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Untold story of the Qutub Minar

Mamluk Sultan Altamash (Iltutmish) built the Minarah, which till date is the tallest rubble masonry minaret on earth. Then why do we call it the Qutub Minar?

Qutub Minar

The Qutb Minar (also spelled as Qutub Minar or Kutb Minar) is world’s tallest rubble masonry minaret and a world heritage site in Delhi. It is situated within the Qutb Complex, which has been the centre of the first city of Delhi since the first Muslim ruler stepped here. Before Muhammad-bin-Sam (Muhammad Ghori) defeated Prithvi Raj Chauhan, this land was with Tomar Rajpoots & Chauhans (Arkpal Tomar gave it to his grandson Prithvi). Chauhan extended the walls of Lal Kot to create Qila Rai Pithora. Ghori left his governor Qutb-ud-din Aibak to rule India after defeating Prithvi Raj  Chauhan in 1060 A.D. and thus the slave dynasty started in India. There is a huge minar in the heart of this city, which most people attribute to this first Islamic ruler of north India – Qutb-ud-Din Aibak. But is this true? This article unfolds a story, least discussed in History.


The Qutb Complex


The Qutb Complex was originally a site with 27 Hindu and Jain Temples. These temples were destroyed by the Islamic invaders to obtain stone and raw material for their mosques and other buildings. These temples existed much before Ghori was even born.

As the rulers from slave dynasty planned their buildings, they were short of raw material. By demolishing the majestic temples, they served another very important purpose. To ensure stronghold, it was important that the backbone of religion prevailing in conquered land is crushed. Destroying temples meant that the new Islamic Invaders had no respect for the religion being practiced by locals. They were in such hurry of completing the job, that they were not able to deface the statues properly. Even today, the remains of temples can be seen within the Qutb Complex.

The First Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid of Qutb Complex For those who don’t know, ‘Jama Masjid’ (or Jami Masjid or Jumma Masjid or Masjid-e-Jami) is the majestic Friday Mosque built for the Muslim population of the city. Inscriptions on the Qutb Minar suggested that Qutb-ud-Din Aibak built this Mosque as the first building after stepping on Indian Land. This was the oldest mosque of North India. There are few mosques built in Tamil Nadu and Kerala before this. Qutb-ud-din Aibak was ruling over Delhi from 1206 to 1210 AD. There is a confusion over the actual name of this mosque. These days, we call it Quwwat-ul-Islam (Might of Islam) but the old books suggest that its name was Qubbat-e-Islam. R.N.Munshi even writes it as ‘Qutb-ul-Islam’. Further, Munshi quotes the translation of the inscription written on the walls of Mosque (done by Thomas in his book – Pathan Kings):

Kutb-ud-Din Aibak, on whom be the mercy of God, constructed this mosque.

This fortress was conquered and this Masjid Jami was built during the months of the year 587 by the great and mighty commander-in-chief Kutb-ul-Dawlat-wa-ul-Din, the commander of commanders, Aibeg Sultan. May God exalt his helpers. Materials from 27 idol temples, each of which cost twice thousand into thousand Diliwals, have been used in this Masjid. May Almighty God send mercy on him, who prays for the rest of the builder.

Quote Ref: The History of the Kutb Minar (Delhi) by R. N. Munshi (1911)

Later this mosque was extended by Alaudin Khilji and a college (Madrasa) was added to it. When Khilji died, he was buried in the same mosque and his tomb, though not decorated with glorifying marble and inscriptions, was built in same complex.


Origin of Qutb Minar

Qutub-4 According to the popular  belief, the Qutb Minar (or Qutub Minar) was built by the first Islamic ruler of North India, Qutubud-din Aibak. However, I have found numerous proofs that he neither had funds, nor time (in his tiny 4 year regime),  to build, or even commence such a majestic structure. It appears to me that associating it with Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aibak was a “historian’s mistake”. If you read historians & travellers, who came to India during the Sultanate period, you will find that they honour this Minar as ‘Sultan Altamash’s Minar’. Hasan Nizami dedicated his work Taj-ul-Maasir (the crown of exploits) to sultan Aibak but also mentioned major events from the period of his predecessor and successor. There is no reference to any such Minar in this important piece of work, which talks about period after 7 years of death of Aibak. If Qutubuddin Aibak even dreamed about (if not commissioned) this minar, then we must have found atleast some mention in this book. But Hasan Nizami do talk about the Jami Masjid of Delhi built by Aibak in following manner:

Kutb-ud-Din built the Jami Masjid at Delhi, and adorned it with the stones and gold obtained from the temples which had been demolished by elephants, and covered it with inscriptions in Yoghra, containing the divine commands.”

