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Qutab Minar

Posted on Wed, 01/15/2014 - 15:12 by easytours

The Qutab Minar - This 239 ft tall medieval tower is a symbol of victory and an amazing example of architectural and building skills during the 12th century. The Qutab Minar is notable for being one of the earliest and most prominent examples of Indo-Islamic architecture. It is surrounded by several other ancient and medieval structures and ruins, collectively known as Qutub complex. Within the Qutab complex, amidst the ruins of the Quwat-ul-Islam Mosque, stands one of the legendary Ashoka Pillars. This large iron pillar has withstood the ravages of Delhi's weather (and recent pollution) and has not rusted in over 1500 years. Inspired by the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan and wishing to surpass it, Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced construction of the Qutab Minar in 1193. The minaret is made of fluted red sandstone covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Qur'an. The complex initially housed 27 ancient Hindu and Jain temples, which were destroyed and their debris used to build the Qutub Minar. One engraving on the Qutub Minar reads, "Shri Vishwakarma prasade rachita" ("conceived with the grace of Vishwakarma").


Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, to the northeast of Qutab Minar, was built by Qutbu'd-Din Aibak in 1198. It was the first mosque built in Delhi after the Islamic conquest of India, and the oldest surviving example of Ghurids architecture in India. It consists of a rectangular courtyard enclosed by cloisters, erected with the carved columns and architectural members of the 27 Hindu and Jain temples which originally stood on the site. The Alai Darwaza is the main gateway from southern side of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque. It was built by the second Khilji Sultan of Delhi, Alauddin Khilji in 1311, who also added a court to the pillared to the eastern side. The domed gateway is decorated with red sandstone and inlaid with white marble decorations, inscriptions in Naskh script, latticed stone screens. It showcases the remarkable craftsmanship of the Turkish artisans who worked on it. The main monuments contained within the complex are the Qutab Minar, the Quwwat ul-Islam Mosque, the Alai Gate, the Alai Minar, the Iron pillar, and the tombs of Iltutmish, Alauddin Khilji and Imam Zamin.