Know the history of Qutub Minar – how it was damaged not once but many a times. Also, why we, the general public are not allowed to enter the Minar

AndTV’s Razia Sultan is making sure we have in depth knowledge of the Slave dynasty which was ruled once by Razia Sultan, India’s first lady ruler. No wonder, the TV serial is also trying to give us insights about her predecessors Rukunuddin (her half-brother), Iltutmish (her father) and Qutub-din-Aibak (her maternal grandfather). What’s more, one of the episodes even showed Rukunuddin trying to destroy Qutub Minar built by her grandfather and completed by her father.

qutub minar delhi 002  Razia Sultan : The Not So Good Facts about Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar, the World’s Tallest Minar is an exceptional cenotaph of the Moslem rule in the Indian subcontinent. The famous Moorish traveller Ibn Batuta described the Minar as “one of the wonders of the world – which has no parallel in the lands of Islam”.

While, we are not sure whether the incident has some historical backing or is completely fictional, here we give you certain interesting facts about Qutub Minar especially with respect to the damage that the heritage has gone right from the initial days

In 1369, Lightning Destroyed the 4th Storey Completely

A victory tower (Fateh Burj), Qutub Minar’s work started in 1199 AD. However, it took 21 years for the completion of the first storey. Meanwhile, the initiator Qutub-din-Aibak died in 1210 and his successor that is his son-in-law Iltutmish decided to add 3 more storeys to the bottom storey. The entire four storey building got completed somewhere in and around 1220. Yes, originally Qutub Minar was only 4 storey building.

qutub minar design close view Razia Sultan : The Not So Good Facts about Qutub Minar

But somewhere in 1369, a heavy lightning smashed into the 4th storey of Qutub Minar destroying it completely. During this period Firoz Shah Tughlaq was the Emperor of Delhi. He immediately carried out the reconstruction work. What’s more, he not only reconstructed the 4th storey but also constructed a 5th storey. These two storeys can be easily identified as marbles were also used along with red sandstone. He had also built a cupola but it disappeared since it collapsed in the 1803 earthquake.

In 1503, it was hit by Earthquake

Then again the monument was hit by earthquake. It was however repaired by the then Sultan – Sikandar Lodi. Lodi again constructed the 4th and 5th storey by using marbles. The height of Qutub Minar after this rebuilt if you see was 72.55m as it included the cupola made by Firoz Shah Tughlaq. The upper diameter and base diameter was the same as of now i.e.2.7m and 14.4m.

qutub minar delhi facts Razia Sultan : The Not So Good Facts about Qutub Minar

In 1828, it was again hit by Earthquake again

During the decline of the Mughal era i.e. 1828, once again Qutub Minar was hit by an earthquake. It was in this earthquake the height of Minar reduced from 72.55m to 71.33m since the cupola at the apex was damaged in this earthquake.

qutub minar delhi 003  Razia Sultan : The Not So Good Facts about Qutub Minar

Major Robert Smith of the Bengal Engineers then carried out the reconstruction work with his skill and expertise. What’s more, he also added balustrades which were made in purely Gothic style and also an entrance gateway. These two innovative ideas have always been a topic of objection. Moreover, Smith had also constructed a kiosk. However, the kiosk appeared so incongruous that Lord Hardinge ordered its removal after 20 years i.e. in 1848.

Why the General Public Is Not Allowed to Enter Qutub Minar?

One Friday of December 1981, a tragic incident occurred inside the premises of the Minar and 45 people in the crowd of 300 to 400 people lost their lives in a stampede. On 4th December, a huge crowd entered the Minar in the morning, Now since, there was no entry fee on Fridays there was huge crowd than the other days.

qutub minar delhi 004 Razia Sultan : The Not So Good Facts about Qutub Minar

The only source of light inside the Qutub Minar was the bulbs. A sudden power-cut turned the interiors into darkness, which eventually led to a stampede. The confusion lasted for about 15 minutes and 45 lost their lives in the chaos. The interior of Qutub Minar have remained unreachable to the public ever since the fateful day.

Source and Reference: 1, 2,

Image Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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