Qutub Minar is the pride of Delhi. Qutub Minar is a World Heritage Site and has survived the ravages of time impressively. The tall and ever attractive monument of Delhi which can be seen from most parts of the city is called the Qutab Minar. The Minar of Delhi is surrounded by a lush green garden, which is an ideal leisurely place for visitors. Qutab Minar is the favourite destination of tourists. It is India's most visited monument attracting around 3.9 million visitors every year.
According to history books, the minar was started by Prithviraj or his uncle Vigraharaja who won Delhi from the Tomar Rajputs. However, it is assumed and historians believe that Qutubuddib and Iltutmish finished it though the minar may have been commenced by Prithviraj or Vigraharaja. The minar was completed in 1200 A.D and since then the tall structure has been there upright and ever beautiful keeping an eye to Delhi just like a sentry. When Alauddin returned from the wars in the Deccan, he had this thought in mind that he would build a victory tower somewhat similar to the Qutab Minar. The ruins of this very initiative can be seen adjacent to the Qutbuddin's mosque because Alauddin died at the very start of the construction work and no one carried on to finish the initiative taken by Alauddin.
Qutab Minar is another great masterpiece of Mughal architecture. It has a number of floors or storeys which has beautiful carvings like the one on the tomb of Iltutmish. The soaring conical tower is an exquisite example of Indo-Islamic Afghan architecture. There are inscriptions all round the tower and these inscriptions reveal that Iltutmish finised the tower. The structure of the wall is made as such that it widens from top to bottom, just to make the minar stronger.
Moving upstairs inside the minar will give you a wonderful experience and counting the stairs is always a fun for visitors. 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. The base of the Qutub Minar measures 14.32 meters and the top of the structure measures 2.75 meters. It has 378 steps to reach at the top. The base of first storey has alternate angular and circular flutings, the second one is round. The third storey of the Qutub Minar has angular flutings. The balconies projecting out heighten the beauty of the Minar.
The top of the tower gives an insight to Delhi because you get to see the bird's eye view of the city. To point a few sight seeing from the top, you will find views of the Hauz Khaz on the left and the walls of the Jahanpanah and Siri on the right. It was this very top of Qutab Minar that was used by Khilji and Tughlaq kings to watch the wild Mongol hordes when they threatened Delhi. The top also served as the watch top for Tughlaq who watched Timur's army camp on the Wellingdon Airport. Other important monuments that is visible from the top are the walls of Tughlaqabad, Humayun's Tomb, Purana Qila, Firoz Shah Kotla and Jama Masjid.
|Qutub Minar in 1958 (Source: Internet)|
The minar was hit by lightening couple of times and was damaged. The subsequent rulers repaired it. Thus it is standing mightily as it was before till date. During the rule of Firoz Shah, the minar's two top floors got damaged due to earthquake but were repaired by Firoz Shah. In the year 1505, earthquake again struck and it was repaired by Sikandar Lodi. Later on in the year 1794, the minar faced another earthquake and it was Major Smith, an engineer who repaired the affected parts of the minar. He replaced Firoz Shah's pavilion with his own pavilion at the top. The pavilion was removed in the year 1848 by Lord Hardinge and now it can be seen between the Dak Bungalow and the Minar in the garden. The floors built by Firaz Shah can be distinguished easily as the pavilions was built of white marbles and are quite smooth as compared to other ones.
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS NEAR QUTUB MINAR:
|Qutub Minar in 1960 (Source: Internet)|
Other nearby attractions to the Qutub Minar include:
- Red Fort
- Humayun's Tomb
- Jama Masjid
- Safdarjung's Tomb
- India Gate
- Jantar Mantar Delhi
The Qutub Minar monument is open daily from 9:00 am - 6:30 pm throughout the year. There is also a night viewing option of the Qutub Minar (from 7:00 - 8:00 PM) for which tickets have to be purchased separately.
ENTRY CHARGES AND FEES:
Entry charges and fees at the Qutub Minar are:
- Indians: Rs. 10
- Foreigners: Rs. 250
There are no charges for still cameras at the Qutub Minar.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Qutub Minar is situated at Mehrauli towards the southern part of Delhi, the capital city of India. The distance between Connaught Place, the city centre of the state and this tower of victory is just 16 kms.
Delhi Metro(DMRC) services are available available to reach Qutub Minar from Central Secretariat and Gurgaon. Just board on Delhi metro from any metro station in DMRC for Qutub Minar station and follow the rail map to reach destination.
Qutub Minar is quite easy as Qutub Minar is very well connected with the low floor DTC buses. Delhi Tourism offers Delhi Darshan Day tours and cover Qutub Minar. Ho HO Buses are also available.