Qutub Minar musings, and what did I find there?

Qutub Minar has a special place in my heart. This ancient place always calls me and whenever I find the time, I go to this magnificent place.

Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar

But why this special affection? Why, this longing?

Because the Qutub is a symbol of India’s wounded civilization. It seems as if, the walls, bricks and the famous tower of this complex are calling for my attention.

Qutub Minar

Hundreds of years ago, invaders from the north-west had descended upon Delhi and demolished the wonderful palaces and temples of Mehrauli. The temples were converted to a giant mosque and ever since this temple-complex is called the Qutub Minar.

Today, this Minar is one of the best tourist destinations in Delhi. It is open on all the days of the week and never closes down.

In the winters, many photographers visit the Qutub, hoping to take eye-popping photographs of this monument. And this what I did a few weeks back- take some photos of Qutub. I hope you will like them.

History of Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar

History books say that the Minar was built by Qutbuddin Aibak in the 12th-century but I am not sure. When I looked up at some of the books written in the 12th and 13th centuries, I did not find any connection between him and this world famous UNESCO monument.

So who built it?

A few years back, I had read a book ‘Dilli key Tomar’ written by Pandit Harihar Dwivedi which said that this tower was built by one Raja Prithvi Bhatt. This Raja perhaps belonged to the Tomar dynasty of Mehrauli. These Tomars were defeated by Aibak in the 2nd Battle of Tarain fought in 1192.

It is interesting to note that the famous king Prithviraj Chauhan had also participated in this battle.

So, we have one mystery to solve- who built the Qutab Minar?

Anyways, I am digressing. I am here to show you some photographs of this Minar.

The Iron Pillar

But, wait. Before I move on, I wanted to share with you something about the Iron Pillar of Mehrauli.

Do you know that this pillar is at least 1,800-years old and has still not rusted!

Iron Pillar Mehrauli

Like the Qutab, the Iron Pillar also has an unknown history. Some experts say that it was erected in the memory of an ancient Indian king who lived 1800 years back. Others are not sure, though.

Besides, this pillar was erected at someplace elsewhere. It was definitely not placed in the Qutab complex. There is a message inscribed on this pillar but it does not tell much about its history.

Doesn’t it add up to the overall mystery of the place?

Another message!

Looks like this Iron pillar was some kind of a giant notice board in the past. There is another message written on it.

And the latter one was perhaps put up nearly a thousand years back. And it is here, that the word ‘Dehli’ comes up for the first time in Indian history.

Iron Pillar inscription
This inscription is written Brahmi script and refers to a mysterious king, ‘Chandra’.

Fascinating, isn’t it?

The second inscription (shown below) was apparently put up by King Anangpal in the mid-11th-century. According to many historians, he was the grandfather of Prithviraj Chauhan who went down fighting to Aibak in 1192 A.D.

Iron Pillar Mehrauli
This inscription is in the Devanagri script.

Doesn’t quite add up, does it?

As I roamed around in the Qutub premises, I was impressed by the workmanship of the builders of this monument. Just have a look.

Qutab Minar
A view  taken from inside a room whose dome has fallen down.

Perhaps this particular room was built in the late 13th or early 14th-century.

Qutab Minar
These pillars have stories to tell.

God knows how much would have the Hindus and Jains suffered to see their marvelous temples being demolished by the rampaging Muslims.

Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar

I had read somewhere that these pillars were covered by plaster for several centuries. The reason was that the Muslim men and women coming to this place should not feel offended by these images.

But history cannot be hidden this way. Truth ultimately comes out.

Qutub Minar
Image of a god carved out on one of the pillars
Qutub Minar
The Iron Pillar and Qutub Minar- Twin Towers

So, that’s it, folks!

If you would like to tour this magnificent complex, please write me an email at swayamt@gmail.com.

Thanks a lot.



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