The Kootub Minar, Delhi. 39448
Medium: Photographic print
One of the greatest monuments of Islamic architecture in India, the Qutb Minar is 72.5 m tall. It was built as a celebratory victory tower accompanying the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque and was probably inspired by the style of Afghan minarets. Inscriptions suggest that it was begun by Qutub-ud-din Aibak in 1199 and completed by his successor Iltutmish (r. 1211-36) in 1215, although the two upper tiers were rebuilt at later dates. The chief material used is red sandstone. Four balconies separate its five storeys, and a beautiful effect is achieved in the lower three storeys which have broad carved bands of interwoven calligraphy and floral motifs. Within the minaret is a spiral stairway of 360 steps.