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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar and other monuments in its complex in Delhi were declared as the world heritage site in 1993. The tower or Minar is made up of red sandstone and partly in marble and sandstone that rose to a height of 72.5 m, which was quite a marvel in the 13th century. The 5th century Iron Pillar of Mehrauli nearby is also worth noting. Known as Ashoka Pillar, it is a wonder, as it has not rusted even today. Local people believe that if one stands with their back to the pillar and hold their hands around it, and then any wish that they make will be granted. However, no one is allowed to test the truth or touch the pillar. Qutb-u'd-Din Aibak laid the foundation of Qutab Minar in 1199 AD and raised its first storey. His successor and son-in-law Shamsu'd-Din Iltutmish completed its construction and added three more storeys to it. In all, there were five storeys to the tower. It was meant to be used for the Islamic priests to give their morning calls.Qutub Minar was the highest stone tower in India for many years to come and is considered to be one of the finest Islamic structures ever raised in India. It has been adorned with intricate carvings and inscriptions of Koran verses. The nearby structures are also decorated with beautiful calligraphy. Each of its toreys had a projecting balcony. It is said that the original Minar had only four storeys but the uppermost storey, which was damaged by lightning in 1368 during Feroze Tughluq's reign, was replaced by him by two storeys and thus, the tower gained five storeys. The tower was constructed to mark the conquest of Qutub-ud-Din Aibak, though some historians argue that it was a minaret to the adjacent mosque. It tapers from a base of 14.32 m to 2.75 m at the top. One can also see the tombs of Adham Khan and Zafar Mahal and Jamali-Kamali nearb

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