Qutab Minar Delhi
Built By :
Qutub-ud-din Aibak, Iltutmish and Feroz Shah
Built In Between :
1199 A.D to 1368 A.D.
Qutab Minar - Overview
you are an architecture lover and planning a trip to Indian capital, Delhi,
then do not forget to include imposing Qutab Minar in your itinerary. Take a
drive 13 kms south from Luteyn's Delhi, that is Connaught Place, to
reach the Qutab complex. Although the 72.5 m high Qutab Minar or Victory
Pillar is visible from long distance, but as you reach close to the Minar,
your curiosity will increase many folds. Leave your vehicle, buy the entry
ticket and enter inside the Qutab complex through magnificent Alai Darwaza.
As you enter inside the complex, you will see graves of historical persons
who were cremated on the left and right of gateway. Of course, Qutab Minar
is top priority for you in the Qutab Complex, but apart from this you will
be certainly mesmerized by excellent examples of early Afghan architecture.
Qutab Minar - Architecture
Architecturally, Qutab Minar was built in Afghan style and it underwent
repairing and remaking several times. When you reach close to tower, you
will see Aayaats (Verses) from Holy Qoran inscribed all over the walls. In
addition to this, you will also view another inscription in Kupee language
that "The tower was erected to cast the shadow of God over both east
The 72.5 mts Minar is slightly leaned and there are 367 revolving steps of
flights reaching to top. At its root, the radius is 14.40 mts which
gradually reduces to 2.44 m at the top. Qutab Minar has five distinct
storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony. The first three storeys of
Qutab Minar are made of red sandstone while the fourth and fifth floor are
made of marble and sandstone.
Qutab Minar - History
The construction of Qutab Minar was started by Qutub-ud-udin Aibak in 1199
and it was completed by his son-in-law Iltutmish in 1236. Qutub-ud-din
commenced construction of the minar but he could complete only the 1st
floor, the 2nd and 3rd floor were made by Iltutmish and the 4th and 5th
floor were added by Feroz Shah Tughlaq.
The earthquake of 1803 destroyed the Qutab Minar and in 1829 British Major
Robert Smith re-built the tomb. Few years later the tomb was brought down
from the Qutab Minar and reset in the adjacent garden. In 1981, some
students died of stampede while on their way up the steps of flights, since
then ascending to the Minar is forbidden.
Tourist Attractions in Qutab Minar Complex
Quwwat - Ul - Islam Mosque :
of Qutab Minar, Quwwat - Ul - Islam mosque is one of the oldest
mosques built in India. Quwwat - Ul - Islam mosque was built in
between 1193 and 1198 A.D. Qutub-ud-din began the construction of this
mosque in 1193 but a number of additions and extensions were made over the
centuries. The original mosque was built upon a Hindu temple, an inscription
over the eastern gateway states that the mosque was built with materials
obtained from demolishing '27 idolatrous temples.' Initially, this
mosque was small, later in 1210 - 1230 A.D, Shamsuddin Iltutmish
extended the whole compact area to double and surrounded it with huge walls.
In 1300 A.D, Alauddin Khilji increased the area by adding a court to the
east and the huge Alai Darwaza gateway.
Even today, you can see the Hindu and Jain origins in many of the elements
used in mosque's construction. The Prayer Hall is 16 mts high and it
has arch-type design, while the sand-stone veil built in Indo-Islamic style
has hand-written Aayaat from Holy Qoran.
Iron Pillar :
Just adjacent to the Quwwat - Ul -
Islam mosque is 7.2 mts high Iron Pillar. The Iron pillar stands in the
courtyard of the mosque which has been here even much before the
construction of the mosque. Originally the Iron Pillar was erected here in
the 4th century A.D by Chandra Varman but a six line Sanskrit inscription
indicates that it was brought here from somewhere else. You may see the
carrier of Vishnu, Garur on the Iron Pillar and it seems that it was brought
from a Vishnu Temple.
It is believed that the Iron Pillar was built on Vishnupad hill
by Chandragupta Vikramaditya (375 to 413 A.D) that might be transferred by
Tomar King Anangapal, the creator of Delhi. Another interesting thing about
this Pillar is that the iron has not rusted even after more than 1,500
years. Hearsay, if you can catch round the Iron Pillar by your own arms on
back projection, your wish will be fulfilled, so you should take a chance.
Head north of the Qutab Minar and the Quwwat - Ul -
Islam mosque to see the Alai Minar, the unfulfilled dream of Alauddin
Khilji. While Alauddin Khilji made additions to mosque he also planned a
much more ambitious project. Khilji planned that he would build a second
tower of victory just like the Qutab Minar and it would be twice the height
of the former. But Alauddin Khilji died during the construction of Alai
Minar and the tower could reach only 27 mts high. After Khilji, no one was
willing to continue his over-ambitious project and kept the construction
confined right at the stage of single floor.
Alai Darwaza :
Alauddin's Alai Darwaza, the main
entrance to the whole complex is a popular attraction which will fascinate
you with its awesome architecture. Built in 1310 A.D, this red sandstone
gateway is fully enriched with zafri network and stands just south-east of
the Qutab Minar. Alauddin Khilji hired architectures from Bisenstine and
Turkey to build this gateway and first introduced bow-type arch in Indian
Other Structures :
The Imam Zamin tomb is another
attraction which stands beside the Alai Darwaza. Imam Zamin came to India
from Turkey in 16th century. The tomb of Iltutmish, who died in 1235 lies by
the north-west corner of the Quwwat - Ul - Islam mosque. To the
South-West of mosque, Allauddin Khilji (1316) was cremated in L-shape
graveyard of Seljuk design.
How to Reach
By Air :
Delhi has two airports - Indra Gandhi
International Airport and Palam Domestic Airport. Both these airports are
connected with regular flights from important cities of the country and the
world as well. Frequent shuttles run between these airports.
By Train :
Delhi has three major railheads namely -
Delhi, New Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station. These stations are
served by many express and super fast trains from various parts of the
By Bus :
Good motorable roads including National Highways
and State Highway link Delhi with nearby states and rest of the country.
Local Transport :
Buses, Taxis, Cars, Auto-rickshaws are
available as local modes of transport, you can reach Qutab Minar by opting
any mode. Metro railway is new attraction in Delhi but presently it is not
linked to Qutab Minar.
Places Where You Can Stay
Plenty of accommodation options are available in Delhi that suit your
budget. Choose from wide array of hotels ranging from five star to tourist
lodges and enjoy a pleasant stay during your Delhi trip.
Delhi Tours in India Tour Packages
Highlights : Old Fort, Red
Fort, Jama Masjid, Raj Ghat, Humayun's Tomb, Safdarjang Tomb, Taj Mahal,
Fatehpur Sikri, Amber Fort with Elephant, City Palace, Jantar Mantar,
Hawa Mahal, Birla Mandir, Jai Singh's Observatory