Qutab Minar, Delhi

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    Qutb Complex-2 Second Most Visited Place in India

    by mamtap Updated Jul 21, 2015

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    Qutub Complex is the most visited destination in India only next to Taj Mahal. But in 2006 it was the most visited place, even beating Taj Mahal. So it is easy to imagine the rush and the crowd any given day. But once you go inside the Complex it is big enough to accommodate everyone. Designs on the walls and pillars are extravagant and lavish.

    Qutub Minar was damaged by earthquake in 1505 and It was repaired by Sikandar Lodi. Major. R. Smith repaired and restored the Qutub Minar in 1829. According to the Archeological Survey of India, the site at which Qutub Minar is located was once occupied by 27 Hindu and Jain temples. The construction of the monument was made from the sculptured stones of several Hindu temples. This is evident from the Devanagari engravings on the many stone surfaces of the monument.

    The Iron pillar carries a number of inscriptions and graffiti of different dates which have not been studied systematically despite the pillar's prominent location and easy access.
    The oldest inscription on the pillar is in Sanskrit, written in Gupta-period Brahmi script.
    This states that the pillar was erected as a standard in honor of Vishnu.

    It also praises the valor and qualities of a king referred to simply as Candra, now generally identified with the Gupta King Chandragupta II. Some authors attempted to identify Candra with Chandragupta Maurya and yet others have claimed the pillar dates as early as 912 BCE.

    Timings: Sunrise–Sunset.
    Entry: Indian Citizens–Rs 10,
    Foreign Nationals–Rs 250 & free for children upto 15 years.

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    Qutb Complex`Second Most Visited Place in India

    by mamtap Updated Jul 21, 2015

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    A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Qutb Minar Complex is dominated by the early thirteenth century stone tower, towering above the horizon. It was once part of the first urban complex in Delhi, Lal Kot, built by the Tomar Rajput rulers. Following the victory of Mahmud of Ghazni over Prithviraj Chauhan, the Turk rulers of Delhi constructed the major structures that still exist here today. As you enter the complex, you cross the almost totally collapsed outermost wall of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, constructed by Alauddin Khalji. The Alai Darwaza on the left formed part of Alauddin’s wall and was designed as the entrance to the mosque. The Qutb Minar was started by Qutbuddin Aibak, who only saw the construction of the first storey during his lifetime. What you see of the Qutb today is the result of additions made by his successor Iltutmish and later by Firoz Shah Tughlaq. Sikandar Lodi too made repairs to the structure in the sixteenth century.
    The British attempted to replace a fallen cupola, but this was so inconsistent with the rest of the minaret that it was removed and now forms part of the complex. The wondrous Iron Pillar, the unfinished Alai Minar, and the tomb of Iltutmish are some of the other structures in the complex.

    Timings: Sunrise–Sunset.
    Entry: Indian Citizens–Rs 10,
    Foreign Nationals–Rs 250 & free for children upto 15 years.

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    Qutab Minar: Iron Pillar

    by vinod-bhojak Written Dec 10, 2013

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    The iron pillar is a 7 meter (22 feet) high pillar in the Qutab complex which is notable for the composition of the metals used in its construction.

    The pillar, which weighs more than six tons, is said to have been fashioned at the time of Chandragupta Vikramaditya (375–413),though other authorities give dates as early as 912 BCE.The pillar initially stood in the centre of a Jain temple complex housing twenty-seven temples that were destroyed by Qutb-ud-din Aybak, and their material was used in building the Qutub Minar and Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque. The pillar and ruins of the temple stand all around the Qutb complex today. The pillar is 98% pure wrought iron, and is a testament to the high level of skill achieved by ancient Indian blacksmiths. It has attracted the attention of both archaeologists and metallurgists, as it has withstood corrosion for over 1,600 years in the open air.

