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Icons of India 3: Qutab Complex

May 24, 2010

The complex is listed as aUNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Delhi, and was also India’s most visited monument in 2006, as it attracted 3.9 million visitors, even more than the Taj Mahal, which drew about 2.5 million visitors.

  • Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque was built by Qutb-ud-din Aybak during 1193-97.
  • It was the first mosque built in Delhi after the Islamic conquest of India.
  • According to a Persian inscription still on the inner eastern gateway, the mosque was built by the parts taken by destruction of twenty-seven Jain temples, hence explaining the ornate pilasters in the complex

  • The Iron pillar is said to have been made during the reign of Chandragupta II Vikramaditya (375–413) dating back to 912BCE and was shifted from Udaygiri. The iron pillar has been a subject of study of many archaeologists and metallurgists to find out how it has been able to withstand corrosion even after being kept in open air for more than 1600 years.

  • Qutb Minar is the tallest brick minaret in the world, at 239 ft.
  • Built as a Victory Tower, to celebrate the the victory of Mohammed Ghori over Rajput king, Prithviraj Chauhan, in 1192 AD, by his then viceroy, Qutbuddin Aibak and was completed in 1386 by Firuz Shah Tughluq
  • The 5 storeys vary in style and bear the timestamp of history as they range from the architectural styles from Aibak to Tuglaq

  • Alauddin Khilji started building the Alai Minar and conceived this tower to be two times higher than Qutb Minar
  • The construction was however abandoned, just after the completion of the 24.5 meter high first storey core; soon after death of Ala-ud-din in 1316 AD

Full guided tour , More Information

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