also declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
1. Tallest brick minaret in the world
The height of Qutub Minar is 72.5 metres. There are 379 stairs inside the tower, which lead to the top. The diameter of Qutub Minar is 14.32 metres at the base and 2.75 metres at the top.
2. Surrounded by historical monuments
The Qutub Minar is surrounded by several great historical monuments and all of them together are referred to as “Qutb Complex”. The complex includes: Iron Pillar of Delhi, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, Alai Darwaza, the Tomb of Iltutmish, Alai Minar, Ala-ud-din’s Madrasa and Tomb, the Tomb of Imam Zamin, Major Smith’s Cupola and Sanderson’s Sundial.
3. On the top of it
The top floor of the minar was destructed by the lightning and rebuilt by Firoz Shah Tughlaq. These floors are quite distinguishable from the rest of the minar as they are made up of white marble.
Before 1974, the general public was allowed to access the top of the minar. On December 4, 1981, 45 people were killed in a stampede that followed an electricity failure that plunged the tower’s staircase into darkness. Consequently, public access to the inside of the tower has been banned.
5. The (almost) foray into Bollywood
Bollywood actor and director Dev Anand wanted to shoot the song ‘Dil Ka Bhanwar Kare Pukar’ but the cameras were too big to fit inside the tower’s narrow passage, and the song was shot inside a replica of the tower instead.
6. Standing strong
The Iron Pillar in the Qutub Minar complex has been standing tall without rusting for over 2000 years! That’s wondrous.
7. Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid
Just near Qutub Minar stands the first ever mosque to be built in India. The name of this mosque translates to “The Might of Islam Mosque” in English. This building symbolises the ascendance of one religious power over another. The original mosque was built on the foundations of a Hindu temple and the essence of it can be seen when you visit.
8. Dreams too big to be true
Ala-ud-din Khilji aimed to build a second tower exactly like the Qutub Minar, but twice as high. At the time of his death, the tower had reached 27 metres and no one agreed to continue his overambitious project. Ala’i Minar, the incomplete tower, stands to the north of the Qutub Minar and the mosque.