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Friday, April 8, 2016

Qutub Minar, Mehrauli, New Delhi (Const 1206-36 CE)




The Qutub Minar was commissioned by Qutbuddin Aibak in 1206 CE and completed by Sultan Iltutmish in 1236 CE. This minaret is believed to have been named after Hazrat Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, a Sufi saint of Chistiya Silsila. He was revered by Sultan Iltutmish and his shrine/dargah is close to the Qutb Complex.

The Qutb Minar is the tallest brick minaret in the world (at 72 metres). As per various historians this UNESCO World Heritage Site is believed to have been inspired by the Minarets of Jam, Ghazni, Bukhara e.t.c. But Historian Ziyauddin Desai believed that the Qutb Minar is inspired by a minar in Khwaja Siyaposh in Sistan (S-W Afghanistan).

Qutub Minar has a total of 5 stories and it was topped by a chattri (installed by Ferozeshah Tughluq). The lowermost, and the tallest floor has 24 flutings. The architecture of the Qutub Minar is such that from a distance it would appear like a bundle of reeds ! Inscriptions on the minar have been found in Perso-Arabic and Nagari Scripts which shed light on its history and the repair works done over it.

Being so tall in height the Qutub Minar has often been prone to lightning strikes across the ages. It has been damaged and subsequently repaired quite a few times across its 816 years old existence by various sultans like Ferozeshah Tughlaq (14th Cent CE), Sultan Sikandar Lodi (1489 - 1517 CE) and the Britishers (in early 1800's CE).

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Sources -
1. Indo-Islamic Architecture by Ziyauddin Desai
2. ASI Sources (Website/Information Board)
2. Wikipedia