QUTUB MINAR AND ITS PREMISES –HISTORY REVISITED

Qutb Minar situated in National capital is a monument of great historical importance. Due to its historical importance it was added in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. Every historical place in Delhi has an interesting series of stories behind it. I have visited Qutub Minar twice before but when I did a tour of Delhi through HOHO bus, I couldn’t help but get down and visit this wonderful place once more. Qutb Minar is the tallest brick minaret in the world, with a height of 72.5 metres (237.8 ft) , the diameter of the base is 14.32 m while it is about 2.75 m on the top, there are 379 stairs from bottom to top. The minaret is constructed with red sandstone and marble.

History
It is believed that Qutub Minar was built as a victory tower built by Qutab-ud-din Aibak in 1193, immediately after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom. The minaret has five different storeys built by different rulers. The basement was built by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi. His successor, Iltutmush, added three more storeys to the Minar and the fifth and last tower was constructed by Firoz Shah Tughlak . Muhammad-bin-Tughluq and Firuz Shah Tughluq also did important restoration work after the Minar was damaged twice in lighting in the 14th century An inscription over its eastern gate informs that it was built with material obtained from demolishing ’27 Hindu and Jain temples’ which were built by the Tomars and the Chauhans.

The structure
Each storey of the Minar is marked by a projecting balcony. The first three storey’s are made of red sandstone; the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. There are intricate carvings from Quran on the walls of the Minar. The Minar is surrounded by several ancient structures and their ruins in its complex. There are many monuments around the tower; at the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, believed to be the first mosque to be built in India. There is a 7 meter high iron pillar in the courtyard of the mosque. It is believed that encircling the pillar with hands, with one’s back towards the pillar, fulfills one’s wishes. Government has put a barricade around the pillar to protect it from damage. There are other semi-constructed or damaged monuments around Qutub Minar, which together constitute the Qutub Minar premises.

Are visitors allowed inside the Minar
In the earlier day visitors were allowed inside the tower, some Bollywood movie scenes were also shot inside the Minar, a very famous song “Dil ka Bhawar kare pukar” from movie “Black and white(1963) was shot inside the Minar, which was also the last song to be shot inside the Minar, later it was closed for visitor. Apparently, there was a stampede inside the Minar in 1981 in which several people lost their lives. Thereafter, no one was allowed to go up and entry was permanently sealed.

History revisited
The victorious tower standing tall amongst the ruined building and premises tells several stories from the past. The tower, along with other historic buildings in its vicinity narrate stories of downfall of one and rise of another kingdom . This world heritage site is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India and attracts millions of tourists every year.

Important information
• Qutub Minar remains open from sunrise to sunset all days
• The entry tickets are available at entry gate you can also book them online at asimustsee.nic.in
• Currently the Minar is protected by Archaeological Survey of India who look after its preservation work

How to reach Qutub Minar
There is a metro station at Qutub Minar , one can reach Qutub Minar by metro and from there take an auto to the monument which takes 5-10 minutes. Local buses of DTC are also available from many bus stops. One can also visit Qutub Minar through HOHO Delhi bus tour. You can read about HOHO bus tour in Delhi here

Qutub Minar, Delhi
Alai Minar at Qutub Minar
temple ruins at qutub minar
Qutub Minar Complex
Tomb of Iltutmish at Qutub Minar
Ruins of temples
Qutub Minar
Mosque at qutub minar
At qutub minar

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