Planning to visit Qutub Minar in Delhi and cross off another item crossed from your India bucket list? Read these interesting facts about Qutub Minar before you go to pay more attention and spread information about Qutub Minar to friends and family.
Qutub Minar is a UNESCO world heritage archaeological site in Delhi. Qutub Minar is the tallest brick minaret in the world standing tall at 72.5 meters and thus holds great historical significance. Qutub Minar is one of the most visited historical monuments in Delhi, India. Don’t miss out anything before going to this iconic Delhi’s landmark.
Interesting Facts about Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar is surely a prime tourist attraction from Delhi. Know some nitty-gritty of the attraction and learn these facts about Qutub Minar before heading there –
- Naming – Qutub Minar is named after Qutb al-Din Aibak – the founder of Delhi Sultanate.
- Beginning – Qutub ad-Din Aibak only started the Minaret with a basement and then another 3 floors were added by his successor Iltutmish
- Symbolism – The Qutub Minar was perceived as the symbol of the beginning of Muslim rule in India.
- Construction – After being destroyed by lightning Ferozshah Tuglaq overtook all the restoration work and added another 2 floors making it a total of 5 floors.
- Mosque – Quwwat-us-Islam Mosque – was the first mosque to be built in India ever resides in the premises of Qutub Minar.
- Artisans – Despite being a Muslin landmark in India, it was built by Hindu artisans.
- Tourism – Till 1981, the public was allowed to visit the top of the tower. In December 1981, because of a stampede, around 50 people were killed. Failure of electricity was one of the main cause of the accident and there were 300-400 people inside the tower which led to the panic and thus increasing casualty. Since then, it is now closed for public access to the inside of the tower.
- Height – The height of Qutub Minar and Taj Mahal is almost equal as Qutub Minar loses by a small edge. The height of Qutub Minar is 72.5 meters while Taj Mahal’s height is 73 meters.
Qutub Minar History
Qutub Minar’s history dates back towards the end of the 11th century when Qutb al-Din Aibak, the founder of Delhi Sultanate started its construction. Around 1220, Iltumish – Aibak’s successor and son-in-law added three more towers to the first tower consisting only of a basement. Somewhere around 1360’s lightning struck the tower destroying its third – topmost at that time – completely. After that, Ferozshah Tuglaq restored the tower and added two more floors.
The Qutub complex various monuments including the Iron pillar, Quwwat-us-Islam Mosque, Alai Darwaza, the tomb of Ilutimish and few others.
Qutub Minar Architecture
Qutub Minar tops in the list of historical monuments in Delhi mainly because of its architecture and unique design. The architecture of Qutub Minar is Islāmic but it also depicts the Iranian architectural style. Taking a close look at the Minaret, one can easily find the difference in the architectural styles and the different stones used. The below three floors are of red sandstone which is rather pale in colour, the fourth tower is clearly identified as pure white marble and the last one a mixture of both. There are 379 stairs in Qutub Minar to reach the top, although they are not accessible to tourists. The height of Qutub Minar is 239.5 feet or 72.5 meters and the base diameter is 47 feet / 14.3 meters and the diameter reduces to 2.7 meters on top.
The exteriors of the Qutub Minar engraved with the history of its construction written mainly in Parsi or Arabic. The structure of the Qutub Minar is elongated and conical in shape with balconies on each floor.
How to Reach Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar is located in Mehrauli which is one of the prime locations in Delhi. The Mehrauli area mainly has forest and is a pleasant sight to eyes when seen from the top. A number of great restaurants are located near Mehrauli just to give a peek of Qutub Minar to their guests.
- Metro – Visiting Qutub Minar using Delhi Metro is one of the best mediums. Prior to the Delhi metro, there were options of buses or auto rickshaws. But Delhi metro now conveniently send us quite near to Qutub Minar. As the area surrounding the Qutub Minar is covered under dense forest, the metro station is at about 3 km. Upon getting down from the Qutub Minar’s metro station, one can opt for an auto rickshaw and they charge no more than 50 INR but can bargain till as low as 30 INR. Use Yellow line (Samaypur Badli to Huda City Center) of Delhi metro – Take the metro going towards *Huda City Center* (or Qutub Minar as few metros going only till here). If you wish to avoid the rush, wait for the metro going till Qutub Minar as office goers will probably not board this one.
- Uber/ Ola – Qutub Minar is pleasantly in south Delhi very close to Delhi airport. So if you’re staying anywhere in South Delhi you can opt for a cab. Although I can convey it affirmatively that the main stretch towards Qutub Minar is usually a high-traffic area. If you’re planning to go during peak hours, I highly suggest not to waste much time in cabs and rather opt metro. finds much traffic here and cabs are another comfortable medium for reached here.
- Rented/Personal Car – The drive to the Qutub Minar is surely going to be memorable – minus the traffic. If you plan to drive till Qutub Minar, there’s a parking facility available just outside the ticket counters with a pretty reasonable parking fee.
- Hoho Buses – Take a tour using the amazing service of Hoho buses of Delhi tourism with which you can cover all other monuments as well.
Heading to Delhi for the first time? Read my top tips for first-time travel to Delhi, India.
Entry Ticket for Qutub Minar
The entry ticket for Qutub Minar is marginally placed at 10 INR for Indian nationals and 250 INR for foreign nationalities. Although an extra charge is also placed at 25 INR for non-commercial photography and videography.
Qutub Minar Timings
The Qutub Minar timings start from as early as 7h00 so keep your gear ready and head to Qutub Minar for some stunning sunrise shots. The entry to Qutub Minar closes at 17h00 so you cannot capture sunset exactly especially in summers. But during winters when the days are shorter you can shoot some offbeat pictures of Qutub Minar when the sun is sinking down for the night.
Photography tips for Qutub Minar
I would suggest visiting Qutub Minar on a weekday with fewer tourists. Photographing the Qutub Minar at dawn and dusk will give you some amazing pictures. Check out my Instagram for the unique pictures I clicked. As most of the monuments in Qutub Minar’s complex are in ruins, so I would suggest trying clicking some unique angles like the one below.
Check out my Qutub Minar photo gallery!
I went on a Sunday and the Qutub Minar complex was flowing with tourists and it was difficult to click. So if you love photography with fewer people around, I would suggest going as early as possible and avoid weekends.
Iron Pillar of Delhi
Another marvel piece from Delhi’s history is the 3rd century dated *Iron Pillar*. As the name suggests, the pillar is made of 98% iron. Still going strong after all bearing all wear and tear, the iron pillar hasn’t rusted yet which is another mystery. If historians are to be believed the Iron pillar was built in honor of Chandragupta II long before the Muslim dynasty came to power in Delhi. The pillar stands high at 7.2 meters with an image of God Garuda on top showcasing the reign of Hindu dynasty. The Iron Pillar of Delhi is believed to be not of Delhi origin and rather brought to Delhi from the Udaygiri caves of Madhya Pradesh – the reason for which is not known.
Suggested Read – Roam through the ruins of Safdarjung Tomb!
The inscriptions are made on the Iron Pillar of Delhi in Brahmi script which I witness closely in the Asoka Edicts near Shanti Stupa. This clearly signifies the iron pillar as one of the distinguished historical monuments of Delhi.
Did you visit Qutub Minar the largest brick minaret in the world and one the most visited historical monuments in Delhi? Did you get a chance to see the Qutub Minar in your visit to the Indian capital?? Do share your experience with me!
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– The Wanderer