the capital of India, is redolent with historical treasures. You don't need
an archaeologist to dig out the past here. Just hire a local guide and
you'll come to learn perhaps all the history behind and the legends
associated with a specific monument. The Qutub Minar, an architectural
marvel from the 13th century, have invited numerous travellers and explorers
from across the globe. You too would surely like a visit to this highest
stone tower in the country.
One of the finest Islamic structures in India, the Qutub Minar was erected
by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak back in 1199 AD. He first served as a lieutenant in
Mohammad Ghauri's army. Later, after Ghauri left India, Qutub-ud-Din Aibak
declared himself as an independent ruler and founded the Slave Dynasty. The
tower was in fact built after the ruler's victory over the last Hindu
Kingdom in Delhi. Though it was not finished by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak himself.
It were his successors who added further storeys to it. The soaring stone
tower was erected adjacently to the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque to predicate the
triumph of Islam.
The sandstone tower rises to a height of 239 feet and happens to be a fine
example of the Indo-Islamic art and architecture in India. The huge tower
predominates the countryside for miles and miles. There are five storeyes in
all, each provided with a projecting balcony. The first storey was done by
Qutub-ud-Din Aibak while the second, third and fourth storeys were finished
by his successors and son-in-law Iltutmish. The tower's diameter measures
14.32 m at the base and 2.75 metres at the top.
A door on the northern side leads you into the tower and further the spiral
stairway, that has 379 steps in all, takes you to different floors, each of
which has a platform and a intricate balcony. The balconies have been done
using a special technique stalacite vaulting to hold them
together. The exclusive work of honey combing is also a feature worth
The Islamic architectural elements, however, are quite visible right from
the base to the top. You will notice countless Arabic inscriptions and
Nagari characters in the forms of bands encircling the tower. The
inscriptions record the history of the commencement of the construction and
the repairs that were done in due course.
you have visited the tallest stone tower of the country, you would
definitely like to explore the historical landmarks that are enclosed within
the huge Qutub Minar Complex. These include Alai-Darwaza, Quwwatul-Islam
Mosque, Alai Minar, Iron Pillar, Tomb of Iltutmish, Imam Zamin's Tomb and
Ala-ud-Din Madarsa. Your local guide would acquaint you of the interesting
facts about these structures.
Local buses ply regularly to the Qutub Minar Complex (South Delhi) from
different parts of the city. You can also avail of taxis and auto-rickshaws
the keep frequenting the place. Metro rail is another convenient option to
move around within the city. Delhi is connected to all the key destinations
of the world and the country through its Indira Gandhi International
Airport. The rail and road routes of the city are also quite well