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Qutub Minar Delhi

   Qutub Minar, after the Red Fort is the most sought after spot by tourists who come to Delhi.It is 72.5 metres high and one has to climb 379 steps to get to the top.The diameter of the base is 14.3 metres while the top floor measures 2.7 metres in diameter.After an accident some years ago in which many schoolchildren died, no one is permitted to go inside the minar.The minar was said to have been built to celebrate the victory of Mohammed Ghori, the invader from Afghanistan, over the Rajputs in 1192 and it was partly completed by his viceroy, Qutabuddin Aibak ( 1192 -98), the first sultan of the Slave dynasty.After his death, the rest was completed by Iltutmish, another Muslim King.It stands just outside the central courtyard of Quwwatul Masjid and it was meant to function as a minar so that the muezzin could call the faithful to prayer and also as a symbol of the military might of the Turko-Afghan slave dynasty.Lightning knocked off the uppermost floor in 1368, it was left to Firozshah Tughlak to restore and also add two floors, which introduced white marble in the otherwise red and buff sandstone exterior. In the early 19th century, an earthquake destroyed the crowning cupola which was replaced by an English engineer, Major Smith. But it looked so out of place that the then Governor-General,Lord Hardinge , ordered its removal. Today it stands on the lawns close to the minar.

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