The image of the Qutb Minar is synonymous with Delhi. Much like India Gate, we find it on practically every book, pamphlet, publication on Delhi. There is no avoiding it in school textbooks or school picnics either! We have grown up reading about it, taking visiting relatives to the Qutb (that was before the Saket malls came up). The fact that it is one of the better maintained sites in Delhi has added to its popularity with both locals & tourists alike. And it also has a World Heritage Site tag to boot. There is no doubt to Qutb’s importance to history & much of it is deeply contested. Our heritage walk here focused less on the Qutb Minar itself but more on the relationship of the Qutb to the surrounding monuments, their development in Delhi’s history & the anecdotes about people who shaped the site & thereby our ‘experience’ of it. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Qutub Minar’ Category
Here are some pictures capturing details from our heritage walk at Qutb Complex on 2 October 2011. Vinay is a regular at our walks.
‘Keele to dheeli bhai, Tomara bhaya mat heen’
This couplet referring to the Iron Pillar in the Qutb Complex is one of the popular stories on how Delhi was named. Our heritage walk at the Qutb Complex explored similar interesting nuggets on Delhi and its history. Delhi is known for its capital cities, and it all started here in the Mehrauli area where the Qutb stands today. The first cities of Delhi, the Lal Kot, Qila Rai Pithora and then capital of the Turks were all here. The Complex also has the first congregation mosque, the Jami Masjid, which is popularly known as the Quwwat ul Islam mosque. It is distinctive for the reuse of material taken from temples, used to create the cloisters of the mosque. Some of the pillars have mason’s marks on them giving numbers to the pillars.
In the courtyard stands the famous Iron Pillar. Continue Reading This Post
It was a lovely morning when the students and teachers of Delhi Public School, Gurgaon joined us at the Qutb complex for a heritage walk. They were students of humanities from class 11 and 12 accompanied by their Principal, Ms Aditi Misra and two senior teachers, Ms Lisa and Ms Sapna Dhawan. There was slight drizzle and breeze which made it fun to walk around the monuments. There were 4 of us from Delhi Heritage Walks: Chhavi, Divya, Kanika and Vijaya to interact with the students.
The Qutb Minar needs little introduction, so we tried to discuss the lesser known details about the complex. What is today the entrance to the site is actually part of a serai dating to the late-Mughal time. Our first stop was the Quwwat ul Islam mosque, built from material taken from temples. Some of the students had visited an active mosque earlier, so they were familiar with Islamic religious practices; others were quick to note how the sculptures were disfigured. Continue Reading This Post