Following are the other prominent travel historians of related period

  • Ibn Asir (with his work Kamil-ut-Tawarikh aka Tarikh-i-Kamil)
  • Ata Malik Juwaini aka Alau-ud-din Juwaini (with his work Tarikh-i-Jahan-Kusha)
  • Maulana Nuruddin Muhammed ‘Ufi, who lived in Delhi during Altamash’s period (with his work Jami-ul-Hikayat wa Liwami-ul-Riwayat)
  • Minhaj-i-Siraj (with his work Tabkat-i-Nasiri)

The above authors make no mention of Minar. If it was one of the biggest construction of era, these people, who were living in Delhi and writing particularly on Qutb-ud-Din Aibak must have mentioned about it.

Fatuhat-i-Feroz Shahi, written by Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq himself has a mention of Qutb Minar. It says:

“The minara of Sultan Muizz-ud-din Sam had been struck by lightning. I repaired it and raised it higher than it was before”

It should be noted that Feroz Shah Tughlaq also repaired other monuments and mention correct names like Hauz-i-Shamsi, Hauz-i-Alai, Madrasa of Altamash, Rukn-ud-din’s Tomb, Sultan Jalal-ud-Din’s Tomb and so on. Tarikh-i-Firozshahi written by Shams-i-Siraj Afif however refer to this Minar as “the large pillar at old Delhi” raised by Sultan Shams-ud-Din Altamash. Ibn Batuta was not sure who built this minar so all he wrote about the builder was “Is it the minar of Feroz Shah”. Babur in his memoirs mention about this minar as the Minar of Sultan Alauddin Khilji. This shows that even till late 16th century, this minar was not attributed to Qutb-ud-Din Aibak. It was known by the names of Altamash, Khilji or Tughlaq, who we know built and repaired portions of minar.

Translation on the entrance gate of Qutb minar:

The prophet on whom be the mercy and peace of God, has declared “whoever erects a temple to the true God (on earth,) shall receive six such ‘dwellings in Paradise’. The Minar, the building of the king of kings, Shems-ud-Dunya-wa-ud-Din, now in peace and pardon, be his tomb protected, and his place be assigned in heaven ____ was injured by lightning in the reign of the exalted monarch Secander the son of Behlol : (may his power and empire last for ever and his reign be glorious); and therefore the slave Fatteh-Khan, the son of Mesned-Ali the liberal of the liberal, and the meritorious servant of the king _____________, repaired it according to command. The 13th of Rebi-ul-Akher in the year 909.


The Sultan Shams-ul-Hak-wa-ud-Din Altamash ____ erected this building


“The erection of this building was commanded in the glorious time of the great Sultan, the mighty king of kings, the master of mankind, the lord of the monarchs of Turkistan, Arabia and Persia; the Sun of the World and Religion, of the Faith and the Faithful, the lord of safety and protection, the heir of the kingdom of Sulman Abul Muzeffer Altamash, Nasir-Amin-ul-Momenin”

– Translation by Mr. Walter Ewer in Asiatic Researces vol. XIV (Cal: 1822)

We can see from the above proofs that this Minar was always known as the Minar of Altamash and not of Qutub-ud-Din Aibak.


Minarets of Jam, Ghazni and Konye

Reputed historian Sir Syed Ahmed in his work Athar-us-Sanadid said that this Minar was actually built by Prothvi Raj Chauhan so that his daughter can have a view of Jamuna river. But if it is true, then its design and architecture must be unique and not match with the other Minars of Islamic countries.


Minaret of Ghazni: Built by Muizuddin Bahram in 10th century in the city of Ghazni. It is little different from the Qutb Minar but has many similarities, like built by same generation of rulers and it is also the minaret of a mosque.

Minaret of Gutluk Temir in Konye-Urgench: This is the third tallest rubble masonry minaret in world built in Old Urgench city of Turkmenistan in 11th century.

Minaret of Jam: This Minaret, very much similar to the architecture of Qutub Minar is situated in Shahrak District of Ghor Province of Afghanistan. It is right next to the Hari River. This 65 metre high minaret was completed in 12th century. This place (called Firuzkoh) was the summer capital of Ghorid Dynasty (from where Qutbuddin Aibak came). This is the second tallest rubble masonry minaret of world and was probably attached to a mosque, just like Qutb Minar.


