Qutub Minar – After an interesting visit at Red Fort last week, we checked into this yet another historical monument of Delhi, the Qutub Minar. Located in Mehrauli, the south-west district of New Delhi, it can be easily reached via Qutub Minar Metro station which lies on the Yellow Line of DMRC or DTC bus or auto/cab.
A UNESCO world heritage site, Qutub Minar is the tallest minaret in Delhi, built in the year 1193 by Qutub-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom. Though the construction was commenced by Qutub-ud-din Aibak, the Mughal emperor, Iltutmish added additional three storeys and then in the year 1368, Firoz Shah Tughlak constructed the fifth storey.
The minaret, which is also called as the victory tower by some, has five storeys, out of which the first three storeys are made of red sandstone while the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. Close to the foot of the tower, stands Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, believed to be the first mosque to be built in India.
We read an inscription there which said that the minaret has been built from the material obtained after demolishing about 27 Hindu and Jain temples. Another interesting place to see here is the 7 m high Iron pillar, which stands in the courtyard of the mosque.As per a myth associated with the pillar, it said that anything you wish for encircling it with your hands while standing with your back to it comes true. Sadly you can’t do this now as the place is secured by an iron frame around.
You can view the Qutub Minar from outside as the entry inside has been prohibited after a stampede caused due to malfunctioning of internal lightning resulting in killing 45 people, mostly children. There are many places to see in the compound of the Qutub Minar. It would easily take you 1.5-2 hours to see the complete complex.
It remains open on all days from sunrise to sunset. Entry charges for Indians are Rs.30 while foreigners have to pay Rs.500.
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Recommended Reading: A day exploring the historicity of Red Fort