Qutub Minar is the 2nd tallest minar in India; originally an early Islamic Monument inscribed with Arabic inscriptions is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone; the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India. The stairs of the tower has 379 steps, is 72.5 metres high, and has a base diameter of 14.3 metres. It is surrounded by several other ancient and medieval structures and ruins, collectively known as the Qutub complex.
Everybody has the same question when one sees the structure for the first time. The question that is often being put up is “Why the monument is that big?” or “Was there any specific reason to build such a tall building or it was just a wish of the person who built it?” Well, the exact reason is assumed to be related to commemorating the victory. Mughals used to build victory towers to proclaim and celebrate victories.
The top of the tower gives an insight to Delhi because we get to see the bird’s eye view of the city. The few places that can be seen from the top are: the Hauz Khaz on the left, the walls of the Jahanpanah and Siri on the right, walls of Tughlaqabad, Humayun’s Tomb, Purana Qila, Firoz Shah Kotla and Jama Masjid.
The nearby 7 metres high Iron Pillar is a metallurgical curiosity that has Brahmic inscriptions on it, built up of many hundreds of small wrought-iron blooms welded together. The remarkable lack of corrosion is attributable to the combination of several factors, i.e, the high corrosion-resistance of wrought iron, the climatic conditions in Delhi, and was frequently anointed with ghee (melted butter).
The Alai Darwaza, built from red sandstone and elaborately carved, is the southern entrance to the Qutb complex, the masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art, built of materials reused from some 20 Brahman temples.
The Alai Minar, to the north of the enclosure, is the base of a second minaret which was to overtop the Qutb Minar. It was begun by Alau’d-Din-Khalji, but he died before it reached the first storey and work on the structure was abandoned.