Qutab Minar

Apart from being the capital of India, Delhi is a fascinating city with pleasant contradictions. Comprising of Old Delhi and New Delhi, the city is home to famous tourist destinations like the Laxmi Narayan Temple, India Gate, Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Humayun's Tomb, and the vivacious shopping bazaar of Chandni Chowk. One such tourist attraction in Delhi is the Qutab Minar, the highest stone tower in India.

Background

The construction of the Qutab Minar was started by Qutab-ud-Din Aibak in 1199 and it was finished by his successor and son-in-law, Iltutmish. The Qutab Minar was named after the Sufi saint, Khwaja Qutabuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki. Though the exact purpose of the Qutab Minar is not known but it is believed that it served as a minaret to the adjoining mosque and was used by the muezzins to call the faithful to prayer.

Description

Constructed in red and buff sandstone and covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Holy Quran, Qutab Minar has five storeys surrounded by a projected balcony and buttressed by stone brackets, which are decked with honeycomb designs. The Qutab Minar is 72.5 meters high and there are 379 steps. The diameter of the base is 14.3 meters while the top floor's diameter measures 2.7 meters.

There are numerous inscriptions on the Qutab Minar in Arabic and Nagari characters. The inscriptions state about the repair work done on the Qutab Minar by different rulers like Firoz Shah Tughlaq, Sikandar Lodi, as well as by Major R. Smith. The Qutab Minar was built on the ruins of Lal Kot, the Red Citadel in the city of Dhillika, the capital of the Tomar and Chauhana Rajputs, the last Hindu rulers of Delhi.

There are many other remarkable buildings and structures in the Qutab Minar complex, including the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, the first mosque built in India. It was constructed by Qutab-ud-din Aybak using materials of 27 Jain and Hindu temples. There is also the famous Alai Darwaza at the entrance of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, built by Ala-ud-din Khalji. To the west of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque is the tomb of Iltutmish. Close to the mosque is the 4th century Iron pillar, one of Delhi's most interesting structures.

How to reach

To reach Qutab Minar, the nearest airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport located 23 km southwest of Central Delhi and the domestic terminal at Palam is 5 km away from the international terminal. Taxi and coach transfer is available from both International and Domestic Arrivals.

History:

A glance at this tall imposing tower of Delhi called the Qutab Minar will give you the details about the history of Qutab Minar. This red and buff colored sandstone structure of Qutab Minar has a unique towering presence. Considered to be the tallest tower of India, the history of Qutab Minar is quite interesting as its height.

The foundation of Qutab Minar was laid by Qutabuddin Aibak in 1193 and it was completed by Illtutmish and then Firoz Shah Tughluq in 1368. Built of red sandstone, the stark differences in architecture of different periods and different dynastie

The monument located near Mehrauli, rises to a height of 237.8 ft. It has a series of 399 steps to reach the topmost level. When Qutabuddin Aibak was crowned the king he wanted to celebrate the victory of Islam and the fall of the Hindu empire. So he built this tower to establish the supremacy of the Islam over the Hindu monarchy.

The high standing tower has shafts and balconies and the walls are adorned with inscribed verses from Quran. Intricate carvings give an exquisite look to the minaret. There are inscriptions that tell us the history of Qutab Minar.

The tall column of red stone has been a silent witness to the changing dynasties and passing time. The meaning of the word Qutab Minar is axis minaret. The first three storeys of the tower are made of red sandstone by Qutabuddin Aibak and Iltutmish and the last two storeys are made of marble by Firoz Shah Tughluq. The Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque is located near the minaret. It is considered to be one of the oldest mosques in India.

Fast - Facts:

Location:

It is located in the Qutab Complex, which is in Mehrauli and it is 16 km from Connaught Place.  

Architecture:

Constructed in different eras by the different rulers the five storeyed minaret of Qutab Minar shows stark differences in its architecture. The red sandstone structure which overlooks the city of Delhi is known to be the tallest tower in India. Built to establish the supremacy of the Islam rule over the Hindu rulers, the mighty presence of the Minar is an integral part of the image of India.  

How to Reach:

The monument is located in South Delhi and tourists vcan either take auto rickshaws, taxis, buses or the Metro Rail.   

Charges for Photography: Video Filming charges are INR 25   

Nearest Shopping Venues:

  • Ambavata Shopping Complex
  • Hauz Khas Village

Both are famous boutique stores which are known for their exquisite clothes and handicrafts.  

Nearest Metro Station: Kendriya Terminal

Nearest Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport

Nearest Railway Station: Nizammuddin Station

Nearby Attractions:

The tallest tower of India Qutab Minar is visited by tourists from world over. The nearby attractions of Qutab Minar are also one of the major tourist attractions of Delhi. The foundation of Qutab Minar was laid by Qutabuddin Aibak in the year 1193 and it was completed by Iltutmish and then Firoz Shah Tughluq in 1368. The tower stands as a structure to commemorate the victory and supremacy of the Islam over the Hindu kings. After defeating the Hindu kings Aibak had established it.

The tower was constructed by three dynasties and reflects the stark difference in architecture in its five storeys. The beautiful minaret is symbol of Islamic rule as well as the kaleidoscopic fabric of Indian history.  

Iron Pillar:

The wrought iron tower that stands near Qutab Minar was built to honor the Hindu God Vishnu and king Chandragupta. Constructed in the 4th century this pillar has withstood the test of time and stands strong even after 1600 years.  

Red Fort:

the red sandstone palatial mansion built by Shah Jahan is one of the major tourist attractions of Delhi. The red sandstone complex with its plazas, halls, gardens is another architectural marvel of Mughal creations.  

India Gate:

Built in the commemoration of Indian soldiers, the India Gate is located near the Qutab Minar. One of the famous nearby attractions of Qutab Minar, the India Gate is a symbol of respect to honor the martyrdom of the soldiers who lost their lives. 

Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque:

The Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque is located near the minaret. It is considered to be one of the oldest mosques in India. A nearby attraction of Qutab Minar, this mosque was built in the reign off Qutabuddin Aibak and later expanded by his descendants.  

Tomb of Iltutmish:

Inside the Qutb complex lies the mausoleum of Iltutmish. The son in law of Qutabuddin, Iltutmish also contributed to the construction of Qutab Minar.  

Nearby Shopping Venues:

The Ambavata Shopping complex and Hauz Khas are the two nearest shopping venues.

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