The Qutab Minar (also spelled Qutb or Qutub, Urdu : ), a tower in Delhi, India, is at 72.

5 meters the world's tallest brick minaret . It is situated in the Qutb complex, amidst the ruins of ancient Hindu temples which were destroyed and their stones used to build the Qutb complex and minar. Construction commenced in 1193 under the orders of India's first Muslim ruler Qutb-ud-din Aibak, and the topmost storey of the minaret was completed in 1386 by Firuz Shah Tughluq . The Qutb Minar is notable for being one of the earliest and most prominent examples of Indo-Islamic architecture .It is surrounded by several other ancient and medieval structures and ruins, collectively known as Qutb complex . The complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Delhi, and was also India's most visited monument in 2006, as it attracted 38.95 lakh visitors, even more than the Taj Mahal , which drew about 25.4 lakh visitors

The Qutab Minar is tall with 379 steps leading to the top. The diameter of the base is 14.3 meters wide while the top floor measures 2.75 meters in diameter. Surrounding the building are many fine examples of Indian artwork from the time it was built in 1193. A second tower was in construction and planned to be taller than the Qutb Minar itself. Its construction ended abruptly when it was about 12 meters tall.The name of this tower is given as Alai Minar and construction of recent studies shows that this structure has been tilted in one direction. It is made of red sandstone all the way except for two stories at the top. This part is of white marble and was made by Firoz Shah Tughlaq. He had decided to put a more prominent finish to the magnificent minar.ilike it

Inspired by the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan and wishing to surpass it, Qutbuddin Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced construction of the Qutb Minar in 1193, but could only complete its base. His successor, Iltutmish, added three more stories and, in 1386, Firuz Shah Tughluqconstructed the fifth and the last story. The development of architectural styles from Aibak to Tughluq are quite evident in the minaret. Like earlier towers erected by the Ghaznavids and Ghurids in Afghanistan , the Qutb Minar comprises several superposed flanged and cylindrical shafts, separated by balconies carried on Muqarnas corbel s. The minaret is made of fluted red sandstone covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Qur'an . The Qutb 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, the last Hindu rulers of Delhi . The complex initially housed 27 ancient Hindu temples which were destroyed and their debris used to build the Qutb minar. One engraving on the Qutb Minar reads, "Shri Vishwakarma prasade rachita" (Conceived with the grace of Vishwakarma), this is thought to have been engraved by the enslaved Hindu craftsmen who built the minar. The purpose for building this monument has been variously speculated upon. It could take the usual role of a minaret, calling people for prayer in the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque , the earliest extant mosque built by the Delhi Sultans. Other possibilities are a tower of victory, a monument signifying the might of Islam , or a watch tower for defense. Controversy also surrounds the origins for the name of the tower. Many historians believe that the Qutb Minar was named after the first Turkish sultan, Qutb-ud-din Aibak, but others contend that it was named in honour of Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki , a saint from Transoxiana who came to live in India and was greatly venerated by Iltutmish. The nearby Iron Pillar is one of the world's foremost metallurgical curiosities, standing in the famous Qutb complex . According to the traditional belief, anyone who can encircle the entire column with their arms, with their back towards the pillar, can have their wish granted. Because of the corrosive qualities of sweat the government has built a fence around it for safety.

