Saturday, 1 May 2010

Qutub Minar

Qutubuddin Aibak laid the foundation of Qutab Minar, as a victory tower, in 1199 AD. Originally, it rose to a height of 72.5 m. It is undoubtedly one of the finest stone towers in India and one of the most important landmarks of Delhi. Iltutmish, the son-in-law and successor of Qutubuddin, completed its construction. Nearby, one can also see the ruins of the Tomb of Iltutmish. He built it in 1235 AD, during his own lifetime, and decorated the interiors profusely, using calligraphy. The tower tapers from a base of 14.32 m to 2.75 m at its top and took 20 years to complete. Built in red sandstone, this tower sports the inscriptions of verses of Holy Quran and some intricate carvings. We can also see the ruins of the embattlements of the city called 'Siri' here. It was established in 1303 AD by Ala-ud-Din, who dug a vast reservoir in Hauz Khas to supply water to his city. Though nothing much of the city remains to be seen, it has been described by the contemporary historians as the 'envy of Baghdad, the rival of Cairo and equal to Constantinople'. Besides these, one can also see the tomb of Adham Khan and Zafar Mahal within Qutub complex and the tomb of Jamali-Kamali behind it.

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