Qutub Minar (English: The Qutub Tower; Urdu: قطب مینار), also known as Qutb Minar and Qutab Minar, is the tallest minaret in India, originally an ancient Islamic Monument, inscribed with Arabic inscriptions, though the iron pillar has some Brahmi inscriptions, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in Delhi, the Qutub Minar is made of red sandstone and marble. The tower has 379 stairs, is 72.5 metres (237.8 ft) high, and has a base diameter of 14.3 metres, which narrows to 2.7 metres at the top storey. Construction was started in 1192 by Qutub-ud-din Aibak and was completed by Iltutmish.  It is surrounded by several other ancient and medieval structures and ruins, collectively known as the Qutub complex. Tradition assigns the erection of the pillar to Anang Pal, whose name it bears, with the date 1052 C.E.
The Qutub Minar is made of fluted red sandstone covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Qur'an. Numerous inscriptions in Parso-Arabic and Nagari characters in different sections of the Qutub Minar reveal the history of its construction. According to the inscriptions on its surface it was repaired by Firoz Shah Tughluq (AD 1351-88) and Sikandar Lodi (AD 1489-1517).
The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, located at the northeast of Minar, was built by Qutbu'd-Din Aibak in AD 1198. It is the earliest mosque built by the Delhi Sultans. Later, a coffee arched screen was erected and the mosque was enlarged by Shams ud Din Iltutmish (AD 1210-35) and Allaud - din Khilji. The Iron Pillar in the courtyard bears an inscription in Sanskrit in Brahmi script of the 4th century AD. According to this inscription, the pillar was set up as a Vishnudhvaja (standard of Lord Vishnu) on the hill known as Krishnapada in memory of a mighty king named Chandra. A deep socket on the top of the ornate capital indicates that an image of Garuda was probably affixed to it.
The Qutub Minar comprises several superposed flanged and cylindrical shafts, separated by balconies carried on Muqarnas corbels. The Qutub Minar is itself built on the ruins of the Lal Kot, the Red Citadel in the city of Dhillika, the capital of the Tomars and the Chauhans, the last Hindu rulers of Delhi. One engraving on the Qutub Minar reads, "Shri Vishwakarma prasade rachita" (Conceived with the grace of Vishwakarma).
The Qutub Minar was used as a watch tower. The earliest extant mosque was built by the Delhi Sultans. Some historians believe that the Qutub Minar was named after the first Turkic sultan (whose descendant- Wajid Ali Shah-repaired it), Qutub-ud-din Aibak, but others contend that it was named in honour of Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, a saint from Transoxiana who came to live in India and was venerated by Iltutmish.
The nearby Iron Pillar is a metallurgical curiosity, standing in the Qutub complex. According to the traditional belief, anyone who can encircle the entire column with their arms, while standing with their back against the pillar, can have their wish granted. Because of the corrosive qualities of sweat the government has built a fence around it for safety. The amalgamation of different metals with iron produces a high degree of smoothness.
This footage is part of the professionally-shot broadcast stock footage archive of Wilderness Films India Ltd., the largest collection of HD imagery from South Asia. The Wilderness Films India collection comprises of tens of thousands of hours of high quality broadcast imagery, mostly shot on HDCAM 1080i High Definition, HDV and XDCAM. Write to us for licensing this footage on a broadcast format, for use in your production! We are happy to be commissioned to film for you or else provide you with broadcast crewing and production solutions across South Asia. We pride ourselves in bringing the best of India and South Asia to the world... Reach us at wfi @ vsnl.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.