and Arabic. The other stories were built by his successor Iltutmish. Another factor that inadvertently contributed to this fusion of style was that during the early Muslim invasions. Though both the Indian and Islamic styles have their own distinctive features. Persian. However. it is an assimilation of both the styles. The area around Qutab Minar has a number of important monuments and together they constitute the Qutab complex. there are a number of monuments within the Qutab complex apart from the Qutab Minar: The Quuwat-ul-Islam Mosque was the first mosque to be built in India. The tapering tower has pointed and circular flutings on the first story round and star-shaped on the second and third stories. heralded the beginning of a new style of art and architecture that came to be known as the Indo-Islamic style. In many ways. used parts of 27 Jain and Hindu temples to build it. and there is no standardization.5 m and is covered with intricate carvings and verses from the holy Qur'an. Islamic influences dominated while in the Deccan. On the other hand. The projected balconies in the tower are supported by exquisite stalactite designs. which had various Muslims influences-Turkish. replacing the original fourth story. mosques were often built out of materials from Hindu and Jain temples and sometimes temples themselves were modified into mosques. Indian craftsmen and sculptors who were schooled in their own art traditions. QUTAB MINAR MONUMENT OF INDIA The Qutab Minar is a fluted red sandstone tower. It is so because each region in India has its own form of Indo-Islamic architecture. Islamic art itself was a composite style. Most of these edifices were the first of their kind in India. who came to India and settled here. the Qutab Minar. some common characteristics made fusion and adaptation easy. nor a modification of Hindu art. the founder of the Slave dynasty. Indo-Islamic style is neither a local variant of Islamic art. In Bengal. . Both the styles favor ornamentation and buildings of both styles are marked by the presence of an open court encompassed by chambers or colonnades. The two circular stories in white marble were built by Ferozshah Tughlaq in 1368. is also significant for what it represents in the history of Indian culture. local styles were more prominent in the buildings. it is also an excellent example of early Islamic architecture in India. QUTAB MINAR BIRTH OF INDO-ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE The Qutab Minar. apart from being a marvel in itself.QUTAB MINAR FACTS & FIGURES Year of construction : 1193 (started) Built by : Qutub-ud-din Aibak Location : Delhi QUTAB MINAR THE QUTAB COMPLEX The Qutab Minar is identified with Delhi. However. Rulers from different parts of the Muslim world. The bands of calligraphic inscriptions are amazing in perfection with the exquisite stalactite designs seen on the exterior of this tower. which tapers up to a height of 72. though not always in an equal degree. the indigenous practice of using bricks for building was adopted and the monuments were richly decorated with chiseled and molded decorations typical of Hindu temples. Qutub-ud-din Aibak. brought with them the artistic traditions of their regions. the first monument of Muslim rule in India. mosques or madrassas (theological colleges). In Delhi. as the Leaning Tower is associated with the city of Pisa or the Eiffel Tower with Paris. the muezzin to call the faithful to prayer. which varies from place to place. Qutub-ud-din Aibak began constructing this victory tower as a sign of Muslim domination of Delhi and as a minaret for the Muslim priest. be they mausoleums. The intermingling of such traditions with local Indian practices resulted in different examples of Indo-Islamic art. This amalgamation of exotic and indigenous architectural styles was possible due to a variety or factorsthe Muslim rulers had to use. Both Indian and Islamic features are present. The Qutab Minar and the other buildings surrounding it are fine examples of the Delhi style of Indo-Islamic art and architecture. only the first story was completed by Qutb-ud-din. It is not only an important tourist spot in Delhi. in most cases.

and yet come up with something new and remarkable. This pillar. for the concept of building huge mausoleums was new. seven different cities of Delhi have sprung up and today's Delhi is a fusion of all these cities. calligraphy. Another mystifying factor is that despite being exposed to the elements. The Qutab Minar is a living testimony to Delhi's hoary past. anyone who stands with his back to the pillar and encircles it with his arms will have his wish granted. To the west of the Quuwat-ul-Islam mosque is another remarkable building-the Tomb of Iltutmish. 7. According to popular belief. and 37 cm in diameter. The rather plain exterior conceals an interior with many interesting examples of the Indo-Islamic style. One can see visitors to the Qutab Minar trying their luck at the pillar. is said to have been transported here. one of Akbar's courtiers. integrate.2 m high. The Alai Darwaza is a magnificent gateway with inlaid marble decorations and latticed stone screens that display the remarkable artistry of the Turkish artisans who worked on it. which stands in the courtyard of the Quuwat-ul-Islam mosque. the pillar has remained rustfree.The mosque is in ruins today. but its construction was abandoned after the completion of the 24. incidentally. The other tombs in the Qutab complex include those of Ala-ud-din-Khilji. QUTAB MINAR .5-m-high first story. The dome no longer exist as it has collapsed-the corbelled squinches testify to an early amalgamation that went wrong. but its origins remain a mystery. as well as Islamic practices such as squinches (setting arches diagonally to a square to support a dome). This is further borne out by the fact that since the medieval times. a Sufi saint from Turkestan who came to India during the reign of Sikandar Lodi (1488-1517) and Muhammad Quli Khan. the capital of the Rajput Tomars and the Chauhans. Imam Zambian. . but one can see indigenous corbelled arches. Also nearby are Ala-ud-din Khilji's mausoleum and a madrassa. a flaw that characterizes early Indo-Islamic architecture. floral motifs. This building was definitely a departure from the norm. which was built by the monarch himself in 1235. is built on the ruins of Lal Kot in the city of Dillika. and geometric patterns.IMPORTANT MONUMENTS WITHIN THE QUTAB MINAR COMPLEX Later monuments in this complex include the Alai Darwaza and the Alai Minar built by Ala-ud-din Khilji (1296-1316). with its distinctly Hindu inscriptions from the Gupta period. The Qutab complex is thus symbolic of Delhi's ability to assimilate. Any write-up on the Qutab Minar will be incomplete without mentioning the 4th-century Iron Pillar. The Alai Minar was conceived of as a greater tower than the Qutab Minar. who were the last Hindu rulers of Delhi. There is a fusion of Indian and Islamic decorative motifs-the lotus and the wheel belonging to the former tradition and geometric arabesque patterns and calligraphy from the latter genre. The Qutab Complex.

