Delhi is not only the capital of India but also a place that successfully reached the pinnacle of modern technology at the same time kept their cultural heritage intact and alive. There is something in its air which will make you fall in love with the city instantly.
The city boasts of a big population where people from all around India can be found. The city also boasts of a rich historical past, having seen a lot of dynasties which clashed with each other on a lot of ideological and other beliefs.
But even then, it stands as an example of how historical details of ideas exist all but in history books and how peace and communal harmony should be the real religion of us humans.
The city also has some of India’s most famous historical landmarks and monuments, which are always filled with tourists and visitors.
One such world-famous historical monument is none other than the Qutub Minar. The Qutub Minar Delhi stands tall today as an example to the world about what Delhi’s culture really is. Let us take a detailed look at this monument below-
Overview – Qutub Minar Information
Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the tallest building in the world to be made out of bricks, the Qutub Minar Delhi is one of the most visited tourist destinations of India.
The height of Qutub Minar is 73 meters. But when you Google Qutub Minar height, the results might show the height as 239.5 feet.
But don’t worry, that is the correct Qutub Minar height, albeit in a different unit. The Qutub Minar complex, in which it stands today is considered to be one of the most famous arrays of historical monuments in the city of Delhi. It means that if you are traveling to Delhi, it is very much possible you will come across this talk structure at least once, just like many other tourists from around the globe.
The Qutub Minar has quite a lot of cultural heritage and deep historical background. All of these features, when combined with some of the most admired architecture in the world makes it a great place to visit, and it would be an utter shame if you come to Delhi leave it without visiting the Qutub Minar.
Qutub Minar History
One of the best things about the Qutub Minar its unprecedented history, which involves over two different dynasties. The history of Qutub Minar is very much related to the entire history of India.
The Qutub Minar was built by the founder of the Delhi Sultanate and the first ruler of the Slave Dynasty, Qutb Ud Din Aibak.
He was the first-ever Muslim ruler in India. But Aibak was only able to complete the ground floor of this 5 storeyed monument, which was completed in 1192. This is why when you look at Qutub Minar images on the internet or anywhere else, you will see that there are quite a few differences in every floor of the Minar.
If you look for more Qutub Minar information, you will find out that the next three stories of Qutub Minar were built by Qutub Ud Din Aibak’s successor and his son-in-law, Shamsuddin Iltutmish. These three floors were added in the year 1220.
According to Qutub Minar history, in the year 1369, the topmost story of Qutub Minar was destroyed by a fierce lightning strike. At that time, the then ruler, Feroz Shah Tughlaq, a ruler of the Tughlaq dynasty undertook the work of repairing the damaged floor, whilst also adding an additional story to the Minar.
King Sher Shah Suri, under his small but significant period of kingship also added an additional gateway to the Qutub Minar. The Minar has also seen a repair done in the year 1505 when Sikandar Lodi was the king. The repair had to be done because another earthquake had stuck the beautiful minaret
The establishment of Qutub Minar in the year 1192 also marks the construction of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque by Qutb Ud Din Aibak only, who built Qutub Minar. The mosque standard as one of the earliest survivors of the Indo-Islamic architectural era which had gripped India after the start of the Slave dynasty.
There is a difference of opinion as to after whom the minaret is named after. Some say that it was named after Qutb Ud Din Aibak only while some say that it is named after a renowned Sufi saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki.
One thing is for sure though, which is that this great monument has many inscriptions, which say that the Minar was built on the debris and ruins of many structures which were the legacy of Aibak’s enemies. This is not a surprising Qutub Minar information because in those times this is how rules and dynasties were established.
Also, Qutub Minar was built to honor the victory which was achieved by the new dynasty over the old one, which makes sense in using the debris of the constructions of the older dynasty.
There are several other significant monuments located within the Qutub Complex which surround the Qutub Minar. The most popular one is a nearby pillared cupola which is known as ‘Smith’s Folly‘. It is a 19th century cheaply restored tower which clearly shows that it could’ve looked way better had those additional floors were not added at the time of its restoration.
It was restored in the year 1828 when the Britishers in power at that time decided to repair the Qutub Minar, which was damaged by an earthquake in 1803. It was done under the orders of the Governor-General Field Marshal Viscount Hardinge.
In recent history, the Qutub Minar was under scrutiny when in 1981, due to a power failure, about 47 people, mostly children were killed in a stampede of around 500 people. After that, the topmost floor of the Minar is out of bounds for the general public.
It is also said that the tower is now haunted, as one lady who sneaked into the top of the Minar was said to be overtaken by paranormal forces after which she number from its topmost floor. In the year 1993, Qutub Minar was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Qutub Minar Architecture
The Qutub Minar Delhi boasts of Indo-Islamic architecture, given that it was a Muslim dynast who built Qutub Minar. The Qutub Minar architecture is inspired by the Minaret of Jam, which is located in Afghanistan.
