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The Qutub Minar: The Minaret to the Sky
Also referred to as the Great Mosque of Delhi or the Qutub Mosque was constructed by the founder of the Slave Dynasty or the Mamluk, Qutab-Ud-Din-Aibak. It is one of the earliest built mosques in the city and also the oldest extant mosques in India. The mosque comprises of grey colonnades which are entirely made of grey stone. The arch in the cener of the mosque is in ogee shape whereas the arches on the side are much smaller. The screen in the mosque has sculpted texts and patterns of flowers. It is built on a raised courtyard. The screen of stone in front of the prayer hall has motifs and inscriptions in Arabic.
Dedicated to the Hindu Lord Vishnu, the pillar is almost 23-feet long and stands in the Qutab complex in New Delhi. The main reason for the pillar being attractive is that it has high resistance capacity towards corrosion. No amount of water, moisture or air has been able to corrode the pillar. This has attracted a lot of scientists and archaeologists towards it. The reason that this pillar is intact and has not been touched by corrosion is the evenly spread layer comprising of crystalline iron hydrogen phosphate hydrate which forms on iron with a high phosphorus content. This layer protects the pillar from all sorts of climatic conditions. The weight of the pillar is about 13,000 lbs. There are numerous inscriptions on the pillar and graffiti from multiple dates. Two of the prominent and well-recognized inscriptions are of King Chandra and Samvat 1109. The pillar is believed to be hit by a cannonball as well.
Alai Darwaza is the major gateway from the south of the mosque. It was built by Alauddin Khilji who further made an addition of a court to the east of the pillar. The domed gate is equipped with red sandstone and white marble. It was worked upon by the Turkish artisans. The gate also has Naksh script inscriptions. The Slave dynasty did not involve Islamic architectural style. Instead, they used false arches and domes. It is one of the most significant buildings in the city.
The Tomb of Iltutmish is also a part of the complex of Qutab near Qutub Minar. Iltutmish was the second Sultan of the city. The chamber in the center of the tomb has squinches. The major cenotaph has white marble and is placed on a raised area right in the chamber's center. The ornate carving of the facade makes it famous. The carvings are present on the interior walls as well as the entrance.
Alai Minar of Khalji was started after Khalji doubled the size of the mosque and thought of making this tower twice the size of Qutub Minar. The construction, however, could not be completed due to the death of Khalji, followed by no successors of the Khalji dynasty. The first floor of the Minar is a huge masonry core full of rubble which stands till today and has been covered in dressed stone afterward.
The other attractions include the Tomb of Adham Khan, Agra Fort, Balban's Tomb, the Zafar Mahal, the Hauz-i-Shamsi lake and the Jahaz Mahal. Some statues from the Jain temples which have been destroyed are also present.
How to Get Tickets?
You can book tickets easily from this website for New Delhi and make payments as well in a safe and secure manner.
How To Get Around?
Metro is the most prominent means of getting around as it will save you the traffic problems and also will get a lot cheaper to travel. You can also rent a car for the entire trip.
What Should I Wear?
Do wear comfortable walking footwear. It's usually hot so if you're not okay with the sweat on your feet, wearing sandals can be a good option. But if you're afraid to get suntanned with your sandals pattern, you should wear sneakers or other covered shoes. Short-sleeved tops and trousers is a good pair.
Best Time to Visit
The months starting from October till November are the best. The weather is not extremely hot or cold. This will lessen your luggage as now you do not have to pack warm clothes.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, you don't need a guide, strolling around on your own is not a problem.
How To Get There?
You can get there via Metro and then take a three-wheeler or a taxi to reach to the exact location.
Cameras are allowed in this site. Do drink a lot of water, apply your sunscreen, and wear a hat since it's usually hot. Keep an eye on your belongings at all time.