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Qutub Minar Complex

October 2008

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Qutub Minar Complex Information 

Delhi has been the ground of historical events since the first century – maybe earlier. Empires have been built and destroyed here. It has been the target of invaders coming from the north-western part of the continent and has borne the burnt of these invaders across the centuries. As a result, Delhi is scattered with historical monuments that speak out the stories of the ancient times.

Qutub Minar against the Alia Minar

Qutub Minar against the Alia Minar

On the way to Kumayun, we had almost the full day at our disposal before boarding Ranikhet Express for Haldwani. The plan was to visit Red Fort and the Qutb Complex, but due to Daserra celebrations a few days later, Red Fort was closed to public. This is what we were informed by the hotel – but was not exactly sure about the truth of this piece of information. As time was limited, we headed for the Qutub Minar complex by an auto-rickshaw. The driver charged Rs 400 for the round trip – he would cover the Qutub Minar and the Lotus Temple.

There’s more than the Qutb Minar!!

History has always been my weak point. This was proven once more – when I saw that the Qutb Complex had not only the Qutb Minar, but other structures and ruins.
The unfinished Alia Minar, the Alia Darwaza and the ruins of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque was fascinating. The Qutb Minar, which itself looks so mundane from far, surprisingly has carvings from the Quaran and other designs on its walls. There is an iron pillar which was erected by King Chandragupta II Vikramaditya. The walls of the Alia Darwaza were occupied by green parrots which flew around the building.

A look at the history of Qutb Minar

The Qutub Complex, is an array of monuments and buildings at Mehrauli in Delhi, India, the most famous of which is the Qutub Minar and is one of the finest examples of Indo-Islamic architecture. Built in 1193 AD, it had been inspired by the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan. It initially housed a complex of twenty-seven ancient Jain temples which were destroyed & their material used in the construction of the Qutub complex by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the first ruler of the Slave Dynasty, and his successor Iltutmish and further By Firoz Shah Tughlak on the ruins of Lal Kot and Qila-Rai-Pithora (Prithivraj Chauhan’s city). The complex was added to by many subsequent rulers, including Iltutmish and Ala ud din Khilji as well as the British.

Qutub Minar

The most famous monument situated in the complex is the Qutub Minar; other important constructions in the complex are the Quwwat ul-Islam Mosque, the Alai Gate, the Alai Minar and the Iron pillar, surrounded by Jain temple ruins.
Qutub Minar is the tallest brick minaret in the world, and an important example of Indo-Islamic Architecture. It is 72.5 metres (239 ft) high. The diameter of the base is 14.3 metres wide while the top floor measures 2.7 metres in diameter. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with surrounding buildings and monuments.

Alia Darwaza

Alia Darwaza in the Qutub Minar Complex

Alia Darwaza in the Qutub Minar Complex

The Alai Darwaza (Alai Gate) is the main gateway in the complex. The gateway was built by the first Khilji sultan of Delhi, Ala-ud-din Khilji. The domed gateway is decorated with red sandstone and inlaid marble decorations, latticed stone screens and showcases the remarkable craftsmanship of the Turkish artisans who worked on it. It was built in 1311 AD.

Alia Minar

Alia Minar in the Qutub Minar Complex

Alia Minar in the Qutub Minar Complex

Ala-ud-din Khilji started building the Alai Minar, which was conceived to be two times higher than Qutb Minar. The construction was abandoned, however, after the completion of the 24.5 meter high first storey; soon after death of Ala-ud-din. The first story of the Alai Minar still stands today.
It is considered to be one of the most important buildings built in the sultanate period. With its pointed arches, it adds grace to the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque to which it served as an entrance.

Iron Pillar

The Iron Pillar is one of the world’s foremost metallurgical curiosities. The pillar is almost seven metres high and weigs more than six tonnes. It was erected by Chandragupta II Vikramaditya (375–414 CE). It is the only piece of the Jain temple remaining, which stood there before being destroyed by Qutb-ud-din Aibak. A fence was erected around the pillar due to the popularity of a tradition that considered it good luck if you could stand with your back to the pillar and make your hands meet behind it.


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Qutub Minar Complex Information


  1. A Dixit said:

    There is more than meets the eyes. Did you see many hindu idols (Shiva, Vishnu etc) scattered all over the complex? Did you see the courtyard with several hindu symbols, idols and carvings? Did you read the inscription on the Iron Pillar and its translation inscribed on a stone (by ASI)? Did you go inside the first mosque of India, the Quvvat-ul-Islam mosque, which still has all the hindu symbols on its walls? Qutab Complex is a War-Memorial constructed by a victorious invaders, who ruined a marvelous complex. Just think and try to figure out the truth.

    The inscription on Iron Pillar says, that this Vishnordhvaj (Vishnu’s Tower) was constructed by Chandragupta Vikramaditya after defeating Bahliks. Historians may read it as Vishnu’s Dhwaj (Vishnu’s Flag).

    Posted on November 18th, 2009 at 8:16 am

  2. admin said:

    Dear Mr. Dixit,

    Thank you for your feedback. Yes, I have seen most of the things that you mentioned, but not all. For example, I missed the translation of the inscription on the Iron Pillar. May be I should include these in the post. Initially I thought that it will be a quick visit to the Qutb Minar, but once inside it was difficult to leave and spent almost all the free time in there.

    Posted on November 27th, 2009 at 7:03 am

  3. Dr. Nishant said:

    plz let me knw whr i can purchase ticket of qutub featival and qutub festivial in qutub minar or some where else.

    Posted on October 4th, 2010 at 6:54 am

  4. admin said:

    Passes will be available from 1st October at :-

    Coffee Home, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi
    Dilli Haat INA, New Delhi
    Dilli Haat Pitampura, New Delhi
    Punjabi Academy, Delhi, DDA Community Centre, Sadar Thana Road, Motia Khan, New Delhi – 55
    Tekson Book Shop, G-4, Basement Main Market, South Extension-1, New Delhi
    Bahrisons Book Sellers, Khan Market, New Delhi

    Posted on October 4th, 2010 at 10:09 am

  5. Georgie said:

    I dont know what they are called, but they are for sohtoing pain and relieve from muscle-pulls/sprains.I’ve seen them on almost 3/4 of the players in grand-slam tennis players.

    Posted on October 25th, 2012 at 8:47 am

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