Delhi, known as the ‘heart of India’, is rich in cultural diversity. Delhi is among the hub cities in the India where people from different states and cultures come in search of better life and opportunities. Thus, the city is known to be a mix of cultures and traditions. An amalgamation of urban and rural living, colourful nightlife, UNESCO Heritage Sites & Monuments, and much more, make Delhi an ideal place for tourists. Major attractions that create a huge influx other than Qutub Minar are Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Jama Masjid and Lotus Temple, etc.
I first visited the Qutub Minar (a USESCO Heritage minaret in south Delhi) with my family when I was two or three. Not able to recall the memories from my first visit, I decided to visit the minaret again as my father spoke highly of it. Upon setting foot in the Qutub Complex, the 73-metre tall minaret seemed to be just like any other, but upon looking up close, it had me glued. Built with Indo-Islamic architecture, the walls are inscribed with beautiful Kufic calligraphy that is only visible when you look closely. The entire complex that also includes mosques and other structures, is so captivating that it also found its way into poetries by various international artists. Though the monument dates back to centuries, it is still in the limelight today.
Bricking down the history
The tower was built in the 12th century under various rulers of Delhi Sultanate. It was started by Qutb-ud-din-Aibak who laid down the first storey and was further continued by his successors. Several attempts were made to replicate the monument but all in vain. According to records, 27 Hindu and Jain temples, unfortunately, were destroyed to construct Qutub Minar. Furthermore, a lot of break and make drama revolves around the minar. For instance, the topmost storey was damaged by lightning in 1369 and a major earthquake in 1803 caused serious damage to the tower. But, after all the unfortunate incidents, Qutub Minar is still the tallest brick minaret in the world.
A lot of other monuments and buildings stand in the Qutub Complex.
What not to miss
Adding to the grace of Qutub Minar, stands Alai Darwaza. It is carved out of red sandstone and decorated with white marble. The inscriptions on the domed gateway display beautiful craftsmanship of Turkish artisans.
Built in the 12th century, simultaneously with the Qutub Minar, is the first mosque after the Islamic conquest of India. The mosque was constructed after demolishing numerous temples and a Sanskrit school, and was built from their ruins.
The 7.21-metre high pillar that weighs around 6,500kgs is a curious case of architectural design. Built in the memory of the mighty king Chandragupta II, it has decorative bell which itself weigh around 650kgs. If you visit the Qutub Complex, do learn about, and see for yourself, the ‘chemical story’ that the Iron Pillar is famous for.
Best time to visit Qutub Minar: October to March
Qutub Minar Entrance Fees: INR 35 for Indians, INR 600 for foreigners.
Visiting Time: 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM on all days of the week
Suggested Delhi Tours: