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Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar


The Qutub Minar, also spelled as Qutab Minar, or Qutb Minar, is the tallest minaret in the world made up of bricks. The minaret forms a part of the Qutab complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Mehrauli area of Delhi, India


Qutab Minar is a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhis last Hindu kingdom. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony and tapers from a 15 m diameter at the base to just 2.5 m at the top. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone; the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India. An inscription over its eastern gate provocatively informs that it was built with material obtained from demolishing "27 Hindu temples". A 7 m-high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque. It is said that if you can encircle it with your hands while standing with your back to it your wish will be fulfilled.



Qutab Minar was established along with Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque around 1192 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, first ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. The mosque complex is one of the earliest that survives in the Indian subcontinent. The minaret is named after Qutab-ud-din Aibak, or Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, a Sufi saint. Its ground storey was built over the ruins of the Lal Kot, the citadel of Dhillika. Aibaks successor Iltutmish added three more storeys. The minars topmost storey was damaged by lightning in 1369 and was rebuilt by Firuz Shah Tughlaq, who added another storey. In 1505, an earthquake damaged Qutub Minar; it was repaired by Sikander Lodi. On 1 September 1803, a major earthquake caused serious damage. Major Robert Smith of the British Indian Army renovated the tower in 1828 and installed a pillared cupola over the fifth story, thus creating a sixth. The cupola was taken down in 1848, under instructions from The Viscount Hardinge, then Governor General of India. It was reinstalled at ground level to the east of Qutab Minar, where it remains. It is known as "Smith's Folly".


The tower's style is patterned on Afghanistans Minaret of Jam, and adapted to local artistic conventions by the incorporation of "looped bells and garlands and lotus borders into the carving". Numerous inscriptions in Parso-Arabic and Nagari characters in different sections of the Qutab Minar reveal the history of its construction, and the later restorations and repairs by Firoz Shah Tughluq (1351–89) and Sikandar Lodi (1489–1517). The tower has five superposed, tapering storeys. The lowest three comprise fluted cylindrical shafts or columns of pale red sandstone, separated by flanges and by storeyed balconies, carried on Muqarnas corbels. The fourth column is of marble, and is relatively plain. The fifth is of marble and sandstone. The flanges are a darker red sandstone throughout, and are engraved with Quranic texts and decorative elements. The whole tower contains a spiral staircase of 379 steps. At the foot of the tower is the Quwat ul Islam Mosque. The minar tilts just over 65 cm from the vertical, which is considered to be within safe limits, although experts have stated that monitoring is needed in case rainwater seepage further weakens the foundation.
Qutub Minar was an inspiration and prototype for many minarets and towers built after it. Chand Minar and Mini Qutub Minar bears resemblance to the Qutub Minar and was inspired from it.


The 73 m-high tower of victory

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The 73 m-high tower of victory


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Qutub Minar

Mehrauli, New Delhi, Delhi

7am to 5pm

Open Every Day

Rs.30 (Indians),
Rs.500(foreigners)

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