Qutub Minar – Delhi – 1199 AD – Under Qutubuddin Aibak – History – Architecture – In honour of Sufi Saint Qutub Bakhtiar Kaki – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Qutub Minar – Introduction

Qutub Minar is the world’s tallest sandstone tower, soaring the height of 73 Meters, Located in Delhi, India. Qutub Minar was built in early 13th century as symbol of victory in favor of Qutubdin Aibak. It was initiated by the founder of Delhi Sultanate Qutubuddin Aibak in 1199AD as a part of Quwwat ul Islam Mosque. History also specifies that Qutub Minar name was given by Qutubdin Aibak as he constructed Qutub Minar in honour of Sufi Saint Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki.

Qutub Minar - Built by Qutubuddin Aibak in 1199 AD

Qutub Minar – Built by Qutubuddin Aibak in 1199 AD

Qutubuddin Aibak - First Ruler of Mamluk (Slave) Dynasty

Qutubuddin Aibak – First Ruler of Mamluk (Slave) Dynasty

As per the archeological survey, the site of Qutub Minar was previously occupied by 27 Hindu and Jain temples which were destroyed as a result of the victory of Delhi Sultanates.

Qutub Minar – The Architecture

The main elements of the minar are base, shaft and balconies. The tapered cylindrical Qutub Minar is made of the strong base of diameter 14.32 meters and tapering at the top measuring 2.75 meter diameter. Inside of the Minar is made of hollow overlapping shaft, which provides light and ventilation and along the walls is the circular stair case with 379 steps leading to the top of the Minar and also act as a structural support for walls of Minar. the over hangs are added in between the storey which act as balconies supported by the honeycomb vault below and with the railing on the top. The cupola is added on the top as a covering of the Minar. Outside stones are carved with Parso- Arabic and Nagari character and also by the quotes of Quran, The Holy book of Islam. It also has an inscription which conveys the victory of Qutubuddin Aibak and some instruction given by Firoz-Shah-Tugluq and Sikander Lodi.

Qutub Minar - Inscriptions Conveying victory of Qutubdin Aibak

Qutub Minar – Inscriptions Conveying victory of Qutubdin Aibak

Qutub Minar – Importance of Minarets in Islam

Minars were basically constructed for many reasons and functions. First and main function, it is the part of mosque use for the muezzin – calls for the prayers. Secondly, it is a tall cylindrical shaft which can be seen from a distance and act as a focus point for the prayers in Muslim communities. Third, the shaft serves for heat decapitation from the windows and opening on the walls of the minar and provides natural ventilation in the mosque.

Qutub Minar – History and Renovations

Only one storey was constructed during the reign of Qutubuddin Aibak and two more storey were added during the reign of Shamsuddin Iltutmish. The top storey was destroyed due to the lighting. The restoration of Qutub Minar work was carried out during the reign of Firoz Shah Tughalaq (1351-89) for the top floor and then he added more two storey which was made out of red sand stone and white marble along with the cupola. In 1505, it was again damaged due to earthquake and damages were restored by the successor Sikander Lodi(1489-1517). In 1903, Qutub Minar was damaged again in an unfortunate earthquake. The restoration and renovation was done under the supervision of Major Robert Smith of Brtish Indian Army and he installed the cupola on the top of the Minar in 1928AD, which was further removed and placed in the east of Qutub Minar, upon the instruction from Lord Haringe, Governor General of Pakistan. Due to the lot of addition, alteration, renovation and restoration, Qutub Minar is inclined by 65 cm along the vertical axis which is considered within the safe limit, hence it was allowed to access inside the Qutub Minar.

Qutub Minar Entrance

Qutub Minar Entrance

Qutub Minar – A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Qutub Minar is considered as major tourist attraction of India and is listed in UNESCO world heritage site. The access to the Qutub Minar is now prohibited as a cause of stamped accident, during 1981 due to electric failure resulting in to the death of 45 people. Qutub Minar is the highly appreciated monument, tower architecture of the medieval period and a pride of Indo-Islamic Architecture.

Qutub Minar Timings

Timing for Qutub Minar Opens Closes
Monday 7:00 AM 5:00 PM
Tuesday 7:00 AM 5:00 PM
Wednesday 7:00 AM 5:00 PM
Thursday 7:00 AM 5:00 PM
Friday 7:00 AM 5:00 PM
Saturday 7:00 AM 5:00 PM

By: Yesha Bhatt

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