Delhi / History / India / travel

Qutab Minar

I’m going to split my trip to Delhi up into a number of posts to hopefully ease any confusion. Even though I only had 3 days there I experienced so much it is difficult to know where to start, so let’s start with a World Heritage Site I saw on the first day that totally blew me away (something that happened A LOT on this trip).

Qutab Minar is located in New Delhi. Its architecture and the surrounding ruins were something I had never seen nor experienced before. The first thought I had when I saw this ‘tower’, even from afar, was how red the sandstone used for its construction was.

Standing underneath it, the brickwork was amazing, and the intricate detail mind-blowing.

This was all hand crafted. I stood below it for several minutes admiring the craftsmanship (despite not being able to ‘read’ it) simply saying ‘wow’ over and over. Add to that the fact this tower was built some time around 1200 AD and I was saying ‘wow’ again. It is hard to imagine the time, number of people and artesian skill needed to create such a strikingly beautiful monument.

This tower was just the focal point of quite a large area of ruins, tombs and ancient construction. I probably could have spent several hours here had we had the time as every turn unveiled a different structure, set of engraving, or curiosity.

One odd curiosity that seemed somewhat out of place in the ruins was an iron pillar.

At first I thought it was ‘modern’. However it turns out this pillar is from around 400 BC! (That’s well and truly hundreds of years before the first humans even set sight on New Zealand!)  The curiosity of it is – it is made of iron, but has not corroded or rusted. Think about exactly how old that pillar is and it is pretty amazing. The local superstition states that if you can stand with your back to the pillar and put your hands together around it you might get your wish granted. However there is a fence to stop people doing that because of the damage it was causing so we didn’t get to test that rumour.

The ruins are quite well preserved for a country that struggles with it’s third world image. The Indian people also appeared to show a lot of respect for this site. For me, I felt like I had been drawn into Disney’s “The Jungle Book”. The ruins reminded me so much of King Louis ruins that I can’t help but wonder if this area was used as a reference for the artists at the time. Even these pillars were ornately engraved.

Who’d have thought there was so much history hiding here!

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