It took me near 30 minutes to reach the Qutub Minar. The tallest red sandstone tower in the world stood splendidly in front of me. Standing 72 meters high, this tower was built by Qutub-ud-din Aibak in 1193 after overcoming Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom. It was constructed to celebrate the victory of invading Mughal armies over the Hindu rulers.
The construction was completed by Firoz Shah Tughlaq after he built the fifth storey in 1368. The tower has a diameter of 2.75 meters at the top and 14.32 meters at the base and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is surrounded by several medieval and ancient ruins, collectively called the Qutub Complex. The guide there told me that it was built with the materials obtained from destroying 27 Hindu Temples!
The Qutub Minar has many floors, which have beautiful cuttings and carvings. There are inscriptions everywhere in the tower. The wall widens from the top to the bottom, making it a very strong structure. I decided to climb the stairs. In the beginning it was easy, I kept counting the stairs as I went up. But after crossing 100 steps, it became very difficult. Somehow I managed to climb up all the 379 steps.
At the top, I could see the bird’s eye view of the city. It was a spectacular view. I could see the walls of Siri and Jahanpanah on the right and Hauz Khaz on the left. I could also see the Humayun’s Tomb, which I had visited, walls of Tughlaqabad, Jama Masjid, Purana Qila, Firoz Shah Kotla and the India Gate. There was a hot breeze blowing, so it was a little uncomfortable and after sometime I came down.
Over the years, the Minar received some damage due to natural calamities like earthquakes on many occasions but it was renovated and repaired by respective rulers. But still due to wear and tear over several years, the Minar is slightly tilted towards one side. The minar is very properly looked after by the authorities. It was already 4 pm and I was really tired after climbing up and down 379 stairs. Nevertheless, I still had the eagerness to tour. So without wasting time, I headed to the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, which is just a few minutes from the Qutub Minar.