Qutbuddin Or Qutbuddin

Some historians went to an extend claiming that Altamash dedicated this Minaret to Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki (r.a.), whose shrine is right behind this complex. Khwaja Kaki (ra) is the immediate successor of Hz. Khwaja Mouinuddin Chisti (ra) of Ajmer. This could be true because we know how much Altamash respected Hazrat Kaki (ref: work by Maulana Minhaj Siraj). A friend of mine, Khalid bin Umar told me a story:

Khwaja Qutub-ud-din Bakhtiyar Kaki (1173-1235 AD) is one of the most respected and esteemed Buzurg in India. He lived during the reign of Altamash ( Eltutmish) and died in Delhi. When Khawaja Qutub-ud-Din Bakhtiyar Kaki’s janazah was ready for the last salat. The khadim-i-khas came forward and announced that according to the will of Khawaja Sahib the funeral prayer (salat-ul-janazah) is to be led by the person who fulfills these 3 requirements:

  1. He should have never committed adultery after reaching puberty.
  2. He should have never missed the 4 rakat of sunnah(ghair-muakkidah) before Asr salat.
  3. He should have never missed Takbir-i-Ula’ ( Opening Takbir in Salat) in prayer ( Jamat)

The huge crowd stood still !
Hundreas of Awliya , Shyukh of Delhi as well as Shaykh’s senior disciples were present there. No one came forward.Khadim repeatedly announced the requirements. But there was no response. A sense of impatience was being felt.
Finally, Sultan Shamusddin Altamash (May Allah have mercy on him) stepped forward. He remarked, “No one knew my secret, the respected Khawaja disclosed it. All praise is to Allah, I fullfil these criteria”. He then led the prayers.

I have serious doubts on the fact that Qutb Minar was named after Hazrat Khwaja because if it really was, Altamash must have engraved atleast some information in this regard on the tower. He had all the time in world to write almost everything on this minaret and even the kings that followed him wrote a lot on it. But no one ever mentioned anything about Hazrat Kaki, ever. However, Ritter in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (Vol XX, Nos. I to VIII, 1851, p353), wrote that this Minar could be in honour of Qutub Sahib, the celebrated saint. This statement is further corroborated by Major Raverty in his translation of Tabakat-i-Nasiri where he calls this Minar as ‘Lath of Kutb Sahib’. Several other historians like Miss Mabel Duff (aka Mrs. W. R. Rickemers) and even Sir Alexander Cunningham (Dir. Gen. of ASI – 1862) support this statement. But they all put forward their assumptions and no one gives an assurance of confirmed fact to prove it. The only logical reason was given by R.N. Munshi, who says that since Hazrat Kaki was such a celebrated saint, it is possible that the emperors never thought of putting an extra line on the Minaret and it was assumed by everyone as the ‘Laat of Qutub Sahib’


[Edited – 16 October 2015]

Link with 27 Nakshatras

Many people claim that since there were 27 temples and Qutub Minar has 27 edges on base, this could be a Hindu observatory to study the Constellation movement as Hindus believe in 27 Nakshatras. Well, before paying attention to any such rumour, I would request readers to ponder upon following points:

  1. There were 27 temples. They were a mix of Jain and Hindu Temples. This makes it impossible to form a pattern for observatory
  2. These temples were built in different eras, some even decades apart. There is no proper documentation for each.
  3. Temples were not in a single complex. They were spread across the length and breadth of this first city. Some were even outside the walls of Lal Kot and Rai Pithora. We still have Jain Dada Badi and few other remains
  4. A portion of Temple is still intact in the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque. One should see its placement and design, before reaching the final conclusion.
  5. The base has 27 conical edges and 27 circular ones. This makes it 54 at base.


Qutub Minar has a long and mysterious history. People like me will never be able to unfold it completely. However, I have tried my best to put forward the facts that I learned in past few years.

Vikramjit Singh Rooprai


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79 thoughts on “Untold story of the Qutub Minar

  1. Khalid Bin Umar on said:

    Vikram ! This is nicely done ! Yet the door of research is open ! Shall discuss with you later on !

  2. Yashwant Kumar on said:

    Nice Article Vikram. As its difficult to make a conclusion here, its good to see that only facts have been provided and discussion is not closed yet.

