Location : Mehrauli in South Delhi
Named After : Qutab-ud-din Aibak
Famous As : Highest brick tower in the world
Listed In : World Heritage Site
Built in : 1193 A.D.
Architecture Inspired By : Minaret of Jam
Example of : Indo Islamic Architecture.
Structure : 72.5 metres High with 399 Steps
Leading to the Top. Base is 14.3 metres wide,
Top Floor is 2.75 meters wide.
History : Started by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak
but was Completed by His Son-in-law Iltutmish
and Further By Firoz Shah Tughlak.
Must Visit : Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque to the
Northeast of Minar - First Mosque Built by Delhi
Sultans, Tomb of Iltutmish, Plain Square Chamber
of Red Sandstone.
Don't Miss : Hidden Pathways Used as an Escapade
by the Kings, that are Believed to Lead up to
the Red Fort.
Other Complex Attractions : Madarsa, Graves,
Tombs, Mosque and Architectural Structures.
Must See : Iron Pillar - Never Got Rusted
since Errected, Copiously Carved with Inscriptions
on the Minerate, Alai-Darwaza - An Arched Gate
Built in 1311 AD.
The Fact : The Archaeological Survey of India
has Confirmed that these Monuments were Built
by the Refused Stones of Jain Temples that were
Demolished to Construct these Marvels.
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 Qutub Minar in 1193, but could only complete
its base. His successor, Iltutmish, added three
more storeys and, in 1368, Firuz Shah Tughluq
constructed the fifth and the last storey. The
development of architectural styles from Aibak
to Tuglak are quite evident in the minaret.
Like earlier towers erected by the Ghaznavids
and Ghurids in Afghanistan, the Qutub Minar
comprises several superposed flanged and cylindrical
shafts, separated by balconies carried on Muqarnas
corbels. The minaret is made of fluted red sandstone
covered with intricate carvings and verses from
the Qur'an. The Qutub Minar is itself built
on the ruins of Lal Kot, the Red Citadel in
the city of Dhillika, the capital of the Tomars
and the Chauhans, the last Hindu rulers of Delhi.
The purpose for building this monument has
been variously speculated upon. It could take
the usual role of a minaret, calling people
for prayer in the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, the
earliest extant mosque built by the Delhi Sultans.
Other possibilities are a tower of victory,
a monument signifying the might of Islam, or
a watch tower for defense. Controversy also
surrounds the origins for the name of the tower.
Many historians believe that the Qutub Minar
was named after the first Turkish sultan, Qutb-ud-din
Aibak but others contend that it was named in
honour of Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, a saint from
Baghdad who came to live in India and was greatly
venerated by Iltutmish.
The nearby Iron Pillar is one of the world's
foremost metallurgical curiosities, standing
in the famous Qutub Complex. According to the
traditional belief, any one who can encircle
the entire column with their arms, with their
back towards the pillar, can have their wish
granted. Because of the corrosive qualities
of sweat, people are no longer allowed to perform
The other historic sites of interest that
lie within the Qutub Minar Complex in Delhi
are the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, Iron Pillar,
Alai Darwaza, Alai Minar, Ala-ud-din Madrasa
and the tomb of Illtumish.
The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque was constructed
on the demolished remains of an ancient Hindu
temple near the foot of the splendid Qutub Minar
that dominates the Delhi skyline. Supposedly
the first ever mosque to be built in Delhi,
the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque courtyard has an
amazing Iron Pillar that displays an inscription
that has been traced back to the Chandragupta
Maurya period. Historians believe the pillar
may have been brought from someplace in Bihar,
India. An intriguing feature about the 1600
hundred-year pillar is that fact that it consists
of 98 percent pure iron that shows no signs
of rusting. Scientists are still trying to fathom
as to how such a pure state of iron could have
been obtained as modern technology has still
not been able to achieve this remarkable feat.