    Iron Pillar Iron Pillar near Qutab Minar Red Stone carving  near Iron Pillar Ruins near Iron Pillar Iron Pillar
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    Qutab Minar: Alai Minar

    by vinod-bhojak Written Dec 10, 2013

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    When visiting the UNESCO World Heritage attraction known as the Qutab Miner in Delhi, you can also catch site of a second minaret Alai Minar that was abandoned during early stages of construction.

    It would seem that an overly ambition Sultan Ala-ud-Din Khalji dreamt of having a second structure that would double the height of the Qtab Minar. Unfortunately, this dream was never meant to be as the construction was abandoned during early stages, after the death of the Sultan. What was left was a 24.5 meter tall tower base, which now rests in ruins not far from the famous Qtab Minar.

    Overall, I found the story of the Alai Minar quite interesting and enjoyed walking around and seeing this unfinished minaret as it provides opportunity to imagine what the Qutab Minar might have resembled during its construction phases. It is worth seeking out for a few minutes if you visit the Qtab Complex

    Alai Minar Alai Minar Alai Minar Alai Minar Alai Minar
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    Qutub Minar:Tomb of Iltutmish

    by vinod-bhojak Written Dec 10, 2013

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    The Tomb of Iltutmish who was the second ruler of the Mamluk Dynasty or Slave Dynasty was built around 1235 AD and lies in the north western corner within the courtyard of the Qutb complex .The squinches around the central chamber measuring 9 Sq.meter holds evidence that the Tomb once had a Dome that seems to have collapsed. The Cenotaph made of white marble can be seen placed on a raised platform within the heart of the chamber. The Chamber depicts a facade dressed with ornate carvings on the entrance as well as interior walls while parts of the exterior portion and the entrance are overlaid with quartzite.

    The Tomb is square-shaped built in sandstone measuring 8.41 metres high up to the base of the dome and 9.1 meters along each side. The Tomb has north, east and south entrances as the western side of the interior wall is considered as the direction of Mecca and houses a Mihrab seen adorned with marble and richly decorated with geometrical patterns, inscriptions in Tughra, Kufic and Nakshi scripts highlighting verses from the Holy Book of Quran as well as diamond hallmarks, tassels, lotus, bell and chain motifs which are typical elements of Hindu architecture and hence showcasing the blend of both cultures within the Tomb Chamber.

    The upper chamber which was once covered but is now an open site holds the marble cenotaph and the northern end reveals a flight of steps that lead you down to the burial chamber of the Sultan. The square-shaped base of the Tomb has an octagonal overhead that showcases ogee corbelled arches and the exterior wall is also 2.2 metres thinner than most of the Tombs seen in that era which may have caused the Dome to collapse due to lack of support especially not being able to withstand the outward pressure produced by the Dome

    Marbal carving inside the IltutmishTomb IltutmishTomb IltutmishTomb IltutmishTomb
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    Qutab Minar:Alauddin Khilji's Tomb and Madrasa

    by vinod-bhojak Written Dec 10, 2013

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    Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji formerly named as Ali Gurshap was the second ruler of the Turkic-Afghan or the Khilji Dynasty and was known as one of the most powerful rulers to have reigned over the Delhi Sultanate between 1296 AD and 1316 AD. He was also known to have been one of those few rulers to repeatedly defeat the Mughals and hence save India from their hostile raids and severe attacksIn 1316 AD, Ala-ud-din Khilji eventually died of oedema and some state that Malik Naib who was his lieutenant help to hasten his death. The Sultan's loyal Nobles constructed a Madrasa and Tomb in his honour which exist today at the rear end of the Qutb Complex in Delhi. The L-shaped Madrasa is situated southwest of the Mosque which also houses the Tomb of Ala-ud-din Khilji. The Madrasa is built as a series of small individual apartments where students were taught about Islam. The stretch runs along two edges of a quadrangle courtyard measuring 35 x 25 meters approximately. The small apartment-like rooms are covered by roofs similar to the roof of the Tomb of Ala-ud-din Khilji. The Tomb in fact sits inside the central room of a building next to the Madrasa which is a unique feature witnessed for the first time in ancient history of the Country. The Dome of the Tomb has somewhat disappeared through these centuries while a few of the apartment rooms of the Madrasa are still intact and were recently restored.