    • That’s the point Yash. I am not qualified to give a definitive judgement on such a sensitive question. However, I have placed facts for scholars and hope that they will some day be able to find an answer.

  3. Vishal B on said:

    Interesting read. I especially liked the idea of the ‘Qutub’ being Khwaja Bakhtiyar Kaki rather than Aibak the king. Makes sense.

  4. Nilanjana Biswas on said:

    Nice article,sir.It is a very interesting topic..itsreally a big question that why was Qutb Minar so named..till now there is a debate on this topic..but I hope,one day we will get the answer of this question.

  5. rama on said:

    really very interesting article, thanks for it

  6. Muktha on said:

    Very interesting topic ……..
    I liked this article a lot.

  7. yudhishithir yadav on said:

    Good luck

  8. Prashant on said:

    Amazing facts. Very enlightening.

  9. Guru Dutt on said:

    Hello Vikramjit,
    It is great you are doing detailed research, interesting work. In this regards have you read a book by Dr. Hariharnivas Dwivedi, in 1980, published by Vidya Mandir Prakashan of Gwalior http://books.google.com/books/about/Kirti_Stambh_Kutubminar.html?id=G7yJYgEACAAJ . The name of the book is “Kirti Stambha”, it is a 276 page book. While I do not know if the analysis by the author is correct (better not to make judgements unless one looks at the references properly), he seems to have done a fair amount of detailed research. He also goes into the issue Jam Minar that you have raised in your article above, as also the other Minars in central asia and also China. Since you are working in this topic, it may be good to check out his book. At the very least you will get a number of references that you may not know about now. The book does not seem to be in publication, if you would like to read it and cannot get hold of the book, I can send you a copy. A good friend of mine scanned the book and sent it to me.

    • Oh wow. It would be amazing. Please do send it to me. I would love to read that book

    • Nice attempt and good literary research for a beginning. Now, there’re some questions. What makes you think like you replied elsewhere here that the minar was not Hindu. Then, what makes you sure that the Islamist rulers didnt break any temples including this one when hundrreds of their history texts\records\biography loudly observe it? What makes you think that PN Oak was at fault and when he was trashed by court? Even you haven’t reached to a definitive conclusion. What makes you so sure of the complex not being of Varahmihir but of Iltatmish who ruled in 1210 !? Just asking, are you a product of JNU or from Communist group?
      Keeping that apart. Are you still working on the topic? What else you have? I am also working on it. I’d sure need your hand if you’re doing an unbiased work.
      if Altatmush built this minar, then who built he temples seen around it? And, which are clearly seen to be demolished beside detailed descriptions in texts?
      you appear to protect islamic tyrants by saying they merely used the temples destroying it for maing their own minar and mosque. if the islamic were so considerate why they didnt built the mosque elsewhere on a cleaner place? Why not one but thousands of temples were demolished in delhi alone? for raw material? Nice theory. and, who were islamists? Your relative? our relative or sympathizer? who came to bless you with their sword? This work is being belittled by your bias which is well seen. I don’t know the reason you bettr know it. But I know why and who did it and when! You’d know soon.

