India: Qutub Minar

The Qutub Minar was constructed with red sandstone and marble, and is the tallest minaret in India, with a height of 237.8 ft.  It contains 379 steps.  Construction began in 1192.  It is surrounded by several other ancient and medieval structures and ruins, collectively known as Qutub complex.

The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, located northeast of Minar, was built in 1198 AD. It is the earliest mosque built by the Delhi Sultans.  The Iron Pillar in the courtyard bears an inscription in Sanskrit in the 4th century AD.  According to this inscription, the pillar was set up as a Vishnudhvaja (standard of Lord Vishnu) in memory of a mighty king, named Chandra. It is one of the world’s foremost metallurgical curiosities, standing in the famous Qutub complex.  According to tradition, anyone who can encircle the entire column with their arms, with their back towards the pillar, can have their wish granted. Because of the corrosive qualities of sweat, the government has built a fence around it for safety.

Before 1981, the general public could climb to the top of Qutub Minar. However, on Dec. 4, 1981, when the electricity failed, and the staircase of the tower went dark, around 45 people died in a stampede.  At the time, about 300-400 people were inside the tower. Most of the victims were children.  The entry to the stairway of the tower has been closed since then. (Thanks to Wikipedia)

Qutub Minar

Plumeria tree, popular in both India and Hawaii.

Bougainvillea, also popular in both India and Hawaii.

Iron Pillar.

Our tour guide, Michael, snapped this picture of me with Qutub Minar in the background.

14 Responses to “India: Qutub Minar”

  1. Arti Says:

    Beautiful. I have been there once as a child. Thanks for refreshing my memories 🙂 You look great in the last shot 🙂

  2. L....w Says:

    Geee….so much to learn and see. Your muumuus are perfect for India, perfect match since local flora like the plumeria and bougainvillea are growing there too.

  3. SchmidleysScribbling Says:

    Fascinating ruins from the Hindu and Muslim past. Glad you are enjoying your trip. How is your foot doing?

  4. DrumMajor Says:

    Interesting structures. I’m guessing their sandstone has some iron flecks in it. Hadn’t heard of building with marble layered with the sandstone. Amazing history. DrumMajor

  5. Christine Says:

    great photo of you with the tower behind, although what a terrible tragedy!

  6. Mage B Says:

    Thhis is all so much fun to travel with you. 🙂

  7. Grannymar Says:

    Great photos. It looks warm there. I love the patterns in the penultimate photo.

  8. Musings Says:

    I was about to say the same thing as L of W. Your muumuu must feel right at home with the plumerias and bouganvilleas.

  9. Nancy Wu Says:

    Hi Gigi…you don’t know me but I Love you already!! Your blogs are so fun and full of life! I feel like I’m there with you guys each and everyday. I can’t wait to see where you will travel next. BTW….will you help me send my regards to my handsome husband Michael, who happens to be your tour director…;) I sincerely thank you for posting these blogs, for I feel much closer to him although we are half world away. I can’t wait to read more! Have fun and stay healthy!!

    • gigihawaii Says:

      I relayed your message of love to Michael, and he was surprised that you commented on my blog. He thinks you got my blog address from Derek. Is that true? At any rate, welcome to my blog world, Nancy.

  10. Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife Says:

    What a tragic story.

  11. Linda Reeder Says:

    I’m hung up on the thought of 40 people dying from stampeding in the dark tower. Such a shameful tragedy.

  12. Denise Says:

    All fascinating, I am really enjoying your travels.

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