Since the construction of the Qutub Minar was not completed just by one king, you can find the influences of different kings at different stories of this great monument. In fact, some stories of Qutub Minar was built by rulers from different dynasties, which is why the Qutub Minar architecture will have different influences at every story.
The world-famous minaret also has some local cultural-artistic adoptions, by which one can see looped bells, garlands and lotus borders which have been carved into the walls and ceilings of the building.
The Minar also has different inscriptions in Parso-Arabic and Nagari characters which can be found inscribed in the different sections of itself. Those inscriptions also reveal a lot of information about the restoration and repair work which was done under the kingship of Sikandar Lodi and Firoz Shah Tughlaq.
The Minar, which finds itself in the Qutub Minar Complex has 5 different stories, all of which are superimposed and tapering. Last bottommost three stories comprise of fluted cylinder-shaped shafts or columns of pale red sandstone which find themselves separated by flanges and storeyed balconies.
All of these are carried on Muqarnas corbels. The fourth column of the Minar is made up of marble and is very plain insight. Also, the fifth column is made of red sandstone and marble. The flanges (attachment rib) is made up of a darker red looking sandstone through the whole constructed unit. All of them are engraved with Quranic texts and other decorative architectural ornaments.
This spiral-shaped tower has a staircase which is made up of 379 stars. It is beautifully constructed. Directly beneath the Minar, at its foot lies the Quwat ul Islam Mosque. The minaret also has a slight vertical tilt. It tilts about 65 centimeters from the vertical, which is considered to be within the safe limit. But in the opinion of many experts, the Minar needs close monitoring in the rainy season, as rainwater might seep down to the foundations of Qutub Minar and weaken it.
The Qutub Minar is an inspiration to many such similar structures which had been built by different rulers at different points in the history of the Indian subcontinent. Monuments like the Chand Minar, and the Mini Qutub Minar are a glaring reflection of the Qutub Minar in a lot of ways. This shows that the architecture of this monument has been quite popular since long.
Things to See on Qutub Minar Complex
If you look for more information about Qutub Minar, you will see that other than the Minar, there are a lot of places near Qutub Minar for the people to visit. Let us take a look at them and also look at the answer to the question “What is the height of Qutub Minar”-
Inside the Qutub Complex lies the tallest structure ever to be built by bricks known as the Qutb Minar, or the Qutub Minar. “What is the height of Qutub Minar” is quite a common google search. The height of Qutub Minar or Qutb Minar is 73 meters.
This red sandstone architectural marvel has 5 stories built in different eras. Today, this wonderful monument is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with people coming to experience its grandeur from all over the world. It is a star attraction to the city of Delhi and to India.
Its Indo-Islamic architecture, combined with the fact that it has 5 stories all from different periods of time adds a lot of charm to this iconic monument. It is regarded as one of India’s most beautiful Minar, inspiring many other monuments of similar architectural value.
There are many more places near Qutub Minar for people to see around Qutb Minar, in the Qutub Complex.
Adham Khan was the milk brother of the Mughal King Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar, also known as Akbar the Great. He was the third ruler of the Mughal dynasty, and possibly one of the greatest ruler that India has ever seen.
Adham Khan’s mother, Maham Anga was the wet nurse of Akbar in his childhood, thus making Adham his milk brother. Akbar had also made him a general in his army.
However, Adham Khan had murdered Akbar’s favorite general Ataga Khan, which made Akbar angry. This was the reason because of which Akbar ordered his execution by throwing him out of a window from the Agra fort.
According to Qutub Minar history, this tomb was built in the year 1562. It lies to the north of Qutub Minar, and it shows up when you look for Qutub Minar images on the internet.
When you look for more information about Qutub Minar, with suggestive searching you would see that this tomb shows up right before you enter the town of Mehrauli, and today, it is a protected site by the Archeological Survey of India, highlighting its importance in the fold of Indian history.
The Alai Darwaza is the main gateway if you enter the Qutub Minar from the southern side, right by the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque. It was built by the second Sultan of the Khilji dynasty, Ala-Ud-din Khalji, who had also constructed court where the pillared eastern side stands.
This is a domed gateway and is made out of red sandstone and decorated with inlaid white marbles. It holds different inscriptions, Naskh script, latticed stone screens while showcasing beautifully the craftsmanship which is famous about Qutub Minar. Interestingly, the Alai Darwaza is the first such monument where total Islamic architectural principles were put in place.
The rulers of the dynasty before the Khalji dynasty, the Slave dynasty never used true Islamic architecture, with their structures full of false ceilings, false domes, and false arches. This is exactly why this monument is the first such instance where you could see that total Islamic architecture was unleashed while constructing this particular gateway.