      • Wow
        So many accusations.
        Well, I am not a product of JNU or any communist group. I am neither part of any religious organization or influenced by any political party. I am just an Indian, trying to find truth. I want to reply to every query in detail but the way you labelled me has hurt me. However, I will still give you some basic answers to clear the confusion:
        There were 27 Temples, but they were not all Hindu temples. They were Jain + Hindu temples built in different centuries. Pillars from these temples were used to create the Mosque, which we now call Quwwat-Ul-Islam Mosque. We don’t need any RSS proof for this because Qutubuddin Aibak himself claimed it and same is inscribed on the main Gate of this Mosque.
        Complex was definitely of VarahMihir and I even think that Iron Pillar has a close connection with him because Iron Pillar came from Vidisha and Mihir was employed there by King Vikramaditya (during whose period metallurgy was excelled). We have strong documents mentioning his observatory in vicinity. However, I am confident that the present Qutub Minar or the place of Quwwat Ul Islam mosque cannot be Mihir’s observatory because Ashram is supposed to be slightly off the main temple complex (This itself is a long topic to discuss. Check Vastu Shastra and you will get idea). Besides, we have a stone in the base of Qutub Minar (inside the entry gate) which says ‘Prithi nirapa: stambha:’. This stone is not on its original position. It shows that it is from a Pillar built by Prithvi raj Chauhan. There is a possibility that the pillar/tower was at this exact position, but with the arrangement of stones we understand that this structure is not the one (looking at architecture).
        Why do I believe that Iltutmish/Altamash built it: Well, one needs to read accounts of travelers and the translations of inscription on the minar. Also match it with the architecture and mortar composition of its predecessors (as compared to one used locally in temples). This information I got from ASI Sup. Arch.
        Temples were built by Jains and tomars. We have many references in Jain Pattawalis and this area is mentioned as Mihirapuri.
        I am not protecting anyone. But I am troubled by the biased view of some of us. If you go to Pakistan, they think Hindus as Bad. When you come to India, we think Muslims are bad. When you go to Bangladesh, atrocities are against Buddhist and Christians and if you go to Mayanmar, Buddhists are killing Hindus and Muslims. Why can’t we understand the basic thing that it is just the politicians that force us to look us at one side of coin.
        Every king destroyed cities that they conquered, ‘IRRESPECTIVE OF RELIGION’. Look at what Ashoka did. Look at what Hindu kings of Kashmir did (when they destroyed temples).
        And on PN Oak, if anyone has even read a little bit about architecture and archaeology, s/he would understand how illiterate Oak is. I don’t want to spend my energy defending against that person.

  10. Guru Dutt on said:

    Sounds good. Please let me know your email address to send it. The total size for the file is ~28 MB.

  11. Guru Dutt on said:

    Hello Vikramjit,
    I actually got your email addresses from your contact in the blog and sent the book to your addresses at hotmail, yahoo, gmail. Please let me know if you have not got it yet. I would be curious to hear your thoughts after you have gone through it.

  12. This one is one of the Interesting and very good knowledge about the Qutub complex. The main interesting this is that the stories which written in this post is fabulous. maybe not easy to find out from any other way and also no one will give this kind of knowledge. I am really happy with this.

  13. Chanchal on said:

    Qutub Minar was a Hindu structure and was known as Vishnudhwaj.

  14. Very well written – as usual 🙂

  15. vikram ji please flash some light on the episode of qutub minar being a hindu structure

    • Dear Rupam,

      This place is not a Hindu structure. However, it is true that 27 Hindu & Jain temples were dismantled from the nearby area and their material reused to build this complex. However, this act must not be seen as a Muslim attacking a Hindu temple because it has been a tradition in India to reuse old building material to construct new structures. For Islamic invaders, hindu temples were an ordinary building because they did not believe in statue worship.
      We have instances where several Jain temples were brought down by Hindu kings and new Hindu temples created on those place. It becomes difficult to justify such acts without a proper discussion as we need to look at both sides of coin.

      • There are just too many instances of temples being destroyed and mosques being built in place or hindu structure being modified to look like islamic structures. This fact too should be taken into account by anyone hoping to do a meaningful study.

      • rajiv on said:

        vikramjit, at the entrance of quatul islam mosque its written that this mosque was built from the material cannibalized from destruction of 27 Hindu & Jain temples. Its clearly written in Quran the persons who worship idols ( deities ) are the worst unbelievers and its the duty of believers to annihilate them. So the Muslim invaders who destroyed Hindu temples and seats of learning like Nalanda & Taxila were following the tenets of Islam. And as far as your allegation that Hindu kings destroyed Buddhists temples has no material evidence.

  16. Hi Vikramjit,

    Last week I visited the Qutub Minar. It was my second visit, after a period of about 10 years. Sadly I did not come across your post before my trip, and have only come across it after doing further research upon coming back.

    You have presented a very interesting case for reconsidering the attribution. Have you shared your research with the Archaeological Survey of India?

    In any case, I have added to my reflection on the Qutb Minar a link to your post.

    If you’re interested in my thoughts (writing as a Malaysian), you can find it here:


    • Thanks Rama. I read your article and it is amazingly well written. I love the way you say “when, urged on by politicians”. It is true that entire debate is just because of politicians. What we read in our books is so politically motivated that our next generation is deprived of truth.

      • Thank you Vikramjit for your response here and for the response you left on my blog. I am very glad you appreciated my comment about politicians!

