Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar
Vital Information for Visitors
Address:

Mehrauli, New Delhi, Delhi 110030

Open & Close:

Open on all days : From 07:00 AM to 05:00 PM

Entry Fees:

Foreigner – INR 250 Per person
Indian – INR 10 per person

Duration:

Approx 1 Hour

"Isolated above the surrounding plain (for even the great screen of arches is dwarfed beside it), it stands like some mysterious sentinel which has watched the rise and fall of dynasties and of the cities which are visible from its galleries," writes a visitor to the Qutub Minar, Sir Henry Sharp. Situated at Mehrauli, once the centre of the ancient Delhi, the Qutub Minar is one of the most remarkable towers in the world. Dominating the colossal ruins of the fort of Prithviraj, the 73 meter tall Minar is an architectural marvel. With a base that measures 14.5 metres in diameter, the Qutub Minar tapers to 2.5 metres at its apex. Of its five storeys, the first three are made of red sandstone, and the rest are a mixture of marble and sandstone. The projecting balconies give each storey a distinct look. The minaret was used by the muezzin to give his call for prayer. The construction is believed to have been begun by Qutub-ud-din Aibak, the first Sultan of the Slave Dynasty. It was carried on by his son-in-law, Iltutmish. Ferozeshah Tughlaq contributed a cupola to the Qutub Minar which an earthquake threw off in 1803. The British admirers put a new cupola; but it looked rather grotesque. At the Governor-General's order it was removed a few years later. It is lying on the ground near the tower. There is also a theory that the monument was built in the memory of a saint, over his tomb. It commemorates his name and not that of Qutub-ud-din Aibak.

Near this is the Bara Gumbad mosque, an imposing structure with its lofty dome, its walls adorned with floral motifs and calligraphic inscriptions from the how Quran. It is believed to harbour the grave of an unknown builder.

Qutub Minar symbolizes Delhi as Hawa Mahal represents Jaipur. One of the most mind-boggling structures in the Qutub Minar Complex is the seven-metre-high iron pillar raised in memory of Chandragupta-II, who ruled from 375- 413 AD. The iron in this pillar is exceptionally pure- scientists remain in the dark about how the iron, which has not rusted in 1600 years, could have been cast using the technology of the time.

The Qutub Minar (the leaning tower of Delhi) itself is a soaring victory tower that stands almost 73 metres high, tapering from a 15-metre-diametre base to just 2.5 metres at the top. There are a total of five storeys- Qutub-ud-din, the sultan who initiated the project, was eager to see the tower rise before his eyes, but sadly only lived until the completion of the first storey. It was finished by his successors, then in 1368 Firoz Shah replaced the top storey with two more and added a cupola, which crashed down in an earthquake in 1803. The tower now leans about 60 centimetres off the vertical, but it has otherwise worn the centuries remarkably well.

The mosque that stands near it,Quwwat-ul-Islam (Might of Islam), is the oldest extant mosque in the country. Materials from twenty-seven Hindu and Jain temples were taken to make this monument. Title: Iron Pillar Delhi, Iron Pillar Mehrauli, Iron Pillar Qutub Minar

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