The construction of the tower was
commenced in 1193 AD by Qutub-ud-din-Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of
Delhi, but he could only complete its basement. His successor,
Iltutmish, added three more storeys, and in 1368, Firoz Shah Tuglak
built the fifth and the last storey. The development of architectural
styles from Aibak to Tuglak is clearly visible in the tower.
Rises to 72.5 metres in height, the Minar has 379 steps from its bottom
to the top. The diameter of the base is 14.3 metres while the top floor
measures 2.7 metres in diameter.
The main mosque has an inner and outer courtyard. An exquisite
colonnade, the pillars of which are made of richly decorated shafts,
surrounds the inner courtyard.
Closely stands Delhi's most interesting pillar - The Iron Pillar. Built
in the 4th century AD, the pillar bears an inscription, which declares
that it was erected as a flagpole in honour of the Hindu Trinity,
Vishnu, and in the memory of the Gupta King Chandragupta II (375-413).
The Iron Pillar is an excellent example of ancient India's advancement
in metallurgy. The pillar's position at this place is a mystery. The
pillar is made of 98 per cent wrought iron and has stood 1,600 years
without rusting or decomposing.