  17. Rucha Dhakras on said:

    Vikram sir….very intresting ………. well done…..good to know atleast someone is having a courage to state something on facts ……….. kudos to u for this gr8 efforts

  18. Pingback: Taj Mahal was a Hindu temple 110 proof - Page 2

  19. vijayta on said:

    very well written and balanced article! I visited last week but seems will need to repeat once more with the points you have raised 🙂

  20. Dr Parvathi on said:

    But our communists say it is a figment of imagination.The Ach Survey of India,
    clearly mentions that there existed temples and hindu structures(which are clearly present there)
    Who is right?
    Perhaps India is the only country in the world where true history is hidden to
    promote unnatural social and political harmony.

  21. Dr Nand Kumar on said:

    You are right . We are paying price for it till date

  22. Naman walia on said:

    A very intersecting historic topic i like this topic a lot and a nice article also

  23. The rubble minaret as you eloquently called it was an observation tower which in
    Arabic is rendered Katab Manr. As you Vikramjit-jee concede the Slave King Kutubdin did not built this tower. However because it has been assumed in history that he did, it became known as Kutub Minar. William Dalrymple thinks that this was a mosque tower for the muezzins’ call to prayer but he concedes that if you shout from the top it will not reach the bottom. The key to understanding what Kutubdin did is his inscribed boast that he ” destroyed 27 temples” These 27 temples represented the 27 Constellations of Nakshatras of the Hindus. I suggest you visit the Kutub Minar and you will find the 27 Pavilions which KD destroyed were raised around the KM .The entrance to the tower faces North and not West as enjoined by Islam. THE TOWER GIRTHS ( and this is the most significant link of the Tower to the 27 pavilions representing the 27 constellations ) is MADE OF EXACTLY 27 FOLDS . I REPEAT THIS 27 FOLDS OF ARCS AND TRIANGLES ALKTERNATING. Some historians notably William Dalrymple claimed that after destroying the 27 Hindu temples KD then used the shards to build this tower.
    In fact on 23 May 2003 I had a dialogue with WD and he accepted that he claimed that out of the shards the KD built the tower .. and I asked him How can this be so? While he was battling the Hindus did he says Blokes don’t destroy the bricks because we would need it to built a Victory Tower . And who would build it , I asked the accursed Hindus”

    • Hi
      Few important things:
      1. There is nothing like ‘Katab’ associated with ‘Observation’ in Arabic. Also, if this was an arabic name, ‘Burj’ would have been used instead of the word ‘Minar’.
      2. Qutubuddin did not inscribe about 27 temples on this minar. He did that on the Jama Masjid he built and material from all 27 Hindu+Jain temples was said to be used there (though I am sure much of it must have been left to be used by later rulers)
      3. Nowhere it is defined that Islam enjoys West Entrance. Infact, from India, west entrance is not possible because Qibla is towards west and entrance has to be from North, South of East.
      4. There are 54 edges, if you count correctly. 27 conical and 27 circular. Also, the 27 temples were not built in a single era or area. Infact, they were not even for same religion. Most of Jain. Few were Hindu, built much later. So concept of associating them with this figure of 27 is baseless.
      5. William Dalrymple is a very learned person. He said what he felt right. I am not educated enough to comment on his findings. He has the right to express this thoughts
      6. This minar resembles the building style and architecture with that of Jam in many aspects. If you look at the structure originally built by Iltutmish (and not Tughlaq’s extension), you will see great similarities. Jam Minaret was built much before Prithviraj Chauhan started ruling Delhi

      I humbly request you to have the claims verified before you bring them to public forum. Such rumours harm the society.

  24. Very interesting information .

  25. Sreenath on said:

    Dear all I have gone through all your thoughts I too have some thing to share which might help your research. I have never visited any of these minars so I marked the location of each minar in google map and found some order in its creation Ghazni , Koina , Jam & Kutabminar. Are all in a row which puts a strong feeling in my mind that this is some thing else. Some other kind of.

  26. E.R. Atul Krishna on said:

    As shown in the images of other minars it resembles nothing similar to qutb minar.
    If we loo it from the bottom it looks like a flower of lotus with 24 petals just similar to the 24 spokes of Ashoka Chakra. After all, if Muhammad Ghori had built it , it would have been in his capital, Ghazni but not Delhi.

  27. manika gupta on said:

    please tell about qutub minar’s relation to direction of sun

  28. Ruchi on said:

    Very interesting article Sir.. And that too only factz have been given.. The way u have explained everything is so simple n in a nice n polite way.. Sir did u have did same type of research on TajMahal also as there r many confusions attached with it..? Please let me know so as to avoid the misconceptions or just to know the real facts as u also know half knowledge is always dangerous..

