Q for Qutb Minar

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(A special post today as this is the 200th on this blog!)

The Qutb Minar is in Delhi, India.

Originally the minar had only 4 storeys, faced with red and buff sandstone. The uppermost storey which was damaged in 1368 during Firuz Tughluq’s reign was replaced by him by 2 storeys, using marble but leaving the lower portion of the 4th storey in original red sandstone.

The minar narrows from the bottom to the top. It has a diameter of 14.3 meters at the bottom, while at the top it is only 2.7 meters

Verses of the holy Quran in Naskh style on the walls of Qutb Minar

With a height of 72.5 m and 379 steps, it is the highest stone tower in India and a perfect example of minar known to exist anywhere.

Verses of the holy Quran in Naskh style on the walls of Qutb Minar


The mosque is in ruins today but indigenous corbelled arches, floral motifs, and geometric patterns can be seen among the Islamic architectural structures. Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, constructed by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak, dates back to the year 1198. (below and header photo)

Alai Gate
Alai Gate

Alai Darwaza is the name given to the southern gateway of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque. Ala-ud-Din Khalji got the gateway constructed in the year 1311. It boasts of being the first gateway with a horseshoe arch and true dome. Along with that, it was also the first structure, which employed Islamic principles of construction and decoration.

Q = Pillars
Jain Temple Pillars

All the artisans employed for the construction of Qutb Minar were Hindus and even the raw material for the monument was obtained from existing Hindu and Jain temples. Since human and animal figures are not allowed in Islam, the motifs illustrating them were later disfigured.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

24 thoughts on “Q for Qutb Minar”

  1. Stunning with such intricate detail. The colors remind me of our own earth tone reds and rich browns in parts of Colorado. Outstanding photos, Jude.

    Hearty congratulations on reaching your 200th post. You rock!!

    1. You live a spectacular part of the world Sammy. Thanks for the lovely compliment 🙂 Back to normal tomorrow night so I should be able to catch up!

  2. hi Sue,
    yes, the Qutb Minar is a landmark in the history of architecture; my daughter, an architect, writing books about the history of architecture, once visited with her students the Qutb Minar (and some other famous buildings in India) – thank you for your series!

  3. What fantastic detailed photos Jude. They brought back the memories of when I stood transfixed in front of this incredible Minar, thanks for all the information as well as the photos. I’m afraid Q got me beat this week as I have lost all my old photos on the external hard drive I have with us… 😦 (I was going to do Qantas or Queensland.)

    1. Oh no PP! I hope you have a backup of your photos. I didn’t know you had been to India – when was that? I suppose I could have used a Queenslander house for a Q building, though I’m not sure I have a good photo of one. Hope you are enjoying WA. I shall try and catch up with everyone over the weekend 🙂

      1. I was in India in 1986!!!! so long ago but I will NEVER forget it, riding camels through the Thar desert, rowing down the Ganges and biking into Agra as the sun set.Oh yes I never thought of the Queenslander I have/had 😦 lots of those photos

    1. Thanks Sue. It is a difficult tower to photograph (as all towers are) and I really wanted to show the incredible detail which exists on the whole site.

    1. I believe we have touched on this before Jo. Yes there are wonderful sights and sites in India, but the sheer filth and poverty is overwhelming. I struggled with it when I was 20, at 55 I was horrified that many things remain the same. Seeing toddlers begging breaks your heart.

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