The Qutub Minar is one of the prominent monuments in Delhi, a symbol of the once dominating Mughal rule in India. The 73m high Qutub Minar was built by Qutub-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, as a victory tower to celebrate the final victory of the Mughals over the Hindu kingdom in India. Construction of the famous tower started in 1193 when only one (the basement) of the 5 stories could be built. It was only later on his successor, Iltutmish, added 3 more stories to the tower. The first three levels were made of red sandstone. The final and fifth-level were completed only in 1368 by Firoz Shah Tuqlak. The last two floors are made of marble and sandstone.
The construction of the tower spanning 3 centuries is evident by the contrasting architectures at various levels. Each level is discriminated by projecting balconies. The base of the Minar is 15m in diameter and it tapers to a diameter of 2.5m at the apex. Elaborate relief work, inscriptions, and decorations on the brackets supporting the balconies are a testimony to the workmanship of 13th-century artisans.
The Qutub Minar is the tallest single tower in the world made of bricks. The structure has resisted the ravages of time and weather. The monument is the surviving testament of the great architecture. The Qutub Minar has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India. The inscription tablet inside the mosque says clearly that the Quwwat-ul-Islam was built with the remnants of the 27 Hindu temples. It is built on the site of the citadel. In the courtyard of the mosque stands a curious but unique Iron pillar. It is said that if you stand with your back to the pillar and if you can encircle the pillar with both hands, then your wish will come true! The 24 feet tall wrought iron pillar, with 3 feet buried underground, bears Sanskrit inscriptions dating to the Gupta period, somewhere around the 4th Century. The iron has a high phosphorous content making it rust-resistant, technical knowhow that came into modern use 1600 years later. A gap at the top of the pillar indicates it may have housed the Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu which has been subsequently removed. The pillar stands in front of four grand arches intricately carved with Islamic designs.
The Qutub Minar is easily reachable by public transport. The Hop-on-hop-off buses can also take you there. Winter months from September to February would be the ideal visiting season.
The Qutub Minar is located in the Mehrauli region of South West Delhi. The monument complex with the iron pillar and Alai Darwaza is an ideal spot for photography. Entry into the Minaret is restricted due to the age of the monument for safety reasons. The monument is a must-visit spot and tourists keep flowing in from morning till sunset!
The Qutub MinarTiming: 7 A.M till sunset throughout the year.
Qutub Minar Entry Fee: 30 per person local tourist
Qutub Minar Entry Fee: 500 per person Foreigner Tourist