The Qutb Complex also spelled by some as the ‘Qutub’ Complex and ‘Qutab’ Complex homes a few stunning architectural masterpieces and structures that quietly nestle within the Mehrauli complex amidst the crowded streets of South Delhi and is easily reachable by local transport.
The Qutb Complex was in fact originally a sacred place for all the devotees and followers of Jainism where over 27 ancient Jain Temples were situated and probably constructed during the Pandava era. These Temples were demolished by the subsequent rulers like Anangpal, a Tomar Rajput King [739 CE] who constructed the ‘Lal Kot Fort’ over this area followed by Prithvi Raj Chauhan, also a Rajput ruler who renovated Lal Kot and converted it into his city named ‘Qila-Rai-Pithora’ and was later defeated and killed by an Afghan Sultan named Muhammad Ghori during the second battle of Tarrain. After this event, Qutb-ud-din Aibak then captured the throne from Muhammad Ghori and established his own structures over this area and hence the ‘Qutb Complex’ came into existence. After the death of Qutub-ud-din Aibak, a few structures were added by the following rulers like Emperor Firoz Shah Tughlaq of the Tughlaq dynasty, Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji of the Khilji dynasty and the British.
Today, this Qutb Complex and its adjoining area spreads over a massive expanse of 100 acres that houses over 40 renovated ancient monuments, Tombs, Archaeological Park and forms the main venue for the Qutb Festival organised every year during the months of November-December attended by millions of tourists and visitors who visit to watch various cultural events like classical folk dances, music and programmes that are showcased for three continuous days. This Complex had in fact beaten the record for attracting over 38.5 visitors from across the country and the world in 2006 opposed to the ‘Taj Mahal’ which attracted a lesser crowd of 25.4 lakh visitors that year.
The Qutb Complex houses the Tombs of Ala-ud-din Khilji, Sultan Iltutmish and Imam Zamin and one of the most famous monuments called the ‘Qutub Minar’ constructed by Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aibak who was initially a General and Viceroy of the Army in the courts of Sultan Muhammad Ghori of Ghazni. He later captured over the Throne of the Delhi Sultanate and became the first to pioneer the slave dynasty. Another structure seen is the Quwwat-Ul-Islam Mosque that lies close to the Qutub Minar along with other monumental structures like the Alai Darwaza or Gate, the Alai Minar and the Iron pillar listed below.