    • I am working on Taj mahal article too. Problem is that prof. P.N.Oak has created so many misconceptions and illusions, that this article ia taking lot of time. Rest assured, it was never a shiva temple. Every single fact proves that. Statements given by Prof. Oak tell how ill-informed he was about Indian architecture.

  29. Omkaresh on said:

    Please tell the estimated cost of construction of Qutub Minar [required for a school project].

  30. Swati Priyadarshani on said:

    Can you please share your email ID

  31. MELOVE BHARADWAJ on said:

    Not sure about the cost. It was constructed in different eras. Last modification was done by British where they added parapet and a folly.I am working on Taj mahal article too. Problem is that prof. P.N.Oak has created so many misconceptions and illusions, that this article ia taking lot of time. Rest assured, it was never a shiva temple. Every single fact proves that. Statements given by Prof. Oak tell how ill-informed he was about Indian architecture.

  32. Prashant Date on said:

    interesting article.. what about iron pillar within the vicinity of minar? was it also built by those intruders?

  33. The research is completely wrong as Iltumish is said to complete the Qutub Minar.He had just added the Fourth storey to it (Fifth one added by Firoz Shah Tughlaq)Qutub Ud Din Aibak had made the Qutub Minar. The research says that Aibak didn’t have fund. If this is true then why is he called the giver of Lakhs (Lakh Bakshi)

  34. manoj Singh on said:

    I met Mr Janardan Diwedi , ex ASI employee in 2009 when he was 95 years old and he showed me a clipping of news paper where after his research, he told our former PM Indira Gandhi about the truth behind Qutub Minar and Tajo Mahal. As per his research Qutub minar was a solar observatory made during Chandragupta Mauryas time and Taj Mahal was a temple (Refer P.N Oak , The Taj Mahal is temple Palace, Book). I visited Mr Diwedi at his home in Paschim Vihar and saw the newspaper clippings. He is no more with us today.

    • If only Mr. Diwedi had done a little more research, he would have found that Mihirapuri and the Sun Temple was in the vicinity and the existing Qutub Minar is not the same observatory that Varah Mihir used. We have ample records starting from Jain era to Tomar era to prove this.
      PS: P.N.Oak was trashed by court for creating rumors and giving absurd theories.


  36. Very good analysis…..unlike d research by so called modern medieval historians.

  37. Supreet Singh on said:

    Hi Vikramjit,

    This is a very interesting article and i am intrigued to know more. Going through the comments, i came across the comment from Mr. Guru Dutt regarding the book Kirti Stambh Kutubminar and was wondering if you could share the book with me. It would be really nice if u could do so. I am very interested in reading the book.

  38. Rishabh Bansal on said:

    why was it built?

    • There are multiple theories. Most popular is that it was a Victory Tower. We must keep in mind, that both Aibak and Iltutmish have been to Jam, where they have seen the Konye minaret, predecessor to Qutub Minar.
      But in absence of any definitive proof, we can just propose theories, not final judgement.

  39. Kiran Rana on said:

    Vikramjit Singh ji … I enjoyed reading your article, which is thoughtful and well-reasoned. And I especially appreciate the way you stand on what you have found, responding to a whole range of questions and alternate facts calmly and respectfully without yielding your ground.
    Personally, as a practicing Sufi, I like the idea that Iltutmish named the tower out of respect for Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki. An emotional response, mostly, but I think that even Qutbuddin Aibak would like that, given the importance that many people in that time – and since – placed on the guidance and blessing of the great early Chishti Pirs. There are possibly stories to be uncovered in the family of Khwaja sahib that tell more about this. Narrative sources – despite their easy corruption and embellishment – are often truthful, in fact I think Dalrymple bases some of his research and brilliant reconstructive history on this.
    As a practicing Muslim, Iltutmish’s proclamation in the Mosque about using pillars and stones from 27 temples may simple have been a testament of devoutness, something he did for this faith, not as an act of disrespect. I personally felt a great beauty in that building, something I also felt in the Aya Sophia in Istanbul, another place that witnessed a clash/synthesis of religious presences.
    Thank you for your good work

  40. To my knowledge Qutub Minar was flag post , which is there in all temples.

  41. The story of qutb minar is doubtful coz the story of king Parikshit death by Takshak Naag is the real story behind The Minar.
    You can read it in wiki.

