A famous Asian proverb says that it is better to see something once, than hear about it a thousand times. This fascinating history walk in Delhi takes you through the enlightening story of the Qutub Minar and its surrounding monuments within the Qutub complex.
The city of Delhi, brings an image of its beautiful forts, palaces and monuments to the mind, most of them depicting architecture from the Mughal era. But some of the lesser known dynasties have also made their mark on its heritage, one of them being the Mamluk Dynasty which sanctioned the construction of Qutub Minar.
The two-hour history walk starts early in the morning at around 7:30 am and takes you through the history of the Qutub complex. First, visit the world’s tallest brick minaret in the world that was built by the first ruler of the slave dynasty- Qutub-ud-Din Aibak. The intricate carvings on the minaret made of red sandstone and striking white marble is a mark of the exquisite craftsmanship of that era. The story of Qutub-ud-Din Aibak’s life is as captivating as the structure and architecture of the Qutub Minar. Did you know that this famous ruler was sold by his parents as a slave to a local Qazi and lived as a slave for more than half his life? Another staggering fact- only the foundations for the first storey of the minaret were laid by him in memory of the Sufi saint Qutubuddin Bhaktiyar Khaki. The structure was later completed by his successor, Iltutmish.
After a valuable insight into the history of the brick minaret, see the enchanting Alai Darwaza. One of the main gateways to the Qutub complex, it opens to the Quwwat-Ul-Islam mosque. The inlaid marble decorations and latticed stone screens exude a distinct charm that make it an ideal example of the architectural magnificence of the Sultanate period. Quwwat-Ul-Islam is the first ever mosque to be built in Delhi after the Islamic conquest of India. According to certain historical documents, it is rumoured to be built with the remnants of twenty-seven Hindu and Jain temples that were destroyed by the Muslim rulers.
Another prominent structure within the Qutub complex is the 7-metre tall Iron Pillar standing tall under the shining sun. This architectural wonder has shown incredible resistance to harsh weathers over the years. Built by Chandragupta II Vikramaditya, it served an important astronomical function during old times. The complex also houses the incomplete minaret of Alai Minar, the tomb of Iltutmish and a religious Islamic school called Madarasa.
In search of the richest stories of India’s past, walk through an array of historical monuments and buildings and know the tales behind their inception through this absorbing and intriguing history walk.