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Qutab Minar

Location Aurobindo Marg in Mehrauli
How to Reach Take an auto or cab
Timing Sunrise to Sunset

Qutab Minar in DelhiQutab Minar is one of the Indo-Islamic architectural masterpieces of India. The majestic sandstone tower stands 239 feet above the ground. The Qutab Minar is situated in the Qutab complex, near the garden of five senses, in Mehrauli. Built in the early 13th century, this tower of victory was commissioned by Qutab-ud-Din Aibak. Aibak was a general of sultan Muhammad Gauri, who attacked Delhi in 1191 to expand his empire. The only spoilsport is that visitors are not permitted to enter or climb up the Qutab Minar.

This 72.5 m high minaret is the tallest n India and probably in whole of Asia. It expands like an inverted cone with a diameter of 2.75 m at its peak to 14.32 m at its base. It was built adjoining the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, to proclaim the victory of Islam. The name Quwwat-ul-Islam in Arabic means 'The Might of Islam'. It is said to be built to mark the defeat of the last Hindu kingdom in Delhi.

Qutab Minar is the highest stone tower in India, with 379 steps in five distinct stories. It has a distinct architecture, which is unique in terms of style among different minarets in the world. Different stories of Qutab Minar though look similar from outside but have distinct designs from inside. While some floors are angular others are in square formation. These floors are alternatively placed. The tower was built in three stages. Qutab-ud-Din commissioned this building but died before its completion. So only the first floor got completed under his reign. Second, third and the fourth stories were completed by his successor Illtutmish in 1230. It is said that Illtutmish was his slave who later became his Son-in-Law and succeeded him to the throne of Delhi. He took it on himself to complete the project. The Minar was struck by lightening in AD 1368 and the fourth floor fell down. Feroze Shah Tughlaq later replaced the fallen top storey and added the fifth floor in 1370 AD.

The word 'Qutab' means 'axis or pole of justice.' There are various theories, regarding the Qutab Minar. One of them claims that it was a symbol of Islamic justice and of the military might of the Slave Dynasty. Some historians say that it acted as the minaret of Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid (Might of Islam mosque). They claim that it was used for the muezzin to call Azaan. But the claim doesn't hold much ground.