Qutub Minar, the 2nd largest Minar of India also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Interestingly, it is often compared to Leaning Minar of Pisa due to its structure! Made out of Red Sandstone as well as Marble; it’s a unique place to in. Located in Old Delhi, it’s 72.5 meters in height and has a base diameter of 14.3 meters. Inside the tower there are a total of 379 steps (which are now closed to visitors as well as general public), which reach the top of the tower. The Top storey of the Minaret was reconstructed by Sikander Lodi, made of Marble.
In fact, when one visits the place one finds that it’s not just a pillar which calls for millions of people each year, but the entire complex.
If one looks at it closely, one can see numerous inscriptions Parso – Arabic and Nagri characters in various sections of Qutub Minar. These inscriptions rattle out the history behind this Minaret, how it was thought of it be constructed, the reason behind its construction and when – when repairs were done.
Qutub Minar was ordered to be made by Qutubdinn Aibak - the first Muslim Ruler of Delhi. However, it was completed by his successor – Illtumish. Basically meant for listening Adhan, it says a lot about the Mughal architectural design and architecture. With Inscriptions from Quran, it has got a number of cylindrical shafts which are separated by balconies. The monument has its first three storeys made of red sandstone, 4th is and 5th of marble and sandstone. At the foot of Qutub Minar is a Mosque which is quite interesting in itself. It also speaks about the Mughal influence in Indian Culture which was prominent at that time period. For those interested in Architecture and Indian History, a visit to this place can be an eye opener.
The most interesting fact about Qutub Minar is that it tilts just over 60 centimeters from the vertical – the basic reason why it is compared to Minar of Pisa!
Qutub Minar Complex basically includes Iron Pillar (not rusted for over 1600 years – an unsolved mystery till now!) of installed by Emperor Ashoka and Alai Minar.
Iron Pillar - It stands in the courtyard of Quwwat-ul- Islam mosque, this 7m high Iron Pillar, inside the Qutub Complex. 2 facts make this place interesting – the 6 line original Sanskrit inscriptions of A.D. 413 era.
Held in October - November in Qutub Minar Complex. This festival includes several days of Sufi singing and Indian Classical music as well as dance performances. It’s generally free and all are invited. Thousands throng in; in the chilling winters of Delhi as the festive rises from evening 8:00 p.m. till 03:00 a.m. in the morning!