Fifteen km south of Delhi is one of the most important Islamic monuments in India, the Qutb Minar Complex. A mosque is all that remains of the legendary city of Lal Kot, a city from where Islamic rule spread throughout northern India. The city dates back to 1193 AD, the year when Muslim invaders first settled on the Indian subcontinent.
The development of Lal Kot and the construction of Qutb Minar toward the end of the 12th century, accelerated the spread of Islam. The founder of Delhi’s first city was Qutb-Ud-Din Aibak, who was made governor of the city by the Afghan conqueror, Mohammed of Ghor.
Above the ruins of the Hindu temples that had been incorporated into the architecture, Quwwat-Ul-Islam evolved, a mosque known as The Might of Islam. The remnants of no less than 27 destroyed Hindu and Jain sacred buildings were used in the construction of the first mosque on Indian soil.
Until quite recently, the tall victory tower that was probably inspired by a similar structure in Afghanistan, was open to the public. However, due to a tragic accident within the tower, the authorities have since closed it to the public. Nevertheless, Qutb Minar provides a fascinating and atmospheric insight into the early years of Muslim sovereignty in India.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.