  42. RAJU sinha on said:

    Respected sir
    I interested to make a story on ruins Hindu and Jain temple in qutubminar complex without any controversies. I would like focus on destroy temples.
    So I want to your support for true information with reference.

  43. It is at least clear that all were Hindu era structures until the invaders Islamised it

  44. Harsha Jayaraj on said:

    Hi, I liked your article… I have seen a pyramid at EXIT gate of Qutub Minar….. entry is restricted there…. I have no clue why a pyramid is built there…and moreover our history book never mentioned such thing….It looks like EL Castillo of Maya Civilization……if you know about this please reply.

    • Hi Harsha
      That pyramid, and another circular structure next to it was built by British Resident Officer Metcalf. He got many structures built in this area. Quli Khan’s tomb (few paces opposite this pyramid) was his vacation-residence. He extended it and also built a guesthouse, circularpath and many more structures around it.

  45. ishan verdhan Dewan on said:

    Hi Vikram,

    You have written a very interesting post and i am happy it is purely based on facts.
    What i have read is it was Qutubuddin Aibak who just started the construction of Qutub Minar and Shamsuddin Iltumish(Successor and Son-in-law of Qutubuddin Aibak ) completed three more stories.

    Firoz Shah Tughlaq, Sher Shan Suri and Sikander Lodi also contributed in the construction of the complex.

    There is also uncertainty around the name of the Qutub Minar also with some suggest that it was named after the Sufi saint, Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki while others believe it was named after Qutb ud-Din Aibak himself.

    I have also written a post about Qutub Minar by reading some history books and internet > http://topfactslist.com/qutub-minar/
    It will be great if you’ll read it and let me know if there is anything i can update.

  46. imvm mystery on said:

    Thank you for such a great article after long and extensive research. Thanks to all who commented and made this article more interesting

  47. Vikram Srivastava on said:

    A civil suit has been filed before the Saket Court in Delhi, alleging that the ‘Quwwat-Ul-Islam Masjid’, situated within the Qutub Minar Complex in Mehrauli was built in place of a temple complex.
    The Petitioners have alleged 27 Hindu and Jain temples were dismantled, desecrated and damaged under the command of Mughal emperor Qutub-Din-Aibak, who raised some construction at the same very place of temples naming it as, ‘Quwwat-Ul-Islam Mosque’.
    The Petitioners have thus urged the Court to decree the suit in nature of declaration, declaring that Deity Tirthankar Lord Rishabh Dev and Deity Lord Vishnu, along with Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva, Goddess Gauri, God Sun, Lord Hanuman including presiding deities of 27 temples, have right to be restored and worshiped with rites & rituals, performance of regular pooja within the temple complex situated in the area of Qutub Complex in Mehruli.

    According to your account, the temples were not at one place nor built at the same time. So does the petition stand any chance of being honoured in a court of law?

    • Hi
      I feel disheartened when I see people raising such concerns. What we should be fighting against are matters like poverty, inflation, corruption and dirty politics. But instead, we are fighting over 800-1000 year old matters, for which, no one has absolute clarity.

      The Jain community was in Delhi before the Tomars came in. So Jain temples are much older. Later, Tomars built their temples, and given the Surajkund temple, we can say that they did workship Sun. Even in Delhi, we had the Mihirapuri (Sun temple and its city), which got changed to Mehrauli. Also, it was not just those 27 temples. There must have been more.
      Material from 27 different temples (from different eras and religions), was used just for Jami Masjid, which during British got its name “Quwwat-ul-Islam”.
      Qutub Minar has to do nothing with it. Also, Mughals have to do nothing with this complex, other then a small mosque and a sarai at the entrance of complex.
      If Qutub Minar and Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque are removed, we will loose this part of history:
      1. Understanding that although Aibak removed pillars from temple, he did not destroy any statue/figure on them. They can still be seen in complex. Just that the area which is open to public and can be reached by a normal standing man has been defaced, which shows, this is vandalism done by tourists over last 500-600 years. Ladies mosque section and sections not reachable easily are in perfect condition.
      2. Aibak, and later Iltutmish and Khilji used many Hindu, Jain and Buddhist elements in their designs, within this complex. Kalpvirksha and Kalash being most common of them. Star of David, also called Shatkona is also prominent. This shows that they had no issue with any other religion. They rather created a new fusion, which defines current India.

      We just cant erase our past, no matter how painful it is.

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