Secrets and mysteries of Qutb Minar in Delhi.
What a tourist should visit in the Indian capital New Delhi.
If you have a great wish and you are tired of waiting for it to come true, visit India and its capital, New Delhi. Go there to the Qutb Minar or Qutab Minar, a medieval historical complex located on the southern outskirts of the Indian capital in the Mehrauli neighborhood. In one of its courtyards dug into the ground metal pillar, which has magical powers. If you wish for your innermost feelings, leaning against it with your back and being able to close your hands behind you, your wish will certainly come true.
When it is better to visit Qutb Minar
About the pillar, as they say, is a useful but a bit of a fairy tale part of the program of being in Delhi. But to make your visit to Qutb Minar truly enjoyable and fulfilling, it is highly recommended that you time your visit to India to coincide with one of the two national holidays.
For example, you can choose to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, which has a history of more than 2,500 years. True, it is quite difficult to match because, like most other celebrations, Diwali does not have a “firm” place in the calendar, and each year is held on a different day, but necessarily in October-November.
The Indians sacredly believe that if there is a lot of fire and noise in the house on the day of the holiday, Lakshmi, the goddess of happiness and good luck, is sure to visit their dwelling. That is why both luxury villas and ordinary apartments and makeshift shacks in slum quarters light up on the festive evening with a myriad of lights from lit oil lanterns, candles and Bengal lights.
Rockets and firecrackers explode, bombs explode, machine guns pop, and thousands of sparks shoot like fancy fountains. The horizon is obscured by a curtain of gunpowder. Those who have flown over to Delhi on the day of the holiday say it feels as if the airliner is landing in a city engulfed in warfare.
Today, though, the Indian government has banned the sale of fireworks during Diwali, citing environmental concerns. Experts estimate that about 50,000 tons of fireworks were detonated during Diwali in 2016. A toxic haze covered the city for days.
Another fun celebration celebrated in March is Holi, symbolizing the arrival of spring, also known as the Festival of Colors or Phagwah.
The night before the holiday, giant bonfires are built in the flames which burn the evil demon Holika, “freezing” the people throughout the winter. I must say that even on the coldest days, the temperature in Delhi rarely drops below plus 4-5 ° C.
In the morning, before you go out for a walk, you have to wear something simple, because you will certainly be doused with tinted water or sprinkled with colored powder. It’s not customary to be offended, but you should know that it is useless to wash stained clothes: neither “Ariel”, nor “Tide” with lemon, or even the old Aunt Asya with her bleach.
Qutub Minar: From Indrappordha to New Delhi
There are scarcely two other capitals in the world whose historical destinies are as similar as those of Delhi and Moscow. For centuries, both cities, taking advantage of their favorable geographical location, played the role of collectors of lands – Indian and Russian. Then, around the same time, they lost their capital status, falling in the shadow of Calcutta and St. Petersburg, but at the beginning of the last century they regained the lost ground.
For lovers of medieval architecture, Delhi is a treasure trove. This place literally breathes history, because here, on a limited piece of land, there are traces of seven capital cities, starting with Indraprastha, founded in the twelfth century.
The first four in time, including Siri and Tuglakabad, are compactly located in the south of the capital, around the world-famous architectural complex Qutb Minar and the brick minaret of the same name .
The history of the minaret tower is astonishing. The first stone in its basis was put in 1193, but originally builders managed to finish building of only the first floor. The final height of the minaret was almost 73 meters.
The creation of Qutab Minar is shrouded in controversy. Some believe that the construction was erected as a symbol of victory, as a symbol of Muslim rule in India. But many think it was just a grandiose minaret from which the muezzins said prayers.
The other four stories were added later and the Qutb Minar did not attain its present form until 1368 under Feroz Shah Tughlaq. Since then has appeared the new highest brick minaret in the world.
The minaret itself tapers upward, having at the base 15 meters in diameter, and at the top – 2.5 meters. Feroz Shah Tughlaq covered the tower with a dome, which was thrown down in an earthquake in 1803.
There is a metal pole mentioned at the beginning of the article. The technology and chemical composition of this marvelous seven-meter monolith is still unresolved.
The inscription in Sanskrit carved on the pillar suggests that it was cast somewhere in the early 5th century A.D. And there is almost no trace of rust on it in a millennium and a half.
And the forerunner of modern Delhi arose under Shah Jahan, the same one who erected the delightful Taj Mahal tomb in Agra for his adored wife.
