Qutub Minar: the leaning tower of Delhi

Qutub Minar, Delhi

The 72.5-metre-tall red sandstone and marble Qutub Minar is the tallest structure in Delhi, and the tallest brick minaret in the world. It’s also an excellent example of Indo-Islamic architecture and one of the major sights in the Indian capital. When we visited, it seemed to be equally popular with foreign and local visitors.

Construction of the Qutub Minar began in the 1190s. Over the years, more stories were added. As a result, the tower tilts slightly to one side. (Thought the photo was crooked, did ya?)

Qutub Minar is more than just a conical tower. It’s part of an ancient complex with evidence from several periods of history. Inscriptions on the walls are gorgeous Arabic stone carvings of Qur’anic verse from the Mughal era. But there’s also some Brahmi.

Sadly, it’s not possible to go inside the monument and climb the 379 steps. 32 years ago, a power failure caused panic and 45 people were killed, many of them children on a school outing.

Just as well one can’t enter perhaps. According to this article in the Times of India, Qutub Minar began tilting soon after its construction. The tower now leans 25 inches and there’s concern it will lean even further due to rainwater leekage.

Qutub Minar Practicals

  • Qutub Minar is open daily, sunrise to sunset
  • Price: 250 Rupees for foreigners
  • Getting there: Qutub Minar is in Mehrauli, in the southern part of New Delhi, and quite easy to reach by metro (Qutub Minar station). Walk or take an auto-rickshaw from the metro station to the monument.

 

unesco logo

Qutb Minar is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.

15 Responses to “Qutub Minar: the leaning tower of Delhi”

  1. The Guy 28 October 2013 1748 #

    I remember this place. I visited in August 2001 so was struggling to remember the name of the place. It is quite eye opening seeing the amount of Islamic influence on the history of India. There is certainly a lot of stunning pieces of history like this around.

    I remember a big Islamic palace which I visited on the same day as seeing this tower. I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the place though.
    The Guy recently posted..The Number One Reason To Travel

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 29 October 2013 1122 #

      Could it be the Red Palace (Lal Mahal), perhaps…? It’s in Delhi’s Nizzamuddin area.

  2. Stephen 29 October 2013 0219 #

    This makes me sad that I am not in Delhi right now. I had to get out of the Euro zone before my visa would have been ready. Oh well, there is always next year :) Thanks for the info. Also it is great to discover you blog!
    Stephen recently posted..Top 5 European Cities for Your First Backpacking Trip

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 29 October 2013 1123 #

      Thanks :)

  3. Hannah 29 October 2013 0917 #

    Good thing we booked our India flight already. Can’t wait to experience the adventure and to see this tower of Delhi!
    Hannah recently posted..How to get from Hopkins Village, Belize to Placencia, Belize by bus

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 29 October 2013 1124 #

      Ooh, fun. Delhi is so full of colours, tastes, smells, sights, sounds…

  4. Alex | Partial Parallax 29 October 2013 1027 #

    wow looks great! seems a truly interesting monument to a time now lost. It really is a shame you can’t climb it as I would love to get to the top. Just another reason I need to get to India
    Alex | Partial Parallax recently posted..Takayama – Escaping The City

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 29 October 2013 1129 #

      I’d love to see the view from the top as well.

  5. Maria 29 October 2013 1209 #

    Interesting landscape and what a rich history it has. Wow!
    Maria recently posted..Haiku: Uncertain Delay

  6. Muza-chan 30 October 2013 0823 #

    Great photo, Sophie. I love the vivid colors :)
    Muza-chan recently posted..The inverted pillar of Toshougu

  7. Hurssel 31 October 2013 1642 #

    Already in Delhi :) Its a great thing to discover your blog Sophie. Is there any other place like this Tower. I would love to explore Delhi, this place is really awesome.
    Thanks!

  8. Leigh 3 November 2013 1626 #

    It’s hard to appreciate just how tall this minaret is. I had to go back and reread how high it was. I’ve never heard f it but what a beautiful building. Wonder if I’ll ever make it to Delhi.
    Leigh recently posted..20 of the World’s Most Beautiful Waterfalls

  9. Dan 12 December 2013 1636 #

    Wow what an impressive structure. That’s terrible about the children dying all those years ago
    Dan recently posted..Why You Should Visit Iceland In Summer

  10. shiva tiwari 28 January 2014 1134 #

    Qutubh minar is a Important Part of India tourism.

  11. Sunny 4 April 2014 1746 #

    There are lots of places to visit in Delhi but Qutub Minar is the most famous and most visiting tourism place in India.

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