My Yellow Suitcase

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QUTUB MINAR – An Indo-Islamic Style of Architecture

QutubMinar is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in New Delhi, India.  It is significant in the history of Indian culture, as being the first monument of Muslim rule in India after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu ruler.  It also marked the beginning of the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. The QutubMinar is one of the tallest brick minaret in the world, with a height of 72.5 metres (237.8 ft). In order to reach the top you must climb 379 steps.

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Many historically significant structures surround the QutubMinar.  These include the Iron Pilar 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 and are part of the Qutub Complex.  These monuments are collectively called Qutub complex.

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The complex took 75 years to complete. It was constructed with red sandstone, marble, lime mortar and rubble masonry.  What makes the sandstone walls of the monument beautiful is the verses meticulously carved on them.Some of these verses are from the Quran, while others tell the tower’s history, and describe the changes and renovations made through the ages.  These was carried out by the skilled worker from the ancient era.Interestingly, it has survived many ravages encountered in the past.

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The ticket price is 10 INR for locals and 250 INR for foreigners. There is a separate line for the foreigners, which makes it easier to buy a ticket.   Make sure to count your money before leaving the counter.  We trusted the teller so much that we didn’t count our change right away and when we did we are already meters away.  We have to go back to get it right, a hassle you don’t want to experience on a holiday.

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Right after you stepped out of the ticket counter, tourist guides professional or not will chase you offering their services.  Knowledgeable tourist guide is highly recommended because there’s a lot of interesting facts to learn inside the complex.  Something that you cannot get wandering alone.  We pay 350 rupees to this guy. If you want you can give additional as tip.

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Map of the complex. This is where the tour begin.

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Entry to the complex.

qutub-minar-india-balconsThe balcony  (photo courtesy of travellingboard.net)

The minar was used as a watch tower, and I’m sure the view from the top is amazing. Too bad they don’t allow anyone to go inside the minar anymore.

 

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Closer view of the minaret.  The hole in the minaret was used for ventilation.

qutab-minarThe verses of Holy Quran, on this magnificent tower.

6270934670_989b326c2dThe walls of Qutub Minar surrounding the minar were covered in intricate sandstone screens and white marble inlay work., a true masterpiece of Mughal Islamic craftsmanship.

20131115_153841Inscribed floral motifs and arabesque

 

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Iron Pillar (photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org)

There is a seven-metre-tall pureIron Pillar in the complex. It is one of the most valued metallurgical structures of the world. It hasn’t rusted in the slightest, mystifying scientists and metallurgists. According to a belief, anyone standing in front of pillar and able to encircle it with arms from the back will be granted a wish. Unfortunately a fence now keeps wish-seekers out.

 

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This was the Muslim ruler Ala-ud-din Khilji’s grand attempt to build an identical tower twice the height of Qutub Minar. However his death in 1316 left the incomplete tower standing at just 80.3 feet (24.5 meters)

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The arched Alai Darwaza. A red sandstone masterpiece.

 

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The first mosque constructed in India following the country’s Islamic conquest. Its interior exhibits intricate sandstone carving that includes lotus flowers and Islamic calligraphy

1024px-Tomb_of_Alauddin_Khilji,_Qutub_Minar_complex,_Delhi Alauddin Khilji’s Tomb (photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org)

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Alauddin Khilji’s Madarsa (photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org)

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Tomb of Iltutmish.  It is a plain square chamber of red sandstone.

 
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Qutub Minar was declared as of the World Heritage Sites in India.

qutab-minar (1)I was amazed at the amount of birds flying from pillar to pillar and chirping along the way.

20131115_153417Qutub Minar, while attracting plenty of foreign tourists, is also a huge attractions for local Indians. Perhaps because we went on the weekend, there were plenty of families out for a day of sightseeing and lots of school groups as well. It is a must visit for all.

How to reach QutubMinar:

  • Bus:DTC service to QutubMinar is available from all the major bus stations in Delhi.
  • Metro:One can also opt for Metro train service to reach there. Get down at the Mehrauli station and take a walk till Qutub.
  • Other Services:You can also go for private cars or even taxis and auto.

Entry fees:

  • Indians: 10
  • Foreigners: 250

Timings:

  • 9 am – 7 pm(everyday)
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