9 February 2015

The Qutub Complex - A Photo Essay

Qutub Minar is one such heritage site, which non of the travelers visiting Delhi give a miss. I still remember my grandma, narrating her tour to Qutub. More than the minar, the remains of Jain temples in the complex was what she used to remember from her tour. My grandparents had traveled most of central and western India(especially Jain Pilgrimages), and which is related to me starting this blog, yes that of course needs a separate blog post to narrate my grandparent's travel dairy. Meanwhile getting back to Qutub Minar, we reached here after the visit to Lotus Temple. We took our entry ticket in the HOHO Bus itself, thats one of the best things, if you opt to explore Delhi in HOHO Bus. Though the ticket counter was not that crowded, we were told there are very long queues during weekends. 
Qutub Minar, Delhi, Golden Triangle Tour, India, Qutub Minar Complex
Though the tower is visible right from the entrance, you walk through other monuments in the complex to reach it. As you walk through the main gate, there is information center, where you get the audio guide. After a walk through the garden, you reach the Qutub Minar through the Alai Darwaza, the main gateway from southern side of Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque.
Qutub Minar, Delhi, Golden Triangle Tour, India, Qutub Minar Complex
Decorated in redstone and white marble, with inscriptions, Alai Darwaza is said to be the first building in India with Islamic architecture in construction and ornamentation.
Qutub Minar, Delhi, Golden Triangle Tour, India, Qutub Minar Complex

Qutub Minar, Delhi, Golden Triangle Tour, India, Qutub Minar Complex
Of the remnants of seven capital cities of Delhi(check the seven capitals here), the construction of Qutub Minar was started during the second capital, Mehrauli. It is said to be started in 1192 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak to celebrate the victory of Mohammed Ghori over the last Hindu kingdom in Delhi, which was then added upon by Iltutmish and Firoz Shah Tughlaq(the last two storeys) to get its present structure by 1388.
This 73 m-high tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony and tapers from a 15 m diameter at the base to just 2.5 m at the top. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone, the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone, marking a variation in construction material and architectural style from Aibak to Tughlaq. The tower along with the other surrounding monuments are listed as UNESCO World Heritage site.
Qutub Minar, Delhi, Golden Triangle Tour, India, Qutub Minar Complex

Qutub Minar, Delhi, Golden Triangle Tour, India, Qutub Minar Complex
Qutub Minar, Delhi, Golden Triangle Tour, India, Qutub Minar Complex
It is said that, the structure was constructed by demolishing many Hindu and Jain temples. Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque in the complex still preserves many structures, which proves the same.
Qutub Minar, Delhi, Golden Triangle Tour, India, Qutub Minar Complex 
Qutub Minar, Delhi, Golden Triangle Tour, India, Qutub Minar Complex
While there are many monuments in the complex, the iron pillar is one which gains significance just after the minar. The pillar is said to be originally erected by Chandragupta II in front of Vishnu Temple complex in Udayagiri around 402AD, which was later shifted here by Aangpal in 10th century. This 7.21 meters pillar weighing six tonnes, is said to be corrosion resistant which makes the pillar world's foremost metallurgical curiosities.
There is a belief that a person's wish comes true if he is able to join his hands around the pillar with his back to the pillar. The pillar is shot in many Bollywood movies, the one I remember is the movie Cheeni Kum, when Mr. Amitabh Bacchan is here to wish his loved one's well being.
Qutub Minar, Delhi, Golden Triangle Tour, India, Qutub Minar Complex 



There are many tombs and a Madarsa in the complex, including the tomb of Itutmish, who added to the construction of the minar and Alauddin Khilji, the second Sultan of Delhi.
Qutub Minar, Delhi, Golden Triangle Tour, India, Qutub Minar Complex

Qutub Minar, Delhi, Golden Triangle Tour, India, Qutub Minar Complex

Qutub Minar, Delhi, Golden Triangle Tour, India, Qutub Minar Complex
Alai Minar is yet another structure you can't miss as you are on the way back from the complex. This is a abondoned minar, which was started by Alauddin Khilji and said to be started to be built double the height of Qutub Minar. Its construction was abondoned just after the completion of 24.5meter height. We can just image, how tall the structure would have stood, if it was completed, a minor double the height of present Qutub.
Qutub Minar, Delhi, Golden Triangle Tour, India, Qutub Minar Complex
The complex is just not about Qutub Minar, but reflects a series of architectural flow from Jain temples to Islamic architecture, through the Aibak and Tughlaq rule, till the British era. The complex has lot to see and explore, which definitely needs half a day to explore in ease. 

Travel Info:
Qutub Complex is in Mehrauli, Delhi. Nearest metro station is Qutub Minar station.
Entry fee:
Indian visitors: Rs. 10/-
Foreign visitors: Rs. 250/-
Open all days, sunrise to sunset

Related Posts: Check out the complete series on Golden Triangle Tour.  

15 comments:

  1. well done some photo frames are awesome !

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Paresh, thank you for dropping by..

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  2. Passing close to this site almost for the last 20 years & have been to this place for couple of times.

    post is good n equally supported by beautiful pics !

    my post on Q.minar

    http://maheshndivya.blogspot.in/2014/07/spending-day-on-mehrauli-delhi-gurgaon.html

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Mahesh, checked your post, its well presented.. Thank you for dropping by..

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  3. Nice Pictures . visited in December 14. A must visit place

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Yogi, would like to read about your experience..

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  4. Oh, so this is where the first piece of Mughal architecture is! Thank you for the info. :)
    I have a photo post -- a really old one -- on the Qutub complex. (The pictures are not so great; over a decade old and taken on a point and shoot. :))
    My favourite part of this place was the Alai Minar. I was so attracted to it. :)

    Nice pics, Meghana.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Divya, will look out for your post..

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  5. An informative post Meghana. Brings back my Delhi days memories :)

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  6. Nicely written. Nice photos. Some more closeups and shots of jain temples may have improved the narrative further. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Bloggers like you are very few on World Wide Web and I am happy to found you. It’s like finding a pearl in the sea, tough but fruitful. Best wishes and regards.

    Qutub minar

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