Minaret Qutub Minar
In Delhi, the tallest minaret in the world, Qutub Minar or Qutub Minar, reaches into the sky. Its height is 73 m and consists of 5 tiers. It has a cone shape with a diameter of 14 m at the base and about 3 m at the top. Construction continued for several generations of Delhi Sultans. The minaret combines the features of several historical eras. A unique masterpiece of Indo-Islamic culture of the Middle Ages was considered one of the wonders of the world.
Qutb ud-Din Aibek, the very first Muslim ruler, captivated by the splendor of the Jam minaret, decided to build a more impressive structure.
According to one version, Qutb ud-Din was once a slave who was bought at one of the slave markets in Central Asia. It is not known how he earned the patronage and favor of the Sultan, but he was appointed ruler of the captured Indian territories.
History of the construction of the Qutub Minar
Aibek began construction in 1193 in honor of the victory and conquest of Delhi. The ruler managed to install only one tier. The construction of the Qutub Minar minaret was continued by his son-in-law and successor Iltutmish, but he also managed to build only 3 levels. The material was red sandstone.
Finally, in 1368, Firuz Shah Tughlak completed the construction of the minaret, building another one - the fifth and last tier. The minaret was crowned with a dome, and the walls of the upper tiers were decorated with marble. The structure turned out to be so strong that it withstood the earthquake of 1505, only the dome was damaged. The earthquake of 1803 caused more serious damage to the minaret, but everything was quickly corrected.
The Qutb Minar served not only to invite Muslims to prayer at the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, but first of all, it symbolized the power and victory of Islam. There is another version of the reason for the construction - Qutb ud-Din decided to build a minaret in honor of the Sufi mystic, scientist, proclaimed saint, Bakhtiyar Kaki.
The surroundings are perfectly visible from the height, and the minaret played the role of a watchtower. The surface of the tower is covered with quotations from the Koran in Hindi and Arabic.
The ornaments decorating the minaret look incompatible. The heterogeneity is explained by the use in construction of stones from the specially destroyed 27 Hindu temples. The minaret combines attributes of several religions. Which, of course, contradicts the canons of Islam, although the builders apparently did not care about this. Unlike Hindu temples, there are no images of people or animals on the minaret. Each tier of the Qutub Minar is surrounded by a balcony. The minaret tower is inclined by 65 cm. A staircase with 379 steps leads to the upper part of the tower.
Near the Qutub Minar there is a famous pillar-column made of pure iron, 7 m high and weighing 6 tons. It was forged in IV BC. e. Most Indians believe that touching a wonderful pillar brings happiness and fulfills wishes. According to one opinion, a fallen meteorite was used to make the pillar. The pillar has stood for more than one millennium, but it turned out to be resistant to rust.
Qutub Minar is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and is one of the main attractions of India. Every year, thousands of tourists come to Delhi to see the grandiose and controversial structure.