|Monuments in Delhi|
Qutub Minar – Opening Days, Tickets and Timings
|Opening time||7 AM|
|Closing Time||5 PM|
|Ticket Price||Rs 30 for Indians, Rs 500 for Foreigners|
|Days Open||All Days|
QUTUB MINAR: THE TALLEST MONUMENT IN INDIA
One monument that is the manifestation of the indomitable spirit of rulers of Delhi since the establishment of the Delhi sultanate in 1199 is Qutub Minar. The monument is either named after Qtub-ud-din Aibak who initiated its construction or after the famous sufi saint of that time, Qutubud-din-Bhakhtiyar Kaki. It was a “Victory Tower” constructed by the Delhi ruler Qutub-ud-Din Aibak, and, after his demise, was completed by Iltutmish. The fact that Qutb Minar has seen damage on more than one occasion since medieval times but has always been restored by the rulers of the period is a testimony of its importance in all times of the past.
History of Qutub Minar- Its Construction and Restoration
The first storey of this magnificent structure was built by Aibak on the citadel of ruined city of Delhi. The citadel was called Lal Kot. After the death of Aibak, his successor Iltutmish added another three storeys, taking the total to 4. However, due to a strike of lightning in 1369, the top storey was damaged. At that time Firoz Shah Tughlaq was ruling the city and he restored the fourth storey. In addition, he added a fifth one. As if the lightning strike was not enough, the structure was again damaged by an earthquake in 1505. This time Sikandar Lodi extended full support to its repair work. The nature’s onslaught on this building was not over. In 1803, during the British times, this Delhi moument was again damaged by an earthquake. Now was the turn of Major Smith to perform the required restoration work by 1828. He went a step ahead and added a sixth storey, a pillared cupola, on top of it. However, after about 20 years, the cupola was taken down and established to the east of monument. It came to be known popularly as ‘Smith’s Folly’, as erecting it on fifth storey was considered to be his mistake. Even after India attained Independence, there were instances of people committing suicides as the interior of monument was open for public till 1960s. This forced the government to stop access of people to its top. Again in 1981, due to an internal stampede, about 47 people were killed. After this incident, the doors of the Qutub Minar of Delhi have remained shut for general public.
Architecture of Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar is a five storey elongated and tapering monument which is 239 feet tall and diameter of the base and the top is respectively 47 feet and 9 feet. Within this monument there are 379 spiral steps. The inscriptions on it carved from Nagari and Arabic influences.
The first three storeys are made of red sandstone and these comprise fluted cylindrical shafts separated by flanks and by balconies. So, every storey has a balcony which present a great panaroma. The fourth storey is not of red sandstone, but of marble and there are not many inscriptions on it, making it relatively plain in comparison to bottom three storeys. The fifth one is made of marble and sandstone.
The monument is not vertically straight. Rather, it leans about 25 inches to one side. Due to this constant monitoring of the tower is done. Once you are there, you shall be able to notice this tilt with naked eye.
The uniqueness of this structure has made it a top attraction of Delhi ever since its construction. Even now people from around the world visit it to see the towering minaret with its great architecture.
The Quwat Ul Islam mosque is situated right next to it and is a part of the whole Qutub Complex which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Qutub Minar has been a source of inspiration for many other towers of similar types.
Other Tourist Attractions of the Qutub Complex
Besides Qutub Minar being the main monument, there is the Quwat ul Islam Mosque, Charmukha Darwaza, Alai Minar and the rustless Iron Pillar that are also major tourist attractions.
Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque was built after destroying 27 Jain temples. Tombs of Iltutmish, Alauddin Khalji and Imam Zamim are located inside here.
Alai Dawarza, also called the Charmukha Darwaza. is a southern gateway of Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque which is made of red sandstone and has four doors in each direction. It was built by Alauddin Khalji in 1311. It has a central dome and arched doors, lattice-windows and Arabic calligraphy.
The Iron Pillar is another significant structure of the complex. It is about 23 feet high with diameter of 16 inches. You will find people trying to embrace it completely and touch their own hands in the embrace. The key feature which has astonished people ever since it was found erected there is that this column is made of such metal which does not rust. It weighs more than 5800kgs. The pillar carries a number of inscriptions and graffiti and has verses of Sanskrit.
Events at Qutub Minar Complex
The 3-day Qutub Festival is held here every year in November and December. It is a cultural event which showcases different art forms.
Metro Connectivity and Location
Qutub Minar is located in Mehrauli in Delhi, neighbouring Lado Sarai. It is also next to the Mehrauli Archaeological Park which has about 100 monuments of historical importance. It spreads over 200 acres and includes the ruins of Lal Kot which was built by Tomars in 1060. Check more details of Mehrauli Archaeological Park.
Qutub Minar and complex can be accessed using Delhi Metro Yellow Line. The two stations which are close to it are the Qutub Minar station and the Saket Station.
The reasons for visiting Qutub Minar as tourist:
This spot is of huge significance because of its key areas combined with different reasons too.
- It is one of the tallest brick and mortar built towers.
- Qutab Minar is another awesome gem of Mughal engineering. It has various floors or stories which have excellent carvings like the one on the tomb of Iltutmish.
- The highest point of the tower gives the opportunity to see a panoramic view of the city.
- Iron Pillar shows the level of metallurgical skills of the people of those times which are we are yet to attain.
- A range of monuments ever since habitation by Tomars, Khaljis, Tughlaqs, Mughals and British are present here and at the Archaeological Park of Mehrauli close by.