Situated in the posh locality of Mehrauli in South Delhi, Qutab Minar (also know as Qutb Minar and Qutub Minar) is undoubtedly one the most significant attractions in Delhi as it attracts hundreds and thousands of tourists every day. The minaret is supposedly the second tallest minaret in the country (first being Chappar Chiri in the same area) with a stature of 73 metres, and the tallest brick minaret in the world. The historical masterpiece is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a total of 379 stairs and is made of marble and red sandstone.
There have been controversies in the past about the naming of the monument. Some believe that the monument is named after Qutb-Ud-Din Aibak, who started building this edifice, however, some claim that it is named after Qutb-Ud-Din Bakhtiar Kaki, a prominent saint from Baghdad who lived in Delhi during those times. Irrespective of who the minaret is dedicated to, it was created for the primary purpose of calling out the adhan (Muslims call for worship) as Delhi was predominantly ruled by the Moghuls during that period.
The history of the construction of Qutab Minar is as fascinating as the monument itself. The construction of this tower begun in 1193 by Qutb-ud-din Aibak – the first successful Moghul ruler to have established his kingdom in India, and was continued by his successor Iltutmish.In 1368, Firoz Shah Kotla added the fifth storey to the minaret, and after almost 400 years of when the construction of this monument actually began, Sikandar Lodi added the final two storeys. It was during Firoz Shah Kotla and Sikander Lodi’s reign that Qutab Minar went through major repairs and restorations. Each storey in the building is separated by elaborately adorned balconies. There are countless inscriptions and engraving on the walls of the minaret which dictates this rather intriguing history of Qutab Minar’s construction and development over the centuries.
Surprisingly, Qutab Minar is not a standalone structure. In fact, it is surrounded by many other monuments and structures of traditional significance which makes the entire vicinity highly important in the history of India, especially New Delhi. The notable structures surrounding the minaret include two mosques, the Tomb of Iltutmish, Alai-Darwaza, and a 7 meter high iron pillar which stands in the courtyard of one of the two mosques.The iron pillar itself has gathered a lot of attention over the years from all kinds of metallurgical scientists and archaeologists because of it corrosion-proof body. The compounds of the mixture which were used to build this pillar is a proof of the skillful work of blacksmiths in that era. The pillar is also very important to tourists as most believe if you can encircle the pillar with your hands while standing with your back towards the pillar, it fulfills your wish! (Try anyone?)
The nearest metro station is Qutab Minar metro station (yellow line). You can also take a city bus or an autorickshaw to the monument.