Sunday, February 05, 2006

Qutab Minar

The Qutab Minar is one of the monuments in Delhi which I like visiting. It is situated within the city but once you enter the complex you feel far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. And it is quite well maintained compared to the other monuments.

King Qutubuddin Aibak of Slave dynasty laid the foundation of the Qutab Minar in 1199. Qutb-ud-din-Aibak had intended the Qutab Minar to stand as a symbol of his throne's might. However, he passed away before anything more than the base of the tower could be completed. It was his successor, Iltutmish, who completed this magnificent structure. The red sandstone tower of Qutab Minar is 72.5 m high, tapering from 14.32 m at its base to 2.75 m in diameter at its peak, and alternating in angular and rounded flutings. Much as its dimensions contribute to its magnificence, one can't deny that the intricate carving, taken from the Islamic Holy Book - the Qu'ran, on the exterior also makes it look breathtakingly beautiful.

The complex also hosts an Iron Pillar in the courtyard of the mosque. The quality of the iron used for constructing the pillar is exceptionally pure and has not rusted even after 2000 years. An inscription in Sanskrit clearly indicates that it was initially erected outside a Vishnu temple, possibly in Bihar. The manufacture of such a massive iron pillar, which has not deteriorated much during 2000 years of its existence, is a standing testimony to the metallurgical skill of ancient Indians.


At 11:47 AM, Blogger arvindh said...

The pictures look excellent. Especially the ones that show the monument silhouetted against the blue sky with clouds.
It was interesting to read about the pillar not having rusted for 2000 years. It is fascinating to hear the stories behind the monuments of yesteryears. Sometimes I wonder if, even with all this so called advancement in technology, we could ever beat the architects, metallurgists, sculptors and other artisans of those periods.

At 7:05 AM, Blogger Suji said...

Thanks Arvindh. I love that picture too. Yes I am sure we can't build a structure like this that lasts so long even with all our new technology.


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