Shah Jahan owns the initiative to build in the XVII century, the Red Fort, a city-fortification surrounded by powerful stone walls 18 to 33 meters high.
The fort and many of the structures inside it are in excellent condition. The only thing that can spoil the mood of an inquisitive traveler is the fact that not all objects have survived in their original form.
In our own time a marble pedestal stands orphaned in the private audience room, on which once stood a magnificent gold throne decorated with precious stones and peacocks.
In 1739, the throne caught the eye of the invading Nader Shah of India, who transported it to his homeland, Iran. Twenty years later, the new conquerors dismantled the silver ceiling. Someone of enthusiastic ancestors scrawled on the wall of the hall while it was still in full splendor, “If there is heaven on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here.”
Delhi was finally proclaimed capital in 1911, when official London decided that Calcutta, with its unhealthy humid climate and tireless national liberation fighters, was no longer worthy to be the principal city of British India.
The construction of New Delhi began at the same time. It was laid out in the form of a rhombus, the northern corner of which rests on the old part of the city, and from west to east this rhombus is crossed by the arrow-like Raj Path, the Road of Kings.
Every year on January 26, Republic Day, military parades are held on this route, framed by lawns and ponds. Not only aircraft and tanks take part in them, but also a border guard unit whose soldiers and officers serve on camels.
Practical information for travelers
The Qutb Minar complex is a historical jewel of Delhi and all of India. It was built on the ruins of the Lal Kot Fort and once housed 27 ancient Hindu and Jain temples. What is particularly gratifying is the absence of the usual Indian garbage and spontaneous dumping grounds throughout the open-air museum.
Today, the complex, with its red sandstone buildings, detailed marble inlays and stunning lattice stone screens, preserves the best examples of Islamic architecture with an Indian soul.
1. Schedule: How Qutb Minar Complex Works
Qutb Minar Complex is open from 6am to 6pm daily . The best time to visit the complex is at sunrise or sunset . The minaret against the background of the sky at sunrise or sunset looks simply spectacular. If you are not a big fan of the hustle and bustle do not plan your excursion at the weekend.
The Qutb Minar complex hosts New Delhi’s popular festival every October. This three-day festival showcases the arts of India against the magnificent backdrop of this ancient monument, illuminating Indian culture in all its glory. This Delhi arts festival includes an excellent music program ranging from Sufi to classical music and rousing Indian dances.
2. How much is a ticket to visit Qutb Minar
Tickets for Indian citizens cost Rs. 40 and for foreigners Rs. 600. You can buy them online at the official Delhi Tourism website or buy them on arrival at the ticket booth (marked on the map below).
3. How to get to Qutb Minar Minaret
You can get to Qutb Minar complex by metro, bus, motor-rickshaw or cab . It is relatively close to Indira Gandhi International Airport, and is less than half an hour away.
Take the metro to the Qutub Minar station of the same name, and from there it takes 8-12 minutes to reach the attraction on foot, depending on walking speed.
As for the motorcycle rickshaw, how to arrange. The cost and duration of the trip depends on the ability to bargain and the distance to the site
If you go by bus, you can get off at Saket stop or at the same name Qutub Minar, and from there again you have to walk 8-12 minutes, depending on walking speed.
A short video with an overview of Delhi Qutub Minar sights and of course the famous minaret tower.
When you’ve enjoyed the splendor of the ancient architects’ structures and feel close to eternity, get ready to go to Delhi railway station and buy a train ticket. Why and where? Of course to visit the residence of the Dalai Lama in McLeod Ganj, the famous tourist center of northern India, and of course to stay in one of the hotels in Dharamsala, the second homeland of the Tibetans…
For a year now I have been living in the capital of India: the crazy, noisy and especially beautiful city of New Delhi. From the roof of my house you can see the big Sanjay Van Park, which locals call “the jungle,” and the Qutb Minar Tower. It was from this quiet corner that I began my acquaintance with New Delhi. Later I learned that the minaret is the second most visited attraction in the country. After the Taj Mahal, of course. And another interesting fact: Qutb Minar is the highest brick minaret in the world (there are higher ones, but they are not built of brick).
With the exact name the Indians have not decided, so the Qutb Minar in Delhi also known as Qutub Minur and Qutab Minar.
They have different spellings, too. There are other attractions in Sanjay Van Park as well, so below I will suggest you what else you can combine a tour to Qutb Minar with.
