Qutub Minar, Delhi - Stein Travel
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Qutub Minar

The Qutub Minar is a mammoth tower that was built between 1193 and 1369 to symbolise Islamic rule over Delhi, and to commemorate the victory by Qutab-ud-din over the city's last Hindu king. Standing 238ft (72m) tall, the tower is decorated with calligraphy representing verses from the Koran, and tapers from a 50ft (15m) diameter at the base to just 8ft (2.5m) at the top. There are five distinct storeys, each encircled with a balcony: the first three are built of red sandstone, and the upper two are faced with white marble. At the foot of the minhar stands Quwwat-ul-Islam - India's oldest mosque, largely built from the remains of 27 Hindu and Jain temples destroyed by the Muslim victors. The cloisters that flank the nearby courtyard are supported by pillars that were unmistakably pilfered from Hindu temples - but fascinatingly, the faces that would have adorned these pillars have been removed to conform to Islamic law, which strictly forbids iconic worship. Somewhat incongruously, in the corner of the mosque stands the Iron Pillar, bearing fourth-century Sanskrit inscriptions of the Gupta period dedicating the structure to the memory of King Chandragupta II (373-413). It is said that anyone who can encircle the pillar with their hands whilst standing with their back to it will have their wishes fulfilled.

Information & Facts

Address

Qutab Minar Complex, Mehrauli, 16 km from Connaught Place

Admission

Rs. 250

Language

Although English is generally used for official and business purposes, Hindi is the official language and is spoken by about 40 percent of the population. Urdu is the language common with the Muslim demographic. India has a total of 22 official languages

Money

The currency is the Indian Rupee (INR), which is divided into 100 paise (singular paisa). Major currencies can be changed at banks, and authorised bureaux de changes. It is impossible to obtain rupees outside India, but no matter what time you arrive in India there will be an exchange office open at the airport. It is illegal to exchange money through the black market and it is advisable to refuse torn notes, as no one will accept them apart from the National Bank. It is best to change money into small denominations. Travellers cheques and major credit cards are widely accepted, particularly in tourist orientated establishments. ATMs are not generally available.

Opening Times

Open daily, from dawn to dusk

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