Qutub Minar, Delhi

12 Jul

Qutub Minar (English: The Qutub Tower; Urdu: قطب مینار) also Qutb Minar, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Delhi,India. The Qutub Minar was constructed with red sandstone and marble, and is the tallest minaret in India, with a height of 72.5 meters (237.8 ft), contains 379 stairs to reach the top, and the diameter of base is 14.3 meters whereas the last store is of 2.7 meters. The Construction was commenced by Qutb-ud-din Aibak in 1192 and completed by Iltutmish. Qutb-ud-din Aibak destroyed 27 Hindu and Jain temples and reused the building materials for construction of Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque and the Qutub Minar according to a Persian inscription still on the inner eastern gateway .It is surrounded by several other ancient and medieval structures and ruins, collectively known as Qutub complex. Tradition assigns the erection of the Pillar to Anang Pal, whose name it bears, with the date 1052 A.D.

Qutab Minar is the nearest station on the Delhi Metro. A picture of the minaret also features on the Travel Cards issued by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.

Structure of Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar is the second highest tower in India, after the Fateh Burj or “Victory Tower” at Chappar Chiri village on Punjab’s Mohali district. A projected balcony encircling the Minar is supported by stone brackets which are decorated with honeycomb designs, more conspicuously so in the first story.

Inspired by the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan and wishing to surpass it, Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the first ruler of the Delhi sultanate, commenced construction of the Qutub Minar in 1193; but conical shafts, separated by balconies carried on Muqarnas corbels.[citation needed] The minaret is made of fluted red sandstone covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Qur’an. Numerous inscriptions in Parso-Arabic and Nagari characters in different places of the Minar reveal the history of Qutb. According to the inscriptions on its surface it was repaired by Firoz Shah Tughlaq (AD 1351-88) and Sikandar Lodi (AD 1489-1517).[citation needed]

Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, to the northeast of Minar was built by Qutbu’d-Din Aibak in AD 1198. It is the earliest mosque built by the Delhi Sultans. Later, a coffee arched screen was erected and the mosque was enlarged by Shams ud Din Iltutmish (AD 1210-35) and Allaud-din Khilji. The Iron Pillar in the courtyard bears an inscription in Sanskrit in Brahmi script of 4th century AD, according to which the pillar was set up as a Vishnudhvaja (standard of Lord Vishnu) on the hill known as Krishnapada in memory of a mighty king named Chandra. A deep socket on the top of the ornate capital indicates that probably an image of Garuda was fixed into it. It is situated in Delhi.

The Qutub Minar comprises several superposed flanged and cylindrical shafts, separated by balconies carried on Muqarnas corbels. The minaret is made of fluted red sandstone covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Qur’an. The Qutub Minar is itself 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.[9] One engraving on the Qutub Minar reads, “Shri Vishwakarma prasade rachita” (Conceived with the grace of Vishwakarma.)

was used to calling people for prayer in the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque but it is so tall that one cannot hear the person standing on the top. The earliest extant mosque was built by the Delhi Sultans. Many historians believe that the Qutub Minar was named after the first Turkish sultan (whose descendant- Wajid Ali Shah-repaired it), Qutub-ud-din Aibak,[10] but others contend that it was named in honour of Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki,[11] a saint from Transoxiana who came to live in India and was greatly venerated by Iltutmish.

The nearby Iron Pillar is one of the world’s foremost metallurgical curiosities, standing in the famous Qutub complex. According to the traditional belief, anyone who can encircle the entire column with their arms, with their back towards the pillar, can have their wish granted. Because of the corrosive qualities of sweat the government has built a fence around it for safety. The quality of Iron is an excellence of technology. The smoothness of the pillar surface makes it rust proof. The amalgamation of different metals with Iron produces such high quality of smoothness.

The minar did receive some damage because of earthquakes and lightnings on more than a couple of occasions but was reinstated and renovated by the respective rulers. During the rule of Firoz Shah, the minar’s two top floors were damaged due to lightning but were repaired by Firoz Shah. In the year 1505, an earthquake struck and it was repaired by Sikandar Lodi. Later on in the year 1794, the minar faced another earthquake and it was Major Smith, an engineer who repaired the affected parts of the minar. He replaced Firoz Shah’s pavilion with his own pavilion at the top. The pavilion was removed in the year 1848 by Lord Hardinge and now it can be seen between the Dak Bungalow and the Minar in the garden. The floors built by Firoz Shah can be distinguished easily as the pavilions was built of white marbles and are quite smooth as compared to other ones.

Qutub Minar has a tilt of 25 inches to the southwest. This is considered to be “within safe limits”, but experts have stated that the monument needs regular monitoring in case rainwater seepage further weakens the foundation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: