The Qutub Minar is a brick minaret built in 1193 by Muslim conquerors of Delhi. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Delhi’s most visited tourist attractions. At 240 feet (73 meters) high, it’s also an impressive engineering feat—all the more notable for surviving for so many centuries.
Although the origins of Qutub Minar are known, it’s unclear whether the minaret was built as a victory tower or as a place for an Islamic muezzin to make the call to prayer. Today visitors come to see the intricately carved decorations on the centuries-old sandstone and marble bricks. As the minaret is surrounded by other mosques and structures, including the first mosque built in India, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the whole complex is worth several hours of exploration.
Visitors usually see Qutub Minar on a 1- or 2-day sightseeing trip around Delhi. It’s considered a must-see attraction in the city, and many tour operators include a stop here.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Entry tickets are required for Qutub Minar, and Indian citizens and foreign nationals pay different prices.
- Children under 15 enter for free.
- The surrounding gardens are well maintained and a pleasant place to relax.
- Kids will enjoy the parakeets, squirrels, and other birds that hang around the gardens.
How to Get There
The Qutub Minar is located in the Mehrauli area of South Delhi. Many tour companies can arrange private transportation. Otherwise, the easiest way to reach the site is via the Delhi Metro. Take the yellow line to Saket station for a 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) walk or to Qutub Minar station for a 1.25-mile (2-kilometer) walk. From either station you can also take a short auto rickshaw.
When to Get There
The Qutub Minar complex is open from dawn until dusk, roughly 7am to 5pm. Check the season-specific timing before you go. It can get crowded midday and on weekends. For a peaceful walk around the park, visit as early in the morning as possible.
Mehrauli Archaeological Park
Travelers interested in architecture and Indian archaeology can combine a visit to Qutub Minar with a walk around nearby Mehrauli Archaeological Park. Very few international tourists visit the large park, which is full of mosques, shrines, tombs, stepwells, and other structures from Delhi’s centuries of history. A whole day can be spent exploring the park and Qutub Minar.