NEED TO KNOW
LOCATION Delhi, in the Punjab region northern India
DATE OF CONSTRUCTION
HEIGHT 238 ft (72 m) PURPOSE Uncertain, but possibly for the call to prayer, as a watchtower, or a triumphal monument
The world’s tallest brick minaret, the Qutb Minar is set in peaceful gardens along with funerary buildings and other masterworks of Indo-Muslim architecture dating from the 12th to the 14th centuries. It is a tapering cylindrical tower, with alternating angular and circular flutings, covered with fine engravings and Koranic quotations.
Construction was begun under Qutub-ud-Din Aibak, the first ruler of the medieval Delhi Sultanate, and founder of the Slave Dynasty, using sandstone from demolished Jain temples. It was extended by his son-in-law and has been repaired several times since, but it has withstood the pull of gravity, leaning only 24 inches (60 cm).
Getting There and Around The Qutb Minar is the centerpiece of the Qutb Complex in Mehrauli, 9 miles (15 km) south of central Delhi.
When to Go The complex is open year-round (though the Minar cannot be climbed), but the heat and pollution of Mar–Jun, and the monsoons of Jul–Sep make late fall to early spring (Oct– Feb) the best time to visit.