How to get to Qutb Minar
There are several options, as there usually are:
- Walking. A walk through the park can be a great way to start the tour. The main entrance to Sanjay Van is located on the side of Qutub Institutianal Area. The walk will take 30-40 minutes. Peacocks, monkeys, cows, and buffalo can be found in the park.
- By subway. Go to Green Park or Qutub Minar station and walk (about 15 minutes) or take a motor-rickshaw (5 minutes, not more than $0.5-0.6 or 30-40 rupees).
- By bus. Stop Qutub Minar or Saket, then walk about 10 minutes.
The address is Mehrauli, New Delhi, Delhi 110030.
Where to buy tickets to Qutb Minar
The ticket office is located across the street from the Qutb Minar Minaret and museum complex.
Entry fee for foreigners is $3 or 200 rupees. Audio guides are available at the entrance to the complex. There is no Russian language, but there are English, German and Spanish.
When to go to Qutb Minar
The Qutb Minar Minaret is very popular in Delhi. It is best to avoid weekends and public holidays. The most convenient time in my opinion is in the morning or afternoon.
The museum complex is open from 7 am to 5 pm.
What to see in Sanjay Van Park
Of course the minaret isn’t the only interesting thing to see in the park, but I know that’s why most tourists come here.
First of all the minaret itself. In the photo Qutb Minar looks impressive. In real life, surrounded by historical ruins, well-groomed lawns and flowering bushes, the tower, reaching up into the sky, you like me, will remember for a long time. The minaret is 72.6 meters high. Its construction began in the 12th century, and finished in the 14th.
Qutb Minar was used to call believers to prayer. The minaret also symbolized the power of Islam (at that time most of India was ruled by Muslims). There was also another more “down-to-earth” function – to survey the surroundings for foreign invaders.
Ala-e Minar Minaret
The fame of Qutb Minar in India kept the great rulers busy. One of them, Alauddin Khilji, decided to outdo the tower and erect his own minaret, which would be twice as high. The structure had only reached a height of 24.5 meters when the sheikh died.
There was no one to continue his work, so instead of the majestic tower, on which great hopes were pinned, now you can see a structure resembling a stone “stump”. You know, I even find it somewhat amusing how vanity can sometimes be hindered by chance.
The Great Mosque of Delhi
The Kuwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, or rather what is left of it, has such a resounding name.
Once it symbolized the power and beauty of Islamic culture. Now it bears the mark of ruthless time.
The Tomb of Imam Zamin
The tomb of a Muslim saint who lived at the turn of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The structure lies in ruins, but partially preserved are the columns with beautiful stone carvings, as well as an unusual balustrade.
These columns gave me the idea that the ornate patterns seem to reveal the plot of some historical period or future exploits.
The iron column is 7 meters high and weighs 6 tons was created during the reign of the Gupta dynasty (IV-VI centuries). The column has hardly changed since then, only the mythical Garuda bird that adorned the top has disappeared. There are various theories as to why iron does not corrode. According to one of them the column was cast from a meteorite. However, it is most likely that Indian metallurgists used a special (now lost) method of alloying iron.
Indians believe that if you stand with your back to the column and wrap your arms around it, your deepest wish will come true. There were so many people eager to see if the belief worked that the architectural museum staff had to build a fence around the column. But you can still try your luck. I don’t think how close you get to the structure will make much difference!
How to Dress for Qutb Minar
It is worth paying attention to your appearance if you are going to visit the Qutb Minar complex. India is a very conservative country in terms of clothing. And in the museum complex, which is revered by Muslims, you should be doubly careful. Women should always cover their knees and shoulders. It is not advisable for men to be in shorts and T-shirts. In the museum, of course, you’re allowed in any clothes, but walk under the condemning eyes of the locals is not the most pleasant thing.
At the exit of the complex works a small store with souvenirs. Nothing fancy – magnets, trinkets, postcards, books and guides.
There is a small section with Muslim religious books and pamphlets.
One last tip.
There are benches and lawns inside the complex where you can catch your breath and take a break from the heat. There are sodas, lemonade, and snacks for sale on the way out (at a triple price). For something more substantial than chips and chocolate, I suggest heading to nearby Saket or Katwaria Sarai.
But I suggest taking something to eat with you and also grabbing a bottle of water, as you’ll want to eat as well as drink after a long walk. Along with this humble lunch or dinner, you can sit on one of the benches or sit right on the lawn and take another look at these majestic structures.