seven-wonders - Qutb Minar, New Delhi, India

Qutb Minar, New Delhi, India   Facebook share

Qutb Minar, also written as Qutub Minar, at 73 meters, is the second tallest minar in India after Fateh Burj in Chappar Chiri at Mohali, which measures 100 meters in height. Qutub Minar along with the ancient and medieval monuments surrounding it form the Qutb Complex, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tower is located in the Mehrauli area of Delhi, India. Made of red sandstone and marble, Qutub Minar is a 73 meters (240 feet) tall tapering tower with a diameter measuring 14.32 meters (47 feet) at the base and 2.75 meters (9 feet) at the peak. Inside the tower, a circular staircase with 379 steps, leads from the bottom to the top storey.Entry to the tower has remained restricted since 1981, when a stampede inside Qutub Minar left 45 visitors dead.

In 1199 AD Qutub-ud-din Aibak, the founder of the Delhi Sultanate, started construction of the bottom storey of Qutub Minar. Around 1220 AD, Aibak's successor, Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, added three storeys on top of Aibak's first. In 1369 AD, lightning struck the top storey, destroying it completely. Firoz Shah Tughlaq, the 19th emperor of Delhi (1351-1388) carried out restoration work and replaced the damaged storey with two new storeys, made of both red sandstone and white marble.
Qutub Minar is surrounded by several historically significant monuments, which are historically connected with the tower and are part of the Qutb Complex. These include the Iron Pillar of Delhi, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, Alai Darwaza, the Tomb of Iltutmish, Alai Minar, Ala-ud-din's Madrasa and Tomb, and the Tomb of Imam Zamin. Other minor monuments include Major Smith's Cupola and Sanderson's Sundial.
The construction of Qutub Minar was commissioned by Qutub-ud-din Aibak, the founder of the Delhi Sultanate in 1199 AD. Aibak's successor, and the third emperor of the Delhi Sultanate, Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, added three more storeys.
It has not been established with certainty whether Qutub Minar has been named after Qutub-ud-din fazil, the emperor who commissioned its construction, or Qutbuddin Bakhtiar fazil, the famous Sufi saint. Iltutmish was a follower of the saint and it is said that the tower was the saint's staff. However, there is no historical evidence which proves the theories. It is also believed since Qutub Minar was part of Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, it was used to issue Azaan, calling the devout to pray.
The culture of tower architecture was well established in India before the arrival of the Turks as can be understood from the Kirti Stambh at Chittor, Rajasthan. However, there is no evidence on record to confirm that the Qutb Minar was inspired or influenced by earlier Rajput towers.At present it does not have the topmost storey which was destroyed by lightning in 1368AD
The minar is itself built on the ruins of the Lal Kot, the Red Citadel in the city of Dhillika, the capital of the Tomars and the Chauhans. It was made by the first ruler of Mamluk dynasty, Qutb-Ud-Din Aibak.
Numerous inscriptions in Parso-Arabic and Nagari characters in different sections of the Qutb Minar reveal the history of its construction. According to the inscriptions on its surface it was repaired by Firoz Shah Tughlaq (AD 1351–89) and Sikandar Lodi (AD 1489–1517).[citation needed]
The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, located to the north of Qutub Minar, was built by Qutub-ud-din Aibak in 1192 AD. It is the earliest surviving mosque in the Indian subcontinent, other than the ones in the Kutch region of Gujarat, India
Later, an arched screen was erected and the mosque was enlarged by Iltutmish (1210–35 AD) and Ala-ud-din Khilji.

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