Standing tall and proudly as the insignia of the Mughal might and dominion, Qutub Minar is an iconic structure which narrates the past of Delhi like no other. Forming a part of the Qutub Complex, Qutub Minar is located in Delhi in the Mehrauli area which is also the heritage storehouse of Delhi having several other historical structures. Designated as the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the tallest brick minaret in the world, Qutub Minar is a victory tower with a height of 72.5 meters (238 feet) and is said to have been designed on the lines of Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan.
Qutub Minar is the second tallest monument of Delhi in the Qutub Complex which comprises Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, Alai Darwaza, Alai Minar, Alai-ud-din’s Madrasa and Tomb, Iron Pillar, Tomb of Imam Zamin, Sanderson’s Sundial, and Major Smith’s Cupola apart from the Minar itself. Qutub Minar was built by QutbUd-din Aibak, founder of the Delhi Sultanate, the foundation for which was laid in 1192 and it later completed by his successors.
Qutub Minar Information:
Qutub Minar is now a word synonymous to Delhi which welcomes thousands of visitors every day in its premises from across the world. It is a spectacular sight to see in the evening when the hues of light from the setting sun fall on the minaret and forms a leaning silhouette of the mighty tower, flaunting the reminiscence of the past. As you step inside the complex, the stone structures and inscriptions greet you while giving you the snippet of history and Qutub Minar stands for. The Qutub Minar Complex is also the venue for the annual three-day Qutub Festival – where musicians, dancers, and artists gather to celebrate the glorious history of the monument.
Presently, Qutub Minar plays different roles in different people’s lives and perspectives. It has also entered in the reals of romance, what with several cafes and diners in Mehrauli offering its visitors the moonlit views of the minaret and making it an ideal place to have some cozy conversations. For our history buffs, there are audio guides available for rent at the entrance which offers thorough information on the monument.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the foundation stone for Qutub Minar was laid in 1192 by QutbUd-din Aibak and it was later completed in different stages by his successors. The monument has always been shrouded in mysteries and conflicting views about its past. According to historians, Qutub Minar was named after QutbUd-din Aibak who was responsible for erecting its foundation stone, while some other believe that it was named after Khwaja QutbUd-din Bakhtiar Kaki, a saint from Baghdad held in high regard by Iltutmish.
Qutub Minar was built as an emblem of victory for Muslim intruders over the Hindu land and acted as a victory tower when Muhammad Ghori took over the Rajput King Prithviraj Chauhan in 1192. The monument has endured the harsh forces of nature and time and still stands tall after several centuries. It is said to be struck with lightning in 1368, which destroyed its top part, and was later renovated by Firoz Shah Tughlaq by adding two more floors to it.
In 1803, a massive earthquake shook the minaret which was renovated by the then major in the British Indian Army, Robert Smith in 1828, and even mounted a cupola over the fifth floor which added a new storey to the tower. In 1848, the then Governor General of India, Viscount Hardinge instructed to shift the cupola from its original position to the east of Qutub Minar where it exists even today and is known as Smith’s Folly. These incidents lead to the dynamic and varied architectural exterior of the monument from the time of Aibak to that of Tughlaq dynasty.
The splendid architecture, design, and features of Qutub Minar have been inspired from the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan and is made from red sandstone. The lotus border carvings, garlands, and looped bells in the structure were integrated from the local susceptibilities. The tower has five storeys superposing with spiraling inside staircase of 379 steps with the first-three storeys consisting of cylindrical hilts of red sandstone, divided by rims and balconies with Muqarna truss. The fourth storey is made of marble and the fifth one is made of marble and sandstone with inscriptions from the Quran and decorative motifs.
The exterior façade of the monument has inscriptions in Nagari and Parso-Arabic characters which narrate its construction and renovation by Tughlaq and Sikandar Lodi between 1381-1517. The minar is titled at 65cm vertically from its base bit is deemed safe with the experts wanting continuous observing so that the rainwater discharge doesn’t affect its base. Qutub Minar has been an inspiration for several other minarets built after it such as the Chand Minar constructed in Daulatabad in Maharashtra in the year 1445.
The Qutub Festival is celebrated in Qutub Minar in the month of November and December and is a three-day festival celebrating the glorious past of the monument and flaunting it to the entire world. The festival is organized by the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation and the Sahitya Kala Parishad. It comprises shows, dance performances, and art forms to attract visitors from across the world. Three days of folk dance and music revitalizes the monument and brings life to it. There are food stalls set up as well that offer delicious delicacies to add to the beauty of the event.
Qutub Minar is open from 10am to 5pm on all days except Sunday.
Entry Fees is INR40 for Indians, SAARC, and BIMSTEC and INR600 for Foreign tourists.
INR 25 for still camera and video camera.
By Air: From Indira Gandhi International Airport, Qutub Minar is 12km away and a direct bus departs from there to Qutub Minar metro station.
By Metro: The nearest metro station is the Qutub Minar Metro Station that is in the Yellow Line and is 3km away. Rickshaws are available from the station to take you to the minar.
By Road: You can also take DTC buses from any part of the city to reach Qutub Minar.
Get more insight on the second highest monument of Delhi, the Qutub Minar, which was constructed in 1192 by Qutb-ud-din Aibak and is located in the Qutub Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a height of 72.5 meters, this magnum opus of Indo-Islamic architecture draws a horde of visitors every year and every day of the months.
Qutb-ud-din Aibak laid the foundation of Qutub Minar in 1192 AD for the use of the mu’azzin (crier) to give calls for prayer and raised the first storey, to which three more storeys were later added by his successors. .
Qutub Minar is one of the highest stone minarets in the world with a height of 73 meters and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Qutub Minar has 5 storeys, the first was built by Qutb-ud-din Aibak and the rest by Iltutmish.
Qutub Minar is named after his founder and the founder of Delhi Sultanate, Qutb-ud-din Aibak.
The five-storey edifice is carved with inscriptions from Quran and is made of sandstones.
Qutub Minar is 72.5 meters tall.