    Alauddin Khilji's Tomb and Madrasa Alauddin Khilji's Tomb and Madrasa Alauddin Khilji's Tomb and Madrasa Alauddin Khilji's Tomb and Madrasa Sign board of Alauddin Khilji's Tomb
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    Qutub Minar:Tomb of Imam Zamin

    by vinod-bhojak Written Dec 9, 2013

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    Tomb of Imam Zamin is situated in the premises of Qutub Minar, next to the Alai Darwaza. It is an octagonal shaped tomb which was built for honouring a Turkestani Imam. He was an Islamic preacher, who used to live in this complex during the reign of Sikandar Lodi.

    This Turkish Sufi Saint of Chishti Sect was named as Imam Muhammad Ali, who was commonly known as Imam Zamin. He came to Delhi during the 15th century and became the Imam of Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid. Imam Zamin himself built his tomb and was buried when he died after a year of constructing this tomb.Tomb of Imam Zamin is situated in the premises of Qutub Minar, next to the Alai Darwaza. It is an octagonal shaped tomb which was built for honouring a Turkestani Imam. He was an Islamic preacher, who used to live in this complex during the reign of Sikandar Lodi.

    This Turkish Sufi Saint of Chishti Sect was named as Imam Muhammad Ali, who was commonly known as Imam Zamin. He came to Delhi during the 15th century and became the Imam of Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid. Imam Zamin himself built his tomb and was buried when he died after a year of constructing this tomb.

    Tomb of Imam Zamin Tomb of Imam Zamin Tomb of Imam Zamin Tomb of Imam Zamin Tomb of Imam Zamin
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    Qutub Minar:Alai Darwaza(Gate)

    by vinod-bhojak Written Dec 9, 2013

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    The Alai Darwaza is the only entrance remaining of four added to the Qutb Complex by Ala al-Din Khalji (reg. 1296 - 1316). Located on the southeastern edge of the complex, its elaborate treatment suggests that it may have been used as a gate to the city itself through the extension of the Qutb mosque.

    In contrast to the existing Qutb Mosque, which was built with the spolia of the existing temples on the site, the Alai Darwaza was a new structure. The gate is square in plan: its exterior length is 17.22 meters, its walls are 3.3 meters thick, and its interior length is 10.6 meters. From its floor to its domed ceiling, its height is 14.3 meters. Its wide, shallow dome rests on an octagonal base, and the transition from the octagonal base to a circular dome is achieved with squinches (muqarnas). On the exterior, the dome is plastered.

    The gate stands on a plinth clad with red sandstone with carved friezes. On the south (main) elevation of the gate, steps beginning at the plinth lead into the gate itself. Its exterior is clad with intricately carved red sandstone and white marble bands carved with calligraphic inscriptions in Naksh script or geometric patterns. In the center springs the gate itself, a true arch (as opposed to the older, local trabeated construction visible in other parts of the Qutb complex), ornamented with slender pillars. The gate is bilaterally symmetrical on its south elevation: flanking the gateway on either side are two small arched windows with delicate latticework (jalis) just above the plinth level. Above these lower-level windows are shallow rectangular niches (again, two on either side of the gate) created with concentric bands of red sandstone and white marble carvings.

    Alai Darwaza Red Stone carving at Alai Darwaza Red Stone carving at Alai Darwaza Ali Darwaza and Qutab Miner
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    Qutub Minar

    by vinod-bhojak Written Dec 7, 2013

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    Qutub Minar in Delhi is world heritage site. The tall minaret was constructed in 1192 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, and later completed by his successor Iltutmish. The soaring conical tower is an exquisite example of Indo-Islamic Afghan architecture
    Qutub Minar is a World Heritage Site and has survived the ravages of time impressively. The Minar of Delhi is surrounded by a lush green garden, which is an ideal leisurely place for visitors. Qutab Minar is the favourite destination of tourists. It is India's most visited monument attracting around 3.9 million very year.Each of the 5 stories and tower of Qutub Minar has unique designs.

