Qutub Minar is the most recognizable face of Delhi. It represents Delhi in many ways; most recently on Metro cards.
Qutub Complex offers a lot more that just the Indian tallest minaret Qutub Minar. There are lots of monuments, admirable structures and art-pieces around the premise. Qutub Minar can be seen from great distance. One can see Qutub Minar from the high points of JNU or Garden of Five Senses. People commuting on metro for work to Gurgaon can see it everyday. From Qutub metro Station, Qutub Minar protrudes above canopy of trees as small as a pencil. Local cabs and Auto services are available from Metro to Qutub complex.
Qutub Complex is the most visited destination in India only next to Taj Mahal. But in 2006 it was the most visited place, even beating Taj Mahal. So it is easy to imagine the rush and the crowd any given day. But once you go inside the Complex it is big enough to accommodate everyone. Designs on the walls and pillars are extravagant and lavish.
Construction of Qutub Minar, the main attraction at the Complex was commenced by Qutb-ud-din Aibak in 1192 and completed by his successor Iltutmish. Feroz Shah Tughlaq also did some repairs and construction much later in 1368. Qutub Minar has suffered minor damages over the years, mostly to earthquake and subsequently many rulers and engineers have repaired it. Built with red and buff sandstone it elevates 72.5 metros and contains 379 steps. The stones used here were taken from 27 Hindu and Jain temples Qutb-ud-din Aibak destroyed according to the Persian inscription on the Eastern gateway.
Alai Minar was a failed attempt to build another Minar twice as tall as Qutub Minar. Ala-Ud-din Khalji initiated the building but it was abandoned after the ruler's sudden death. Iltutmish's Tomb is another attractive and vibrant structure. The interior walls of the Tomb are rich with design and inscriptions. Quwwat-Ul-Islam Masjid is the centre of the Complex. It is an open space surrounded by walls and heavily designed pillars. It was built by Qutb-Ud-din Aibak. It is built on a raised courtyard. Most of the walls and pillars were added by Iltutmish and later Alauddin Khilji also made some additions including the Alai Darwaza which is interestingly the only monument with a roof. The cool interior of Alai Darwaza is always crowded, especially on a hot day.
The iron pillar is the main attraction in the spacious Quwwat-Ul-Islam Masjid courtyard. It weights over 6511kg. It dates back to 4th century, at times when the World's knowledge about making iron from ore was still a complicated idea. It is amazing to notice the smoothness of the pillar which indicates the purity of iron.
Events like Photography, painting and musical exhibitions takes place from time to time in association with the Archaeological Survey of India. The Qutub festival which takes place in the month of November or December is a three days long cultural and musical event where artist and singers come together to perform.
Qutub Minar is one of the oldest monuments in Delhi still in very good shape. It dates back to the time before the Lodis and the great Mughals.
Nearest Metro Station: Qutub Minar Metro Station; Open: All Days
Tickets: Rs,10 (Indians), Rs.250 (Foreigners)