1511-Qutub Minar – India

The Qutb Minar is the tallest brick minaret in the world, inspired by the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan, it is an important example of early Afghan architecture, which later evolved into Indo-Islamic Architecture. The Qutb Minar is 239 ft high, has five distinct storeies, each marked by a projecting balcony carried on muqarnas corbel and tapers from a diameter 14.3 metres at the base to 2.7 metres at the top, which is 379 steps away. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with surrounding buildings and monuments.

Built as a Victory Tower, to celebrate the victory of Mohammed Ghori over the Rajput king, Prithviraj Chauhan, in 1192 AD, by his then viceroy, Qutbuddin Aibak, later the first Sultan of Mamluk dynasty. Its construction also marked the beginning of Muslim rule in India. Even today the Qutb remains one of the most important “Towers of Victory” in the Islamic world. Aibak however, could only build the first story, for this reason the lower story is replete with eulogies to Mohammed Ghori. The next three floors were added by his son-in-law and successor, Iltutmish. The minar was first struck by lightning in 1368 AD, which knocked off its top story, after that it was replaced by the existing two floors by Firoz Shah Tughlaq, a later Sultan of Delhi 1351 to 1388, and faced with white marble and sandstone enhancing the distinctive variegated look of the minar, as seen in lower three stories. Thus the structure displays a marked variation in architectural styles from Aibak to that of Tughlaq dynasty. The inside has intricate carvings of the verses from the Quran (stolen from the web).

As you walked closer and closer to the tower, it became more amazing
with each step. Check out the other photos as I walked up.

The tower was stunningly beautiful from this angle.

Solid rock carving.

The old temple.

These workers were chipping away at the rock by hand.