New Delhi, India
Qutb Minar New Delhi Reviews
Highest Brick Minaret in the World Jan 14, 2016
Qutb Minar (also known as Qutab Minar) in Delhi is a 73 metres minaret/ tower built in 1193 by Qutabud-din Aibak, the founder of Delhi Sultanate after the defeat of the last Hindu Kingdom.
The first Sultan of Delhi, Qutabud-din Aibak was only able to complete building the base of the Minar. The inheritor to his throne, his son-in-law added 3 storeys to the Minar. All these were however destroyed by lightning. It was only in 1368 under the reign of Firoz Shah Tuglak that the Minar was restored and completed with the addition of additional 2 storeys and the use of marble.
The Minar is made mainly out of dark red sandstone with iron intricate carvings and verses from the Quran. The Minar itself has a circular staircase comprising of 379 steps (access to the Minar is now prohibited after an accident in 1981 which resulted in a stampede and fatality).
Qutb Minar together with several important monuments such as Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque (the first Mosque to be built in India), Alai Darwaza, the Tomb of Iltutmish, Alai Minar, Ala-ud-din's Madrasa and Tomb, and the Tomb of Imam Zamin and the Diamond Pole of Delhi surrounding the tower forms the Qutb Complex.
The Qutb complex is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
However since we were part of the tour, we were not granted enough time to explore the whole complex or visit the tombs which was unfortunate. So do give yourselves the time to fully explore the place.
Entrance to tourist is Rs250 which I find is a total rip off as compared the locals paying Rs10.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Qutb Minar Oct 17, 2015
Qutb Minar (also spelled Qutub) is the tallest brick minaret in the world, at 73 metres, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (listed in 1993). It is five storeys high, and tapers from a 15 m diameter at the base to just 2.5 m at the top. The first three storeys are constructed with red sandstone bricks while the top two also incorporate some white marble. The different styles reflect the fact that it was built over a period of time. It was started by the first Muslim ruler of India, Qutab-ud-din Aibak, in 1200 AD, but he only managed to complete the bottom level. His son-in-law who succeeded him, Iltutmush, added three more storeys in 1220, but the topmost of these was destroyed by lightening in 1369, so the then-ruler Firoz Shah Tughlak replaced this with two new ones in red sandstone and white marble.
In 1803 it was badly damaged again, this time by earthquake, and restored by Robert Smith of the British Indian Army in 1828. For some reason he decided it would look better with a cupola on the top, so he added one, but this was removed some twenty years or so later under instructions from Lord Hardinge, then Governor General of India, and it now sits in the grounds.
The minaret is surrounded by a number of other buildings, all partially ruined, most notably the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India in 1192. It was built by reusing stones from Hindu temples so you will see many defaced carvings of faces and animals, because of the Muslim prohibition on portraying living things.
Also nearby is a famous iron pillar, seven metres in height. This is older even than the minaret, dating from the early part of the 5th century AD. It has stood on this site since 1233 but there is a lot of debate, and no firm agreement, on its original location. It is notable for its lack of corrosion. Tradition holds that you will have good fortune if you can stand with your back to the pillar and make your hands meet behind it, but it is nowadays impossible to test that superstition as years of wear and tear have led the authorities to build a low fence around it. Wikipedia has a detailed description and exploration of the various theories that have been expounded relating to its construction and original location: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_pillar_of_Delhi
Opposite the Qutb Minar you will see the base of another minaret which our guide told us was to have been twice the height, but this was never finished. I haven’t however found any reference to this in my online research – maybe someone else can shed some light? I did though find some theorising that Qutb Minar could be older than is usually stated, pre-dating Islam in India: http://www.qutubminar.org/. As this is founded on the use of stones with Hindu images, which can be explained by the reuse of the temples, this seems dubious at best but I note it here for interest.
This was probably my favourite of all the sights we visited in our whistle-stop tour of Delhi, perhaps because we arrived here in the late afternoon when the sun was at the perfect height for photography, making the stones glow and picking out all the details of the carvings. It was also relatively uncrowded compared with some other sights in the city. This was the first place on our trip when we encountered what was to become a regular occurrence - local people (in this case a group of young tourists) asking us to pose for photos with them. We were always happy to oblige on these occasions, and sometimes, as here, made sure we got a photo too. It seems likely that there are now photos of us all over Rajasthan and elsewhere in India!
Part of the Rajasthan 2015 travel blog
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
India's tallest tower - A must see in New Delhi Jan 14, 2009
This review was partially inspired by a recent review (on Jan 16, 2016) by FoxyFauz. I recalled I had never reviewed this, however, and remembered why. In the time I visited Qutb Minar (2009) I had been on TravBuddy for only about a year and was not confident in creating a new attraction, as there were no other reviews on this sight then, nor suggestion of a placenames to review it. It appears in the years passing that some TravBuddy members have added reviews with a few spellings or titles for this attraction ('The Qutub Minar', 'Qutub Minar', and 'Qutab Minar and its monuments'). I had wanted to add Qutb Minar way back when (in 2009) and so, long story short, was pleased to see FoxyFauz had the same spelling I considered correct too. So, I add my review here now.
This is a not to be missed attraction in New Delhi, India. It's 12th century and a mixture of Hindu art and Islamic architecture. There are inscriptions & artistic carvings all over it (up and down) to appreciate. The Qutb (Arabic for pole) is India's highest single tower I think and it is in remarkable condition for being more than 800 years old. There is a lot more to see here than just the tower and it is a whole complex of structures. Some of the temple columns are particularly fascinating. Carved on them are various symbols of people, deities, flora & fauna, jewelry, and other motifs. They are also Hindu in origin, but when it was converted to a mosque, shortage of time and money forced the Muslim ruler to reuse the 'sacrilegious' elements here, which became part of the Mosque. They did knock off the faces of the deities and other human and animal forms. An interesting article can be found here - http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=928
Enjoy the pleasure of exploring this place and there is a great deal to see. The tower itself is the main attraction and it is superb by itself, but roam around and enjoy the history, heritage and harmony here. It's a fairly cheap entrance fee as I recall too. Most highly recommended! BTW - other reviews of this attraction on TravBuddy with various spellings/titles can be found here:
Just for the record - It's official name is Qutb Minar
Part of the Passage To India (Jan 14-24, 2009) travel blog
Part of the list India: Review List
Part of the list India: Hotels, Sights & Restaurants
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy