Thursday, June 13, 2013

The tallest minaret - Qutub Minar

HOW TO REACH HERE:  By metro: Get down at Qutub Minar metro station.
By road:
It is in mehrauli which is 16 kms from Connaught Place.

HISTORY: Qutub Minar's history has an interesting story behind it.Qutub-ud-din Aibak's wife did not use to eat anything before seeing the Yamuna river. Every morning she used to go till the river, pray and then eat. Seeing this Qutub-ud-din Aibak decided to build a tall Minar, from the top of which his beloved wife could see the holy river and she doesn't have to go till the river bank every morning. The construction was started in 1192 by Qutub-ud-din Aibak but unfortunately he died before it completed. Then it was completed by Iltutmish- his successor and used as a watch tower. The Qutub Minar is built on the ruins of the Lal Kot, the Red Citadel in the city of Dhillika, the capital of the Tomars and the Chauhans, the last Hindu rulers of Delhi.


Qutab Minar is another great masterpiece of Mughal architecture. Located in Delhi, the Qutub Minar is made of red sandstone and marble. The tower has 379 stairs,[3] is 72.5 metres (237.8 ft) high, and has a base diameter of 14.3 metres, which narrows to 2.7 metres at the top storey. 

The Qutab Minar is made of red sandstone covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Qur'an. Numerous inscriptions in Parso-Arabic and Nagari characters in different sections of the Qutub Minar reveal the history of its construction.

The Qutub Minar comprises several superposed flanged and cylindrical shafts, separated by balconies carried on Muqarnas corbels. Various quotes have been engraved on these cylindrical shafts too. One engraving on the Qutub Minar reads, "Shri Vishwakarma prasade rachita" (Conceived with the grace of Vishwakarma).

The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, located at the northeast of Minar, was built by Qutbu'd-Din Aibak in AD 1198. It is the earliest mosque built by the Delhi Sultans.[8] Later, a coffee arched screen was erected and the mosque was enlarged by Shams ud Din Iltutmish and Allaud - din Khilji.

The Iron Pillar is 7m tall, weighs 6 tons and made out of solid iron. It has been standing since circa 420 AD. It has baffled modern metallurgists because it has not corroded at all! There is a lot of mythical lore around this pillar. One of the stories is that if someone could completely encircle the pillar with their arms, with their backs to the pillar, all their wishes would come true. Needless to say, many people tried this, and some of the inscriptions started to rub off. It is now encircled by a fence. The inscriptions are in Sanskrit.

#Before 1981, the general public could climb to the top of Qutub Minar by climbing up the seven-storey, narrow staircase. However, on 4 December 1981 an accident occurred when an electricity cut plunged the tower's staircase into darkness. Around 45 people were killed in the stampede that followed the electricity failure. Most of the victims were children because, before 1981, school children were allowed free access to historical monuments on Fridays, and many school groups were taking advantage of this. Subsequently, public access has been forbidden.
In addition, the top two levels of the tower were damaged in an airplane-crash accident a few years ago because of which now, Qutub Minar has 5 levels only.

It is a truly magnificent structure.