Qutb Minar

क़ुतुब मीनार

( Qutb Minar )

The Qutb Minar, also spelled Qutub Minar and Qutab Minar, is a minaret and "victory tower" that forms part of the Qutb complex, which lies at the site of Delhi’s oldest fortified city, Lal Kot, founded by the Tomar Rajputs. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Mehrauli area of South Delhi, India. It is one of the most visited tourist spots in the city, mostly built between 1199 and 1220.

It can be compared to the 62-metre all-brick Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan, of c. 1190, which was constructed a decade or so before the probable start of the Delhi tower. The surfaces of both are elaborately decorated with inscriptions and geometric patterns. The Qutb Minar has a shaft that is fluted with "superb stalactite bracketing under the balconies" at the top of each stage. In general, minarets were slow to be used in India and are often detached from the main mosque where they exist.

The Qutb Minar was built over the ruins of the Lal Kot, the citadel of Dhillika.[1] Qutub Minar was begun after the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, which was started around 1192 by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, first ruler of the Delhi Sultanate.[2]

Kuttull Minor, Delhi. The Qutb Minar, 1805.

It is usually thought that the tower is named for Qutb-ud-din Aibak, who began it. It is also possible that it is named after Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki a 13th-century sufi saint, because Shamsuddin Iltutmish was a devotee of his.[3]

The Minar is surrounded by several historically significant monuments of the Qutb complex. Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, to the north-east of the Minar was built by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak in A.D. 1198. It is the earliest extant - mosque built by the Delhi Sultans. It consists of a rectangular courtyard enclosed by cloisters, erected with the carved columns and architectural members of 27 Jain and Hindu temples, which were demolished by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak as recorded in his inscription on the main eastern entrance.[4] Later, a lofty arched screen was erected, and the mosque was enlarged, by Shams-ud- Din Itutmish (A.D. 1210-35) and Ala-ud-Din Khalji. The Iron Pillar in the courtyard bears an inscription in Sanskrit in Brahmi script of fourth century A.D., according to which the pillar was set up as a Vishnudhvaja (standard of god Vishnu) on the hill known as Vishnupada in memory of a mighty king named Chandra.[4]

The mosque complex is one of the earliest that survives in the Indian subcontinent.[5][1]

The nearby pillared cupola known as "Smith's Folly" is a remnant of the tower's 19th century restoration, which included an ill-advised attempt to add some more stories.[6][7]

In 1505, an earthquake damaged Qutub Minar; it was repaired by Sikander Lodi. On 1 September 1803, a major earthquake caused serious damage. Major Robert Smith of the British Indian Army renovated the tower in 1828 and installed a pillared cupola over the fifth story, creating a sixth. The cupola was taken down in 1848, under instructions from The Viscount Hardinge, who was the Governor General of India. at the time. It was reinstalled at ground level to the east of Qutb Minar, where it remains. This is known as "Smith's Folly".[8]

It was added to the list of World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.

^ a b Ali Javid; ʻAlī Jāvīd; Tabassum Javeed (1 July 2008). World Heritage Monuments and Related Edifices in India. pp. 14, 105, 107, 130. ISBN 9780875864846. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2009. ^ "Qutub Minar". Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2016. ^ "Qutub Minar Height". qutubminardelhi.com. Archived from the original on 29 June 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015. ^ a b Rajagopalan, Mrinalini (2012). "A Medieval Monument and Its Modern Myths of Iconoclasm: The Enduring Contestations over the Qutb Complex in Delhi, India". In Kinney, Dale; Brilliant, Richard (eds.). Reuse Value: Spolia and Appropriation in Art and Architecture from Constantine to Sherrie Levine. Ashgate Publishing. pp. 199–221. doi:10.4324/9781315606187. ISBN 978-1-4094-8684-8. ^ "Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque". qutubminardelhi.com. Archived from the original on 25 July 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015. ^ Wright, Colin. "Ruin of Hindu pillars, Kootub temples, Delhi". www.bl.uk. Archived from the original on 30 June 2019. Retrieved 8 July 2019. ^ Wright, Colin. "Rao Petarah's Temple, Delhi". www.bl.uk. Archived from the original on 8 July 2019. Retrieved 8 July 2019. ^ "Qutub Minar and Smiths Folly - an architectural disaster." 👌👍Archived 7 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine, WordPress.
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