The superb buildings in this complex date from the onset of Islamic rule in India. The Qutub Minar (Qutb Minar or Qutab Minar) itself is a soaring 240 foot (73 meter) high tower of victory that was started in 1193, immediately after the defeat of the last Hindu kingdom in Delhi. At its base is Quwwat ul-Islam Masjid (Might of Islam Mosque), India's first mosque.
The tower has 5 distinct stories, each marked by a projecting balcony, and it tapers, like something out of a fairytale, from a 50 ft (15 m) diameter at the base to just 8 ft (2.5 m) at the top. The first 3 stories are made of red sandstone, the fourth and fifth of marble and sandstone. The stairs inside the tower coil so steeply that they're enough to make the hardiest climber dizzy and claustrophobic, and it was no surprise when a stampede during a school trip in 1979 resulted in a number of deaths. The inside of the tower has since been closed to visitors.
An inscription over the mosque's eastern gate provocatively informs that it was built with material obtained from demolishing 27 idolatrous (read Hindu) temples. A 23 ft (7 m) high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque and it's said that if you can encircle it with your hands while standing with your back to it, your wish will be unfulfilled; however, the pillar is now protected by a fence.
We had a wonderful experience on our Delhi tour. Our guide, Ashish, was able to share the history about India overall and each site specifically. He was lots of fun, spoke excellent English, and engaged in very informative discussions throughout the day. He knew a great place for us to have lunch - the best Indian food we've ever had. Our driver was also wonderful and navigated the complexities of Delhi traffic with great expertise. We couldn't have been more pleased with our experience.
Very informative and a great way to see all the 'must see' aspects of Delhi in an organised fashion without an overload. There was just enough places to see without feeling it was too long and the guide was excellent.
This was one of the best tours I've ever had- beautiful city! The tour guide named Ashish was passionate about the city and so extremely friendly, informative, and open to all questions. My family and I were able to learn not only about delhi's history but India's as well! Had the best experience!
Qutub Minar is located 10 mi (16 km) from Connaught Place in southern Delhi. Catch bus 505, take an organized tour or a taxi to reach Qutub Minar.