Sher Mandal. It is not even a tower in the true sense of the word. Sher Shah razed to the ground the few structures within the fort and built the grand Qala-i-Kohna masjid (which is now in ruins) and a double-storied octagonal tower in red sandstone surmounted by a pavilion with just a little decoration in marble. INDO-ISLAMIC STYLE OF ARCHITECTURE The Sher Mandal is neither a mosque. For some years. The interior of the tomb is sufficiently well ventilated and lighted through large windows on the top portion of the walls. A. Though Humayun established his capital at Dinpanah in Delhi. he could only complete the massive fort walls and three magnificent gateways. use of arches. laid the foundation of his city Dinpanah in 1533 and chose the ancient Indraprastha site for his fort. . nor a mausoleum. as it was here that the second Mughal emperor Humayun fell to his death. and the overall look reflect Islamic elements. Sher Shah Suri. The Sher Mandal has a touch of sadness attached to it. drove him out. he could not rule there for long as Sher Shah Suri. supported by pillars) on the roof and shallow carvings on the outer walls show local influence. AN INTRIGUING STRUCTURE The Sher Mandal is an intriguing structure since the purpose why it was built is not clear. the use of the chhatri (small domed canopy. In the middle of the terrace stands the mausoleum proper on a low octagonal plinth. SHER MANDAL Sher Mandal is situated in the Purana Quila or the Old Fort.57 mts.10 mts wide verandah. The total height of the tomb above the terrace measures 37. some three months after the death of Sher Shah Suri.H. In a small arched recess above the mihrab on the western wall is an inscription in two lines recording the completion of the tomb by Salim Shah on the 7th day of Jumada. As he belonged to the eastern part of India. The tomb of his father Hassan Shah and that of his son Salim Shah are some other monuments of architectural as well as archaeological interest at Sasaram.Shershah suri tomb at sasaram Sher Shah was a great builder too. Surrounding the main dome are eight pillared cupolas on the corners of the octagon. The building consists of a very large octagonal chamber surrounded by a 3. It is located in the precincts of the Purana Quila or the Old Fort. It is an imposing brick structure partly veneered with stone standing in the middle of a fine square tank measuring about 305 mts and rising above a large stone terrace. He built a new city on the bank of Yamuna river near Delhi of which the sole survivor is the Old fort (Purana Qila) and the mosque within it known for its lavishness of decoration. it was a pleasure pavilion. the second Mughal emperor.00 mts externally. who built the Sher Mandal. Possibly for its position on the hillock. The tomb is regarded as one of the noblest specimens of Afghan architecture in India. is too small to have been a residential palace. In the first part of his rule (up to 1540). Each face of the building (strangely on both the floors) has an arched opening(the room-like area within the arch on the first floor was probably used as a pavilion for viewing surrounding areas). an Afghan chieftain who ruled eastern India. Each arm of the octagon measures about 17. Humayun spent a life of exile in the court of the Persian ruler of Iran. was a contemporary of the Mughal emperor Humayun. He became the Mughal emperor after the death of his father Babur in 1530. the buildings made by him show a blend of Islamic as well as traditional Indian styles. which was a blend of both Hindu and Islamic architecture. Humayun. when the Afghan chieftain Sher Shah defeated him. The Sher Mandal confirms to the elements of the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. While the octagonal shape. But his most outstanding contribution to the field of architecture is the construction of his own tomb at Sasaram. Bihar which combines soberness with elegance.15 mts high terrace is enclosed by a parapet wall with octagonal domed pavilions at four corners. It is an octagonal building having two floors. 952 (16th August 1545 AD). The 9. as this tower is called.

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