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Qutab Minar

Listed under Temples in Delhi, India.

  • Photo of Qutab Minar
  • Photo of Qutab Minar
  • Photo of Qutab Minar
  • Photo of Qutab Minar
  • Photo of Qutab Minar
  • Photo of Qutab Minar
  • Photo of Qutab Minar
  • Photo of Qutab Minar
Photo of Qutab Minar
Photo by Donna Dawson
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The origins of Qutab Minar are shrouded in controversy. Some believe it was erected as a tower of victory to signify the beginning of the Muslim rule in India. Others say it served as a minaret to the muezzins to call the faithful to prayer. No one can, however, dispute that the tower is not only one of the finest monuments in India, but also in the world. Qutab-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced the construction of the Qutab Minar in 1200 AD, but could only finish the basement. His successor, Iltutmush, added three more stories, and in

1368, Firoz Shah Tughlak constructed the fifth and the last storey.

The nearby Iron Pillar is one of the world's foremost metallurgical curiosities, standing in the famous Qutb complex. According to the traditional belief, anyone who can encircle the entire column with their arms, with their back towards the pillar, can have their wish granted. Because of the corrosive qualities of sweat the government has built a fence around it for safety.

Written by  Donna Dawson.

Other expert and press reviews

“Qutb Minar and its Monuments”

'Built in the early 13th century a few kilometres south of Delhi, the red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar is 72.5 m high, tapering from 2.75 m in diameter at its peak to 14.32 m at its base, and alternating angular and rounded flutings. The surrounding ar… Read more...

Written by press. UNESCO

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Qutb Minar and its Monuments

Qutb Minar was built near the end of the 12th century in Mehrauli, as part of a religious complex of temples, monuments which was contributed to by several generations of Delhi’s rulers, but it has yet to be ousted from its superlative position as the world’s tallest brick minaret. At 72.5 metres high, it seems to teeter precariously over the rest of the surrounding UNESCO World Heritage Site, but the base is in fact almost fifteen metres wide – a mighty structure built to withstand nearly ten centuries of weather and visitors (so far). Historians have guessed that it may have been built in honour of the Turkish Sultan, Qutb-ud-din Aibak, and not simply to call the faithful to prayer.

Although it is now closed to visitors in order to prolong its many years of stability further, the surrounding complex an still be explored, and contains the Alai Minar (a second project of even more ambitious dimensions which was eventually abandoned), the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, also built in the 12th century from pieces of the Hindu and Jain temples which preceded it, and an inscribed, seven-metre iron pillar, said to have been designed for use as an astronomical instrument.

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