Qutub Minar…A Seriously Tall Monument!
Taller than the leaning tower of Pisa and the great pagoda of China, the Qutab Minar is over 800 years old and standing
over 70 meters tall, the Qutab Minar is one of the earliest landmarks of the Moghul rule of Delhi. The Qutab Minar attracts more visitors than even the Taj Mahal. The tower is housed in the Qutab complex, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. Once upon a time, actually a few years back, you could climb the 379 steps to the top and get the most terrific view of South Delhi. Currently, climbing to the top is not permitted. This is probably the only tower in the world which took a couple of centuries to construct.
At the base of Qutab Minar, the diameter is 14.3 meters. The top floor comes in at 2.75 meters in diameter. The construction material for the Qutab Minar came from 27 ancient Hindu temples, which were destroyed. The construction of the Qutab Minar began in 1193 by India’s first Muslim ruler, Qutb-ud-din Aibak. During his rule the base was made. The five floors of the Qutab Minar were completed in 1386 by Feroz Shah. The architecture is very similar to the minarets found in Afghanistan.
The Qutab complex houses various other monuments of historical significance. For example, there is the Iron Pillar, which is well over 2000 years old. The pillar is seven meters high and weighs in at six tons. They say if you can wrap your arms around the pillar with you back against the pillar than your wish will be granted. Similarly, there are ancient mosques and tombs from the Moghul era, such as the following:
- Tomb of Iitutmish: Constructed in 1235 A.D.
- Alai Minar: This minar was supposed to be twice the size of the Qutub Minar. Unfortnately, it was never completed and stands at 25 meters today.
- Quwwat-ul-Islam: A mosque constructed by Qutub-ud-din in 1198. Today, prayers do not take place at the mosque.
What: Qutab Minar
Where: Qutab Complex, South Delhi
Entry: Rs 10 for Indian National, Rs. 250 for foreign national. Cameras are allowed.
Image Credit: Used with permission from Meraj from Delhi Photo