A visit to the cradle of Delhi Sultanate
Qutub Minar is a symbol of the Delhi Sultanate. It had been built by the first of the Delhi sultans, Qutub-Ud-Din Aibak. The Delhi Sultanate inaugurated an era of Muslim rule in India, a trend that included the Mughal empire and went on till the arrival of the British.
A golden opportunity had presented itself in the form of GoUnesco. I could enjoy my travel to heritage sites as well as network with some wonderful people around the world. Among the listed sites at Delhi, I chose Qutub Minar over Red Fort. The reasons were not clear to me. I would call it my gut feeling. But as I reached there, braving the foggy Delhi winter, the feeling started to articulate itself.
The feeling emerged from the significance of Qutub Minar to Delhi. It was that Delhi became the de facto capital of India and thus began a process of political and administrative unification of India which had hitherto never been a single political entity. To the outside world, India had been a civilization and not a state. Earlier attempts had been made by The Mauryas and the Guptas but failed. This was the first time in Indian history that successive dynasties ruled over large parts of the country from a single capital.
Five successive dynasties ruled Delhi till 1526, when Babar founded the Mughal empire. It is a tribute to the Indian culture that successive dynasties preserved Qutub Minar.
The experience was a fun filled one. People from all walks of life had come. Young couples , school kids on an educational tour and lads who needed a reason to celebrate the weekend.
The visit was also a practical learning experience in Indian history, which is also one of my favourite subjects. The Minar is made of red sandstone and has engraved verses in Quran. It comprises of several concentric cylindrical shafts separated by balconies.
I thank Unesco for this opportunity and am looking forward to many such learning experiences.
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