    Qutab Minar is a great masterpiece of Mughal architecture. The base of the Qutub Minar measures 14.32 meters and the top of the structure measures 2.75 meters. The bird eye's view of Delhi city from the top is amazing. The base of first stories has alternate angular and circular flutings, the second one is round. The third stories of the Qutub Minar has angular flutings. The balconies projecting out heighten the beauty of the Minar.

    Qutub Minar Qutub Minar Qutub Minar Qutub Minar Qutub Minar
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    Qutab minar - The controversy within

    by atesh_koul Written Aug 18, 2013

    Qutab minar and the adjoining Quwwat Al-Islam Mosque (translating to 'Might of Islam') has been described as the first mosque of India, built by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, founder of the Mamluk or Slave dynasty. The architecture of the mosque however suggests underlying Hindu and Jain temple remnants. The controversy over this is an interesting point to ponder over. At the time, the mosque was being built, it was not uncommon for invaders to destroy Hindu temples and loot the gold and precious stones. The use of Hindu Gods and Goddesses in the pillars of the mosque is surprising and worth noting. I have some of the photos depiacting that. Weirdly there is no mention of anything like this in any online resource.

    The only explanation provided by some of the people at VT is the use of materials of 27 Hindu and Jain idol temples at the place. The other explanation provided at ASI is that the workers used for the construction of the mosque were Hindu and they were adept at making only such pillars.

    Also, notice that most of the pillars in the complex surrounding the mosque seemed to be smoothed out. I'd recommend checking out the uncanny presence of the idols in a mosque (may be suggesting a fusion of some sorts?).

    Hindu idols at Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque pillars with idols at Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque Pillar depicting Gods at Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque

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    The Striking Alai-Darwaza Gate

    by Donna_in_India Written Nov 6, 2011

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    The Alai-Darwaza Gate is part of the Qutb Group of Monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage Monument, which along with other monuments, tombs, and mosques make up the Qutb Minar Complex, all of which are located in Mehrauli Archaeological Park.

    The magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate is considered one of the most treasured gems of Islamic architecture. The gate was built in 1311 by Alauddin Khilji. It is the main gateway to the Quwwatu'l-Islam Mosque. It is the first building that completely uses Islamic principles of arcuate construction and geometric ornamentation.

    The most beautiful part is the gatehouse which has arches with carved jali screens set into it. The exquisite geometric and floral designs in red sandstone and white marble are striking.

    Allow a couple of hours to explore the Qutb Complex.

    Open: Sunrise to Sunset

    Admission: Indians Rs 10, Foreigners Rs 250, Children 15 and under free

    Video Filming Fee: Rs 25 (Non-commercial)

    Alai-Darwaza Gate
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    First Surviving Tomb

    by Donna_in_India Updated Nov 6, 2011

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    The Tomb of Iltumish is part of the Qutb Group of Monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage Monument, which along with other monuments, tombs, and mosques make up the Qutb Minar Complex, all of which are located in Mehrauli Archaeological Park.

    Built in 1235 the ornate tomb lies in the northwest of the complex, midway along the wall of the Quwwatu'l-Islam Mosque. The tomb sits on a raised platform in the center of a square chamber of red sandstone. It is the first surviving tomb of a Muslim ruler in India.

    Hindus, who had been practicing cremation since 400BC found the idea of a tomb quite alien. Blending both Muslim and Hindu styles, the exterior - with 3 arched and decorated doorways - is very plain. Inside is a marble mihrab (prayer niche) and beautiful Islamic carvings cover the lower part of the interior.

    Allow a couple of hours to explore the Qutb Complex.

    Open: Sunrise to Sunset

    Admission: Indians Rs 10, Foreigners Rs 250, Children 15 and under free

    Video Filming Fee: Rs 25 (Non-commercial)

    Tomb of Iltumish
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    Delhi's Iron Pillar

    by Donna_in_India Updated Nov 6, 2011

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    The Iron Pillar stands in the Qutb Group of Monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage Monument, which along with other monuments, tombs, and mosques make up the Qutb Minar Complex, all of which are located in Mehrauli Archaeological Park.

