According to self-proclaimed pseudo-historians, many Muslim monuments were once Hindu temples or structures. One of their claims is that the Delhi Minar, also known as Qutb Minar, is actually Vishnu Stambh. Mr. Kanwar Sain has argued that the Qutb Minar is the Jaya Sthamb or Kirti Sthamb of Visaldev Vigrah Raj. Another person has suggested that it was an observatory built by Samudra Gupta.
I have already written two detailed posts about the Qutb Minar, exploring the various theories surrounding its origin.
Qutb Minar is the tallest brick tower in India, standing at an impressive 238 feet (72.5 meters). It is composed of five stories and 379 steps, making it an awe-inspiring sight to behold. This majestic structure has been standing since the 12th century, and continues to captivate visitors with its grandeur.
Contrary to popular belief, the Qutb Minar was not named after Qutub-ud-din Aibak or the Sufi saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki. In fact, contemporary Persian records refer to it as the Minar of the Jami Mosque of Delhi, now known as the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque.
Even as late as 1700, the Qutb Minar was not known by that name. Muhammad Shafi Warid, who wrote his Mirat-i Waridat in 1734, calls it Minar-i-Shamsi, or the Minar of Iltutmish.
Ensign James Blunt, an engineer, may have been the first to use the name "Cuttub Minar" in his sketch of the Minar published in the Asiatic Researches in 1794. This suggests that it was the British who bestowed the name Qutb upon this iconic minaret.
Based on Arabic and Nagari inscriptions, the basement storey of the Minar was built by Qutub-ud-din Aibak (r: 1206-1210) while he was the Viceroy of Delhi from 1193 to 1206, as a tribute to his master Muhammad Ghori, and the rest of it [2, 3 & 4 storeys] was completed by Iltutmish (r: 1211-1236). Firoz Shah Tughlaq (r: 1351-1388) repaired the fourth storey, which had been damaged by lightening, in 1368, and 'raised it higher than before'. He also added the fifth storey and the cupola. The Minar was later restored by Sikandar Lodi (r: 1489-1517) in 1503.
There are many Arabic and Nagari inscriptions on the Minar; the names of Hindu masons and carpenters are inscribed alongside those of Fazl, son of Abul Maali, and Muhammad Amir Koh, the supervisors. Even the names of Muslim Sultans are written there in Nagari script, indicating that while the Sultans commissioned the Minar, the artisans were predominantly Hindus.
By analyzing the descriptions of the Minar given by Amir Khusru in his Qiran us-Sa'dain and Muhammad Aufi in his Jawami ul-Hikayat, one can confirm that Qutb Minar was the Mazina of the nearby Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, though its lower gallery was used for that purpose. [Mazina is a minaret with a staircase built inside to allow the muezzin (the person in charge of calling devotees to the mosque to offer prayers, or azaan) to reach the highest point of the minaret to announce the azaan. Mazina allows devotees who are not near the mosque to hear the muezzin's call.] It was also a Tower of Glory.
In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of this topic, one must read history books written by qualified historians.
Recently, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad spokesperson (VHP) claimed that Qutb Minar is actually a 'Vishnu Stambh' on a temple of Lord Vishnu, constructed during the times of a Hindu ruler. However, the only Hindu tower of an early date at Chittor differs significantly from Qutb Minar in both plan and detail.
Rejecting the VHP's claim, Former Additional Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) B R Mani asserted that a 20-25-foot-deep excavation had been conducted at the site to reinforce the monument's foundation in 1967, yet no evidence of a temple was found. He declared that it was "merely an imagination" and that "there was nothing there; no temple was found there."
The 'Vishnu Stambh' is already there standing at the site in the form of an Iron Pillar, he added.
"The Minar cannot be a stambh like Ashokan pillars, which are monolithic, made of stone or iron. Minar is completely different structure. Several such kinds of minaret of the same period are there in Central Asia for any body to see," he said.
Mani cautioned that any tampering with structures at the Qutb complex would lead to the revocation of its UNESCO World Heritage status, which was bestowed upon it in 1993.
Meanwhile, A new claim was put forward by Archaeological Survey of India's (ASI) ex-Regional Director Dharamveer Sharma that the Qutb Minar was built in the 5th century by Raja Vikramaditya to observe the sun! This is yet another fabricated fact, and we must wait to see what other untruths will be revealed.