It has pointed arches, the spearhead of fringes (identified as lotus buds) and many other ornamental beautifications. All of this only added to the grace of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque to which it served as the entrance.
The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque was constructed by Qutb-Ud-din Aibak, the founder of the Slave dynasty. This mosque was specially built to commemorate his victories over the Rajput clans.
This was the first big mosque which was built in India after a conquest. It is also the oldest surviving example of the ‘Ghurid’(an Iranian dynasty) architecture in India.
Qutb-Ud-din Aibak, who was the commander of the garrison of Mohammad Ghori (and later became the appointed king) started the construction of this mosque in the year 1193, mainly to leave a big impression on everyone about the greatness of Islam.
While learning more about Qutub Minar, it was seen that both the mosque and the Minar were being built simultaneously next to each other. The word ‘Qutub’ here also means the pillar of Islam. The ‘Adhai-din-ka-Jhopra’ in Ajmer also reminds one of the same architecture which has been followed in the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque.
It is a historical fact that the mosque harbors remain from the debris of old structures that were built previously from other non-Islamic dynasties. There’s also a little dispute about the history of Qutub Minar, especially this mosque. Some historians say that it was Aibak’s successor Iltutmish who had built the mosque in reality, but sources for this information are not as many.
The mosque though lies in ruins today but still serves as the earliest known constructed mosques in India. The original plans of the mosque had a huge courtyard and a prayer hall to match the courtyard. The mosque boasts of grey colonnades made out of greystones.
There are a total of five bays, with three being in the east and two of them being deep in the north and the south of the mosque. The ogee shaped central arch of the mosque is bigger than its side arches. The screens have Quranic inscriptions and flower patterns on them. The Qutub Minar lies to the west of the mosque’s main entrance, and the Iron Pillar just in front of it.
The cloisters to the main courtyard, on which the whole mosque is built were added by Iltutmish anywhere between years 1210 to 1220 A.D. The stone screen which stands between the courtyard and the prayer hall was added in the year 1196.
The courtyard entrance has ‘mandap’ shaped domes, which were inspired by temples. The mosque’s construction kept going on even after the death of Aibak. Iltutmish expanded the prayer hall by building three additional arches. The construction which Iltutmish had undertaken has much more Islamic influence under it.
Additional construction to the mosque continued even after the Slave dynasty had ended, the Alai Darwaza being the perfect example of it, which was constructed by Alauddin Khalji during his reign in 1300.
As said above, the mosque stands in ruins today, but many of its inscriptions, ornamental details, pillars, and gateways are preserved. If you are visiting the Qutub Minar, this mosque also deserves a quick visit, especially if you’re an architectural enthusiast.
The Iron Pillar is one of the world’s most mysterious metallurgical creations. The pillar is said to be from a king from the Gupta Dynasty, King Chandragupta II Vikramaditya who ruled in the years 375 to 410 A.D.
The pillar was erected in the city of Udayagiri in the year 402 A.D. in front of a Vishnu Temple, meaning that is was originally in the modern-day Madhya Pradesh.
No one has concrete information as to when or why it was shifted, but it is thought to have been shifted later shifted by Anangpal in the 10th century CE from Udaygiri to its present location. The pillar was brought here to commemorate the construction of some monumental buildings.
The approximate weight of the ornamental bell on the pillar is about 646 kilograms, while the main structure of the pillar is assumed to be over 5 tones (5865 kilograms), taking the total weight above 6 tones.
The pillar also bears some Sanskrit inscriptions on itself, which may give an idea about its previous location. A deep socket on the top of the pillar suggests that it must’ve been a flagpole in its previous days.
But the thing which makes this pillar so mysterious and interesting is the fact that despite thousands of years since its construction, the pillar has rusted negligibly. This is such a mysterious thing because considering its age, this wrought iron pillar should not even exist anymore.
No modern iron pillar could exist for so long. It is a very major mystery as to how this pillar could survive for so long, that too without any sign of rust. This metallurgical mystery has not been solved to date.
The tomb of Iltutmish is another monument located inside the Qutub Complex in New Delhi. Iltutmish was the son in law of Qutb Ud Din Aibak, the first ruler of the Slave dynasty in India, with Iltutmish being the second Sultan of the Delhi Sultanate.
His tomb is thought to be built in the year 1235 A.D. by Iltutmish himself. The 9 mt. sq. the central chamber has some squinches in itself, which suggest the presence of a dome that must have collapsed over time.
It is believed that after the collapse of the main dome, Feroz Shah Tughlaq had replaced it, but even that collapsed. This tomb is considered a landmark in Indo-Islamic architecture.
The main cenotaph (a hollow dome tomb) which is made up of white marble, and is put up on a raised platform which lies in the center of the whole structure.
