Qutub Complex, Delhi
I have been to Qutub Minar many times. But the trip of October 2006 was different. This time, I went with a idea in mind to find some historical evidence. I was told that Prithvi Raj Chauhan built several Temples, and muslim rulers destroyed them to build the Qutub Minar. “I FOUND THIS TO BE TRUE”
Qutub Minar Stands as a Mighty tower as the main monument in entire Qutub Complex, which actually comprises of Quwwat-Ul-Islam Mosque, the Alai Gate, the Alai Minar and the Iron Pillar. Out of these, the Mosque was built by destroying 27 previous jain temples built by Prithvi Raj Chauhan. You can find partly defaced holy statues everywhere in the complex.
Here is some information from www.wikipedia.com on this Mosque
Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque (Might of Islam) (also known as the Qutb Mosque or the Great Mosque of Delhi) was built by Qutb-ud-din Aybak, founder of the Mamluk or Slave dynasty. The mosque construction started in the 1190s when Aibak was the commander of Muhammad Ghori‘s garrison occupied Delhi. The mosque is said to be built by the parts taken by destruction of twenty-seven Hindu and Jain temples. Historical records compiled by Muslim historian Maulana Hakim Saiyid Abdul Hai attest to the iconoclasm of Qutb-ud-din Aybak. The first mosque built in Delhi, the “Quwwat al-Islam” was built after demolishing the Jain temple built previously by Prithvi Raj and leaving certain parts of the temple outside the mosque proper. This pattern of iconoclasm was common during his reign, although an argument goes that such iconoclasm was motivated more by politics than by religion. It was the first mosque built in Delhi after the Islamic conquest of India and the best surviving example of Ghurid’s architecture.
There are other monuments in this complex like the Iron Pillar, which was constructed by King Vikramaditya. This is the only remaining piece of a jain temple, that was not destroyed by Qutub-Ud-Din-Aibak. There was a rumor that if you can hold your hands together around the pillar, while your back touches the pillar, you will get good luck. I did this long ago, but now Archeological Department has constructed a fence around this pillar. There is some inscription on this pillar (Obviously I was not able to understand even a single word out of it )
There is another rumor, which I can’t confirm is true or not, because I never found any evidence to same. They say, that the Qutub Minar itself is a marvelous architecture from ancient India, and stood long before Qutub-Ud-Din-Aybak came there. This minar was actually a huge apparatus to know the planetary motions. It has a specific number of circular and angular sides that represent different planets. At fixed distance from this minar, there were spots/stones from where astrologers were able to calculate position of any planet just by the shadow of minar. When Qutub-Ud-Din Aybak came, he simply removed all the stones and turned them inside out, and got sayings from holy Qurran inscribed on it. But again, I just heard this rumor from someone, and would love to learn more about it, is someone has any information.
The top two stories of Qutub Minar were destroyed way back in last decade of 20th century when an airplane crashed into it.
Beside Qutub Minar, there is another unfinished minar within this complex. This is called Alai Minar. It was supposed to be double the height of Qutub Minar. But after the death of Ala ud din Khilji, the founder of Khilji Dynasty, who started this minar, the construction was stopped. Today, the only constructed 24.5 meter high first stands. It was a real fun climbing into it and jumping to the higher levels.
I get a chance to see Qutub Minar ever 2-3 weeks now from outside as I have to go to meet clients, and this minar lies on way. It still stands in the same majestic manner, as it stood several centuries ago.