The culture of India is one of the oldest and unique. In India, there is amazing cultural diversity throughout the country. The South, North, and Northeast have their own distinct cultures and almost every state has carved out its own cultural niche. There is hardly any culture in the world that is as varied and unique as India. India is a vast country, having variety of geographical features and climatic conditions. India is home to some of the most ancient civilizations, including four major world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.
The Web Cultural India

Friday, September 30, 2011

Qutub Minar

Location                : Delhi
Importance           : Highest stone tower in India
Best Time to Visit:  October to March
Diameter at Base :  14.32 m
Diameter at Peak :  2.75 m

Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar is the highest stone tower in India. The construction of the Qutub Minar was started by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak in 1199 and it was finished by his successor and son-in-law, Iltutmish.The Qutub Minar was named after the Sufi saint, Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki. Though the exact purpose of the Qutb Minar is not known but it is believed that it served as a minaret to the adjoining mosque and was used by the muezzins to call the faithful to prayer.

Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar was built in red and buff sandstone and covered with intricate carvings and verses from the holy Quran. All the five storeys of Qutub Minar are surrounded by a projected balcony and supported by stone brackets, which are decorated with honeycomb designs. The Qutub Minar is 72.5 meters high and one has 379 steps. The diameter of the base of the Qutub Minar is 14.3 meters while the top floor's diameter measures 2.7 meters.

Qutub Minar
There are numerous inscriptions on the Qutub Minar. These inscriptions are in Arabic and Nagari characters. According to one inscription, the Qutub Minar was repaired by Firoz Shah Tughlaq (AD 1351-88), the Tughlaq ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. Sikandar Lodi (AD 1489-1517) also got the Qutub Minar repaired. Another repair work was undertaken by Major R. Smith in 1829. The Qutub Minar was built on the ruins of Lal Kot, the Red Citadel in the city of Dhillika, the capital of the Tomar and Chauhana Rajputs, the last Hindu rulers of Delhi.

Qutub Minar
In the Qutub Minar complex, there are many other remarkable buildings and structures, including the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque. The Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque was the first mosque built in India. It was built by Qutub-ud-din Aybak using materials of 27 Jain and Hindu temples. There is also the famous Alai Darwaza at the entrance of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque. It was built by Ala-ud-din Khalji. To the west of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque is the tomb of Iltutmish. Close to the mosque is the Iron pillar, one of Delhi's most curious structures. It is said to be erected in the 4th century AD by the Gupta King, Chandragupta II (375-413).