If you are an architecture lover and planning
a trip to Indian capital, Delhi, then do
not forget to include imposing Qutab Minar
in your itinerary. Take a drive 13 kms south
from Luteyn’s Delhi, that is Connaught
Place, to reach the Qutab complex. Although
the 72.5 m high Qutab Minar or Victory Pillar
is visible from long distance, but as you
reach close to the Minar, your curiosity
will increase many folds. Leave your vehicle,
buy the entry ticket and enter inside the
Qutab complex through magnificent Alai Darwaza.
As you enter inside the complex, you will
see graves of historical persons who were
cremated on the left and right of gateway.
Of course, Qutab Minar is top priority for
you in the Qutab Complex, but apart from
this you will be certainly mesmerized by
excellent examples of early Afghan architecture.
Qutab Minar - Architecture
Architecturally, Qutab Minar was built in
Afghan style and it underwent repairing
and remaking several times. When you reach
close to tower, you will see Aayaats (Verses)
from Holy Qoran inscribed all over the walls.
In addition to this, you will also view
another inscription in Kupee language that
“The tower was erected to cast the
shadow of God over both east and west.”
The 72.5 mts Minar is slightly leaned and
there are 367 revolving steps of flights
reaching to top. At its root, the radius
is 14.40 mts which gradually reduces to
2.44 m at the top. Qutab Minar has five
distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting
balcony. The first three storeys of Qutab
Minar are made of red sandstone while the
fourth and fifth floor are made of marble
Qutab Minar – History
The construction of Qutab Minar was started
by Qutub-ud-udin Aibak in 1199 and it was
completed by his son-in-law Iltutmish in
1236. Qutub-ud-din commenced construction
of the minar but he could complete only
the 1st floor, the 2nd and 3rd floor were
made by Iltutmish and the 4th and 5th floor
were added by Feroz Shah Tughlaq.
The earthquake of 1803 destroyed the Qutab
Minar and in 1829 British Major Robert Smith
re-built the tomb. Few years later the tomb
was brought down from the Qutab Minar and
reset in the adjacent garden. In 1981, some
students died of stampede while on their
way up the steps of flights, since then
ascending to the Minar is forbidden.
The summer season begins from April and
ends in the month of June. During the summers
the average maximum temperature is 40°C
and minimum temperature is 25ºC. The
monsoon arrives the city in early July and
continues till the end of September. The
winter extends from late November to February.
The temperature in winters varies between
21°C to 5°C. January is the coldest
month when the temerature drops to a minimum
of 0 °C.
- Air: Delhi is the main
gateway city for northern India with a
modern airport. All major international
airlines in the world fly through Delhi.
Indira Gandhi International Airport is
located at 23km southwest of Central Delhi
and the domestic terminal at Palam is
5km away from the international terminal.
Taxi and coach transfer is available from
both International and Domestic Arrivals.
Pre-paid Taxi (a service with journey
fare paid at the booking counter), air-conditioned
and non- air-conditioned coach counters
are located immediately outside the customs
Hall in International Terminal and outside
Baggage Claim area in Domestic Arrivals.
Airport Coach (non-airconditioned) is
operated by Delhi Transport Corporation
(via Connaught Place and Railway Stations)
to Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT), Kashmiri
Gate and by Ex- Servicemen's Airlink Transport
Service to Connaught Place. The coach
covers all major hotels enroute.
- Train: Delhi is the
hub of the Indian Railways network with
Express trains to all parts of the country.
The city has two major railway stations
in New Delhi and Old Delhi. New Delhi
station is within walking distance of
Connaught Place and Main Delhi station
is about 7km from Connaught Place. Delhi
offers Express trains to all parts of
the country. For the foreigners, tickets
are available at the International Tourist
Bureau (Ph: 011-3346804), located at New
Delhi station. The main ticket office
is at the IRCA building on Chelmsford
Road, Pahar Ganj, between New Delhi station
and Connaught Place.
Shatabdi Express air-conditioned fast
tourist train operates to Bhopal (via
Agra, Gwalior, Jhansi), Lucknow (via Kanpur)
and Chandigarh, provides access to some
of the neighboring tourist centres.
- Bus: Buses from all
the major places in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab,
Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh
and Rajasthan are available for getting
to Delhi. During the summer months, air-conditioned
coaches are recommended. Delhi Transport
Corporation (DTC) operates special services
from railway stations to different parts
of the city.