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Qutb Minar Complex

The Qutb Minar complex is near Mehrauli Village on the outskirts of Delhi, to the south east.  The site was developed from 1193 by Qutb-ud-din as Muslim rule began in India.  Based on the site of a Hindu temple Qutb-ud-din built the first Indian Mosque here called Quwwat-ul-Islam (The Might of Islam) and the Minar itself which is a 72m high tower, it was not finally completed until 1368 when the top two storeys of red sandstone and white marble were added to the original red sandstone ones.

The mosque has lost much of its roof but the overall layout can still be determined.

Within the interior of the mosque is a black iron pillar, shown in the above picture.  The origin of the pillar is uncertain but a Sanskrit inscription suggests that is was raised to the memory of Chandragupta who ruled from AD375-413.  It is very pure and has no rust, adding to its mystery as it is generally accepted that the technology did not exist at that time to cast such a piece.  It remains a puzzle.

Other structures were built around the site over the next few centuries and include, the tomb of Altamish, son-in-law of Qutb-ud-din, who died in 1235.

Also the Alai Darwaza Gateway (to the lower right below), in 1310

In 1300 an attempt was made to build an even larger tower, known as the Alai Minar, which was to be twice as high as the Qutb Minar, however it only reached the height of 27m and was never completed.

 

We had a very enjoyable afternoon around this site and you can see some more pictures on the following pages.

QM2QM3

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