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12-Qutub Meenaar


12-Qutub Meenaar

Qutub Meenaar is the tallest brick minaret in the world. It was started by Qutubuddeen Aibaq, but he could complete only its basement. His successor added three more storeys, and in 1368, Feeroz Shaah Tugalaq constructed the 5th and the last storey. The development in architecture shows the difference from Aibaq' to Tugalaq's period.

The minaret is made of fluted red sandstone covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Quraan. The Qutub Meenaar is itself built on the ruins of Laal Kot, the Red Citadel in the city of Dhillikaa, the capital of the Tomar and the Chauhaan, the last Hindu rulers of Delhi.

According to the inscriptions on its surface it was repaired by Feeroz Shaah Tugalaq (13511388 AD) and then Sikandar Lodee (14891517 AD). Major R Smith also repaired and restored the minaret in 1829.

The Iron Pillar in the Qutub Caomplex
The iron pillar of Delhi, the capital city of India, is one of the world's foremost metallurgical curiosities, standing in the famous Qutub complex. The minaret is 237.8 ft (72.5m) high, with 399 steps leading to the top. The diameter of the base is 14.3m wide while the top floor is only 2.75m wide.

According to Archaeological Survey of India, this space was housing 20 Jain temples before. Those temples were demolished and their stones were used to build this complex. Many figures of Jain Teerthankar can be seen on many pillars and walls there.

A second tower was also planned to be taller than this but its construction ended when it was 40m tall.

What Does This Iron Pillar Indicate?
--Iron pillar at Mehrauli mentions "Chandra" only. Even if it is assumed Chandragupt, it could be one of the famous 3 Chandragupt in Maurya Vansh and 2 in Gupt period. But none had his capital at Delhi.
--Megasthenese (came during 322 BC - 185 BC) has described Kutub Meenaar as a Pillar of Hercules.
--Ibn-Batootaa indicated it 1500 years after him (during 1325-1354 AD - 14th century).
--Sir Saiyad Ahmed in his book Kutub Minar (1911) also indicated it a Hindu monument of that period.

It has nothing to do with Hindu religion or any Chandragupt, it indicated northern-most position of Moon on Earth surface.
Central axis of Kutub Minar was perpendicular to Kark Rekhaā (Tropic of Cancer) then. Its semi-vertical angle was difference between true and mean latitude of Delhi. This calculation of spherical shape of Earth was not done till 1850.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 09/19/12