A soaring tower of early Muslim vintage, the Qutb Minar attracts many visitors from all across the world. Impressively ornate, its construction began in the 12th century and it was completed in the 13th century. Beautiful calligraphy adorns the adjacent edifices. The Minar rises over 230 feet and can be ascended by a circular stairway for a view that is breathtaking. The monument tapers from a 15-meter diameter base to just 2½ metres at the top.
The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone, the fourth and fifth of marble and sandstone. The Qutb Minar is covered with intricate carvings and deeply inscribed verses from the Koran.
Work on the minar was started by Qutb-ud-din Aibak in 1199, celebrating the advent of Muslim dominance in Delhi, but the construction was completed by his successors. To Qutb-ud-din, the tower marked the eastern extremity of the Islamic faith, casting the shadow of God over east and west. It was also a minaret, from which the muezzin called the devout to prayer.
Today, this impressively ornate tower has a slight tilt, but has otherwise remained remarkably well preserved over the centuries.