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.
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.
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.
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.
Every year on 26th January, the day celebrated as the Republic Day of India, the Indian President places a wreath at the eternal flame Amar Jawan Jyoti under the arch of India Gate to pay his respects to the Indian armed forces who laid down their lives for the sake of the country. It is followed by a grand parade that moves along Rajpath, which comprise of marching contingents, tanks and weaponry, vibrant floats, folk dances and school children from different parts of India who participate in this colorful ceremony.
Open : Daily
Entery fee : Rs. 10 (Indians), Rs. 250 (foreigners)
Opening Time : 10:00 AM Closing Time : 05:00 PM
Closed on public holidays : No
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.