The world famous Qutub Minar is the tallest brick minaret in the world. The word “Qutub Minar” means ‘pole’ or ‘axis’ in Arabic. This is not a single structure, but a Complex with 5-storey victory tower, mosques, tombs and an iron pillar from the 4th-century. The complex comprises of Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, Iron Pillar and all these monuments are collectively called Qutub complex.
At the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, there is a famous Iron Pillar, which was erected in the 4th Century AD, is located in the courtyard of mosque. The Iron Pillar raises to a height of 7 meters and weighs more than 6 tons. This is the highest single tower in India. According to sources, main reason for building Qutub Minar was making calls for the prayers.
This 5-storey victory tower is well surrounded by strong and beautiful balconies. The whole building process of Qutub Minar took a long time (about 75 years). The tower made in a way, it is widest at the bottom and narrows all the way to the top. This was the site of the first Muslim kingdom in North India.
Government of India banned climbing in tower due to an accident in 1981 in which about 45 people were killed and many injured seriously. Qutb Minar is a perfect reflection of Indo-Mughal architecture. This is situated in the Qutub complex at Mehrauli in South Delhi.
Qutb Minar is a symbol of victory to commemorate the defeat of the last Hindu kingdom in Delhi. There are 379 stairs inside the tower, which lead to the top. Qutb Minar is 237 ft tall. It has diameter of 14.3 meters at bottom and when reaches to the top it decreases to 2.4 meters.
According to history experts Building process of Qutb Minar started by Qutub-ud-din Aibak in 1192 and finished by Iltutmish. This is a prototype of all minars (towers) in India. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone and this was completed during the reign of Aibak. The next three stories were added by Shamsu’d-Din Iltutmish, the son – in – law of Qutubu’d – Din Aibak.
The fifth and the last storey were constructed by Firuz Shah Tughlaq. All the stories are surrounded by beautiful protruding balconies. You can see major use of Red sand stones and there are lots of Arabic inscriptions on it. Qutb Minar named after the first Turkic sultan Qutub-ud-din Aibak.
Qutb Minar also made based on brick victory pillars in Ghazni in Afghanistan. Another important features is that the iron pillar in the Qutub Minar complex has not rusted after some 2000 years. The Qutb Minar received inspiration from many Hindu temples which can be seen clearly in the Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid.
The great tower damaged by lightening twice in 1326 and 1368. The minar’s two top floors were damaged due to lightning During the rule of Firoz Shah Tughlaq, but were repaired well by Firoz Shah. In 1505, Minar was again damaged by an earthquake and was repaired by Sikandar Lodi. The Minar was also repaired and well restored by Major. R. Smith in 1829.
Now, Qutb Minar is an attraction for many tourists. You can vist and see the Decorative Light Show every evening from 6:30 to 8pm as well as the Qutub Minar Festival in October/November. This is also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
When to Visit and How to Reach the Qutb Minar ?
- Opening Times: 7am to 5pm, daily
- Best Time to Visit: Weekday mornings
- Duration: Half a day
- Travelled By: Metro (Qutub Minar station)
- Cost: India/foreigner Rs 10/250
- Address: Kalka Das Marg, Mehrauli, New Delhi, India
- Type: Monument