The Qutab Minar is very near to where I stay. I chose to spend some leisure time around the flourishing & fresh gardens surrounding the complex this weekend. Here is a factual account of the historic & tall monument.
With the onset of Islamic sultanate in India, the victory tower of Qutab Minar was started by Qutab-ud-din Aibak in 1192, the founder of Slave Dynasty and later completed by his successor Iltutmish. It was built by disintegrating many Hindu temples which an inscription over the mosque’s eastern gate provocatively indicates.
This five storeyed minaret (each trademarked by a projecting balcony) tapers towards the top. While the base, with alternate angular and circular fluting measures nearly 15 meters, the top narrows down to 2.75 meters. The first three storeys are constructed with brick & red sandstone & the rest with marble and sandstone.
This eminent member of the World Heritage Site is the tallest brick minaret in the world with a towering height of 234 feet & is a consummate example of Indo-Islamic Afghan architecture. It offers panoramic views of the Delhi city from the top. Unfortunately, climbing the steeply 379 stairs has been prohibited by the authorities.
Views Around Qutab Minar:
The Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid (Might of Islam Mosque), built by Qutab-ud-Din Aibak , is India’s first Mosque. It was reassembled out of 27 existing Hindu & Jain temples.
Raised in memory of the Gupta King Chandragupta Vikramadityain the 4th century , the Iron Pillar serves as a metallurgical interests of the world . On its top is an image of Hindu God Garuda. The most alluring factor of this pillar is that it has gone untarnished through the ages. There is a belief that if anyone stands with his back towards the column & encircles it with their arms, all his wishes will be fulfilled. A fence has been built around it for safety.
ILTUTMISH & IMAM ZAMIN TOMB
To the northwest Iron Pillar is the Iltutmish Tomb built in 1235, a year earlier to the death of Iltutmish.
Iman Zamin, a saint from Turkestan, was buried here after his death in 1539AD.
Alai Darwaza is the symbolic southern side gateway of the Quwwa-ul-Islam Mosque. Marked as one of the most exquisite treasure of Islamic architecture, this gate employed Islamic principles entirely.
This incomplete tower is the result of Ala-ud-Din’s over ambitious project. He wished to build another tower of victory two times as high as the Qutab Minar. But with his death the project was abandoned.
Tickets :Indian citizens – Rs 10/ Foreigners- Rs 250; Children upto 15 years- free entry.
Entry time : Sunrise to sunset.
Address : Ladhai Sarai, Mehrauli, New Delhi