    The Iron Pillar is 7m high with almost 1m below ground. It was fashioned sometime in the 4th century as a flagstaff in Vishnu's honor and was topped with an image of the Hindu bird god, Garuda. It is said that the pillar is from one of temples that was destroyed (and used to build Quwwatu'l-Islam).

    What is most unusual about the pillar is that it is still extraordinarily rust-free. It was made of 98% pure iron. Iron that pure could not be replicated until the end of the 19th century. This has puzzled metallurgists for centuries. There are many theories as to why the pillar has not rusted. My favorite is that it was frequently annointed with ghee (clairified butter).

    There is a theory that anyone who can encircle the pillar with their hands behind their back will have their wishes granted. Unfortunately since the pillar is enclosed by a small fence, we were not able to test that out!

    Allow a couple of hours to explore the Qutb Complex.

    Open: Sunrise to Sunset

    Admission: Indians Rs 10, Foreigners Rs 250, Children 15 and under free

    Video Filming Fee: Rs 25 (Non-commercial)

    The Iron Pillar
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    India's Earliest Surviving Mosque

    by Donna_in_India Updated Nov 6, 2011

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    The Quwwatul-Islam (Might of Islam) Masjid is one of the Qutb Group of Monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage Monument, which along with other monuments, tombs, and mosques make up the Qutb Minar Complex, all of which are located in Mehrauli Archaeological Park.

    Quwwatul-Islam Masjid is the ealiest surviving mosque in India. Construction began in 1193 and was complete in 1197. It was built with materials from 27 Hindu and Jain temples. It has a 43m x 32m courtyard, cloisters, and a prayer hall. The five arches in front of the prayer hall give the bulding its Islamic character. But I thought it was the carved columns that were the most fanstastic feature of the mosque.

    Allow a couple of hours to explore the Qutb Complex.

    Open: Sunrise to Sunset

    Admission: Indians Rs 10, Foreigners Rs 250, Children 15 and under free

    Video Filming Fee: Rs 25 (Non-commercial)

    Quwwatul-Islam Masjid Quwwatul-Islam Masjid Quwwatul-Islam Masjid Quwwatul-Islam Masjid
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    India's Tallest Tower: Qutb Minar

    by Donna_in_India Updated Nov 3, 2011

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    The Qutb Minar (Qutb Group of Monuments) is a UNESCO World Heritage Monument, which along with other monuments, tombs, and mosques make up the Qutb Minar Complex, all of which are located in Mehrauli Archaeological Park.

    At five storeys and just over 72m high, the Qutb Minar is India's highest single tower. It has a diameter of 14.4m at its base and tapers to 2.7m in diameter at the top. The fluted red and buff sandstone tower is covered with intricate carvings and inscribed verses from the Koran.

    Work was begun around 1200. It was considered Qutb-ud-din-Aibak's victory tower signifying the advent of Muslim dominance of Delhi - and much of India. Different sources credit Qutb-ud-din-Aibak with being responsible for either 1 or 3 of the 5 storeys. Either 3 or 1 were/was built by his son-in-law and successor, Iltutmish.

    The tower was damaged by lightning twice; the first time in 1326 and the second time in 1368. It was during repairs the second time that Firoz Shah Tughlug added the fifth storey. He also added marble to face the sandstone. Using contrasting colors decoratively in this way would later become a feature of Mughal buildings.

    Today the tower/complex is one of Delhi's most famous landmarks with millions of visitors each year. The Minar has wonderful colors and beautiful carvings. I really loved exploring the complex. Allow a couple of hours to wander the complex.

    Open: Sunrise to Sunset

    Admission: Indians Rs 10, Foreigners Rs 250, Children 15 and under free

    Video Filming Fee: Rs 25 (Non-commercial)

    Qutb Minar Qutb Minar Qutb Minar
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