Qutub Minar complex: Symbol of Indo-Islamic Afghan Architecture
Qutb Minar was built in the early 13th century a few kilometres south of Delhi. The red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar is 72.5 m high, tapering from 2.75 m in diameter at its peak to 14.32 m at its base to give calls for prayer. Its surrounding contains Alai-Darwaza Gate, the masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art (built in 1311). The building process of Qutub Minar took a long time (about 75 years). Its construction was started by Qutub-ud-din Aibak in 1193 and finished by Iltutmish.
Pictures of Qutub Minar Complex-
(Picture of Qutb Complex, Delhi)
(Qutb Minar, New delhi)
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(Iron Pillar, Qutb Complex,Delhi)
(Inscription on Iron Pillar, Qutb Complex, Delhi)
(Inscription panels of Kufic calligraphy running around the ornate balcony)
Inscriptions on entrance arch, Alai Darwaza built by Alauddin Khilji
Facts about Qutb Minar-
- Qutbu'd-Din Aibak laid the foundation of Minar in AD 1199 for the use of the mu'azzin (crier) to give calls for prayer.
- In 1220, Aibak's successor and son-in-law Iltutmish added three storeys to the tower.
- It is the highest tower in India. It has a diameter of 14.32 m at the base and about 2.75 m on the top with a height of 72.5 m.
- Qutub Minar is known the tallest brick minaret in the world.
- It is made of Red sandstone and has Arabic inscriptions on it.
- In 1369, lightning destroyed its top storey completely and Firoz Shah Tughlaq carried out restoration work replacing the damaged storey with two new storey’s every year.
- There are many proverbs about the naming of this tower. Some historians say that it was named after the first Turkic sultan Qutub-ud-din Aibak and some claims that it was named to honor Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, a saint.
- It is surrounded by several historically significant monuments, which are historically connected with the tower and are part of the Qutub Complex. These include the Iron Pillar of Delhi , Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, Alai Darwaza, the Tomb of Iltutmish, Alai Minar, Ala-ud-din's Madrasa and Tomb.
- The iron pillar in the Qutub Minar complex has not rusted after some 2000 years.
- This 4th-century pillar, originally made as a flagstaff in Vishnu’s honour, is a tribute to ancient Indian metallurgy. This 7m-high pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque and it was here a long time prior to the mosque’s construction.
- The Qutub Minar complex is large and includes Qutub Minar, Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid, Ala’i Minar,Ala’i Darwaza,Iron Pillar,Iltutmish’s Tomb.
- At the foot of the Qutub Minar stands the first mosque to be built in India, known as Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid (The Might of Islam Mosque).
- Ala-ud-din ensure the completion of the south gateway of the building, the Ala’i Darwaza; it was built of red sandstone in 1311 and located just southwest of the Qutub Minar.
- Iltutmish’s Tomb (Built in 1235,) lies in the northwest of the compound, midway along the west wall of the mosque. It is the first surviving tomb of a Muslim ruler in India.
- It got the tag of world heritage site in 1993.