Last weekend we planned to visit the nearby areas of Mehrauli – Gurgaon road. So we covered Qutub Minar , Ahinsa Sthal & Chattarpur Mandir on the same day. These spots can be visited within a day as they lie on the same path. Visiting these spots is a good time spend for whole of the day.
We started our visit with Qutub Complex .Being a holiday the place was full of visitors One can see the following places in the Qutub Complex:-
1. Qutab Minar
2. Alai Minar
3. Quwwat ul Islam Mosque
4. Tomb of Iltutmish
5. Alauddin Khilji’s tomb & madarsa
6. Alai Darwaza
7. Iron Pillar
I had been to Qutab Minar long back, may be 25 years ago. And for the last 14 years I have been watching it from far while going home from my office while taking a left turn from Lado Sarai T- point
The Qutab Minar is one of the historic monuments listed in a UNESCO World heritage Site situated at Mehrauli – South Delhi was constructed in 1192 by Qutub-ud-din-Aibak , Viceroy & General in Mohammad Ghori of Ghazni’s army to mark their victory over Delhi . It is an excellent example of Indo-Islamic architecture. The Qutub Minar has beautiful calligraphy in Arabic. There are many carvings as well on the Qutub Minar. Qutab Minar is tallest brick minaret in the world inspired by the minaret of Jam in Afghanistan.
The construction of Qutab Minar also marked the end of Hindu Kingdom in India & the beginning of Muslim rule in India which ended with the arrival of the British.
According to the Archaeological Survey of India, the place where Qutub Minar stands today was once occupied by about 27 Jain and Hindu temples. These were demolished and the stones reused to build the present complex.The temples columns were used to build the Mosque Quwwat ul Islam (translated as the Might of Islam) by Qutb ud din.
The first floor was made by Qutub-ud-din-Aibak in 1192n AD, later his son – in law & successor Iltutmish added second , third & fourth floor , which was later forwarded by his successor Firoz Shah Tughlaq who constructed fifth & the last floor in 1368 AD.
The Tower has a diameter of 14.32 m at the base & 2.75 m at the top with a height of 72.5 m & ascended by 379 steps.
After an accident involving school children, entry to the Qutub Minar is closed to public since 1981.
The Iron Pillar is 7.21 m high & the weight of the pillar is 646 kg, was originally belonged to Chandragupta II (375 -414 AD) and was brought here by Muslims. The iron is extremely old has not rusted.
According to the traditional belief any one who can hold the pillar with his arms with the back towards the pillar considered lucky. Now for the couple of the years touching the pillar is not possible as it is fenced with metal grill.
The Alai Darwaza is the main gateway from southern side of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque. It was built by the first Khilji Sultan of Delhi, Ala –Ud-Din Khiliji in 1311 AD. This is the first building in India to employ Islamic architecture principles in its construction and ornamentation.
It was built by Qutub –Ud-Din Aybak, founder of Mamluk or Slave dynasty. It was the first mosque built-in Delhi after the Islamic conquest of India. Th QM was built simultaneously with the Mosque for the muezzin to perform adhan (call for prayer).
The Mosque was built by the parts taken by destruction of twenty-seven Jain temples built previously during Tomers & Prithvi raj Chauhan.
The Mosque is in ruins today but indigenous corbelled arches, floral motifs & geometric pattern can be seen among the Islamic architectural structure.
Tomb of Iltutmish
The tomb of the slave dynasty ruler Iltutmish, the second sultan of Delhi is also part of Qutub Complex.
The main cenotaph, in white marble is place on a raised platform in centre of chamber. The façade is known for its ornate carving, both at the entrance & interior walls.
Alauddin Khilji’s Tomb & Madarsa
At the back of the Qutub Complex, southwest of the mosque, stands an L-shaped construction , consisting of Alauddin Khilji’s Tomb and a Madarsa.
The unfinished Minar is named after Alauddin Khilji who had doubled the size of Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque and had started the construction of another Minar, twice the size of Qutub Minar but because of his death the construction of the tower could not be completed.
The first story of the Alai Minar , a giant rubble masonry core , still stands today, which was evidently intended to be covered with dressed stone later on.
Ahinsa Sthal is located on the main Mehrauli Road at the peak of a small hill. It is situated at the intersection of Mehrauli Badarpur Road and Aurobindo Marg. This place of non-violence or peace as the name suggests is so named because a 14 feet large statue of Lord Mahavira stands here and it is now considered a sacred place by followers of Jainism. The statue was set up here in the mid 1980s and the area around the sculpture has been developed into a lush green park, over time.
Details of the Chhattarpur Mandir will be in next Post.
Till then Happy Ghumakkari.