Qutb Minar

Finally, a visit when I can actually see the historic tower.

On my first visit to Delhi, in December 2008, I was disappointed by our visit to this monumental piece of history.  It was, as so often happens on December mornings, densely foggy.  We could barely see higher than our own heads, and thus the towering minaret of Qutb Minar, 73m in height, was virtually invisible.  Today I finally got to see it! read on…

Qutb Minar is the tallest brick minaret, and is nearly 1,000 years old.  Construction began in 1193 and it wasn’t fully complete until 1368. 

The grounds are well kept, and on this pleasant weekday morning there was a horde of schoolchildren running about the grassy parkland. wearing their school uniforms, a Japanese tour group, and a host of individuals and small family groups. 

In addition to the minaret, there are ruins of several ancient tombs and old mosques, including the oldest extant mosque in India, Quwwatul-Islam Masjid, and a very old iron pillar (7 high, and dating back to at least 400CE or maybe even 912BCE, according to Wikipedia).  Wikipedia describes its impressive origins: “The pillar was manufactured by forge welding. The temperatures required to form such a pillar by forge welding could only have been achieved by the combustion of coal. The pillar is a testament to the high level of skill achieved by ancient Indian blacksmiths in the extraction and processing of iron.”

Later, I stopped by the Rose Gardens and the Hauz Khas Village park, an extensive wooded park with nice paths.  It was a sunny day and quite a pleasant walk.  In the middle of the park are several very old tombs, and ruins of Mosques, dating back to to about 1500CE.

Bagh-i-alam ka Gumbad (it’s an old tomb dating from approx 1500CE), Hauz Khas village park

See photos from both locations.

This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2021, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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