In the chamber, one can see that its facade is quite popular for its ornate carvings, which can be seen both inside and outside the tomb on its entrance and the interior walls. These carvings are actually inscriptions in Kufi and Naskh characters, also consisting of geometric and arabesque patterns carved out in Saracenic tradition.
The western wall in the chamber’s interior consists of three niches (Mirhabs). The central one is a prayer niche which is decorated with marbles and many other Indo-Islamic architectural amalgamations such as bell and chain, lotus, diamond emblems, tassel, etc.
The grave chamber was discovered in the year 1914 during an excavation by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). It is located to the north of the tomb, from where 20 steps down lead towards the burial vault of the second Sultan of the Delhi Sultanate.
The tomb of Imam Zamin was constructed in the 16th century, meaning that it was constructed roughly 350 to 400 years after the initial construction of the Qutub Minar.
This tomb houses the remains of Mohammad Ali, who was popularly known as Imam Zamin. Imam Zamin was an educated Islamic cleric who had migrated to India from Turkestan during the reign of Sikandar Lodi, a king of the Lodi dynasty.
This particular tomb was built by Mohammad Ali himself, who built it during the reign of King Humayun, the second Mughal emperor. Interestingly enough, in the whole Qutub Minar location, this specific tomb has absolutely no connection whatsoever with any other monument located inside the Qutub complex, making it a strange attraction for the tourists.
It was Alauddin Khalji who had started the construction of the Alai Minar. He started its construction right after he had doubled the size of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque in the year 1311 A.D.
His plan was to make this tower twice as high as the Qutub Minar in proportion with the enlarged mosque, but its construction was completely abandoned after his death, and none of Alauddin Khalji’s successors of the Khalji dynasty undertook to complete its construction. The Alai Minar only has had its core ground story constructed, which is 24.5 meters high(80 feet).
The first story of this incomplete structure is a giant rubble masonry core and is still intact today. Amir Khusrau, a very well noted Sufi poet and a saint in his times mentioned in his work Tarikh-i-Alai about Alauddin Khalji and his intentions to extend the mosque and to build another Minar. It is a good chance that he was, in fact, talking about the Alai Minar only.
Ala-Ud-din Khalji’s tomb and Madrasa
This is an interesting monument at the Qutub Minar location. At the back end of the complex, just towards the southwest of the mosque lies an L-shaped construction unit, where the tomb of Alauddin Khalji lies.
The tomb dates back to about 1316 A.D. Also stands at that location is a madrasa (an Islamic school) which was built by Alauddin only. Alauddin, who ruled from 1296 to 1316 A.D. was the second Sultan of the Delhi Sultanate from the Khalji dynasty.
The central room of the building, which has the tomb of Alauddin has lost its tomb, but even today many rooms of the madrasa are still in one piece, many of them having been restored over time. Agar one point in time, there were two small which were directly connected to the tomb through two small passages on either side.
Some historians suggest that there were seven rooms to the west of the tomb, two of which had domes and windows. Historians and archaeologists have deciphered from the tomb’s remains that at one point there existed an open courtyard just to the west and south of the building of the tomb and that there must’ve been a room in the north serving as an entrance to the building.
This tomb was the first instance where a tomb was standing by a madrasa. The Alai Minar lies just nearby the tomb, which was an ambitious project of Alauddin Khalji by which he wanted to rival the Qutub Minar itself. Today, it stands incomplete just towards the northern side of the mosque.
Qutub Minar Visitor Information
Before going to Qutub Minar, it is important to know important information like an online ticket for Qutub Minar, Qutub Minar nearest metro station, Qutub Minar timing, etc. Let us have a look at these things-
There has been a change in Qutub Minar timings. These days, the Qutub Minar timings have changed because the government has started displaying warm LED lights during the night time on the Minar. The Qutub Minar timing is from morning 7 A.M. tonight 10 P.M. on all days.
Qutub Minar Online Ticket
Online ticket for Qutub Minar can easily be booked. Many travel websites help you in booking Qutub Minar ticket online. The Qutub Minar entry fee for Indians is Rs. 35 and Qutub Minar entry fee for foreigners is Rs. 550. You night niche additional charges if you book Qutub Minar online ticket, but booking Qutub Minar ticket online can save you a little trouble.
The address of Qutub Minar in Mehrauli, New Delhi, Delhi 110030. It is located in the Mehrauli area of Delhi, which comes in Delhi’s south-west area. It is located inside the Qutub Complex.
Qutub Minar Nearest Metro Station
Qutub Minar nearest metro station is the Qutab Minar Metro Station from where you can easily reach the Minar. The station is located on the Yellow line of Delhi Metro.
Delhi offers one a lovely mix of vibrant cultures mixed with a fine dash of modernity, which is why you will always feel at home in Delhi. Delhi is a city that offers everything for everyone. It is a city which is full of heart, and you will find some of the most amazing and lively people in this city.
Places to visit near Qutub Minar: