February 28, 2016

Alai Minar - Qutb Minar Complex, Delhi

Site Name: Alai Minar
Site Type: Monument
Location:  Qutb Minar Complex, Mehrauli, Delhi, India
Highlights: The 14th century unfinished monument by the Khaljis

Nearest Railway Station: Delhi
Nearest Airport: Delhi
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air

Hotel: A lot of options are available within Delhi city
Restaurants: Many options and varieties across the city

Delhi, the capital city of India, is famous for monuments. It has around 1300 monuments. Qutb Minar is one of the most popular monuments in Delhi. In Qutb Minar complex, apart from Qutb Minar, there are so many other monuments also located. Let us discuss about a well known unfinished monument called Alai Minar in this article.

History

The Slave Dynasty ruled Delhi till 1290 CE. Firuz Shah of the Khalji tribe captured the throne in 1290 CE and thus started the Khalji Dynasty's rule in Delhi. Alaud-Din of Khalji was the popular King in Khalji Dynasty. He laid the foundation of Siri, which was the second city of Delhi. 

He was one of the most cruel kings of India. Had he suspected anyone as a threat to his powers, he did not hesitate to kill them along with their entire family members including women and children. It is said that he had once slaughtered around 30,000 people in a single day in Delhi. To retain power, he had even killed his own family members. 

Alai Minar, the unfinished monument in Qutb Minar complex, was built (or rather planned to be built) by this King.


Alai Minar

Alaud-Din Khalji doubled the size of Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, which is found in Qutb Minar complex. Similarly, he wanted to construct a new Minar double the size of Qutb Minar. He started this ambitious project called Alai Minar sometime towards the end of 13th century or the beginning of 14th century CE. He could complete only upto one storey during his period and his successors were perhaps not interested to complete the monument. The single floor of minaret is 24.5 meters high compared to the five storied Qutb Minar's height of 72.5 meters.

Today, Alai Minar stands in one corner in Qutb Minar complex as an unfinished monument showing off rubble and debris. 

Happy travelling. 

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