Alai Minar


Time Required: 1 - 2 hrs


10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entry Fee:

Indians: INR 10, Foreign tourists: INR 250

Alai Minar, Delhi Overview

Among the many historical monuments present within the Qutub Minar complex, Alai Minar stands apart as it has been left incomplete. The construction was started by the Ilbari ruler Alauddin Khilji as a project to build a minar higher than the Qutub Minar. The ruler had high ambitions and wanted to be credited for many monuments of grandeur and splendour. After winning the Deccan war, he indulged in making modifications to the famous Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque within the same complex. Once the mosque was doubled in size, Khilji proceeded to construct the highest tower as a mark of his prowess and victory. However, the minar was left incomplete as the king died in 1316 AD, very soon after the construction of the tower began. The complete description of the king’s intentions and the construction of the minar is mentioned in Amir Khusro’s book ‘Tarikh-e-Alai’.

Alai Minar was designed to be two times higher than the Qutub Minar and well proportioned with the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque in the area. The idea was however abandoned and as of now, the building is an 80 feet high, mammoth rubble masonry, finished only up to one storey. The unhewn structure stands bare and suggests the creator’s intentions to be adorned with dressed stones and fancy architecture. The construction was not taken up by the descendants of the Khilji dynasty and eventually the minar was left unaddressed and neglected. But, even though in a derelict and a decrepit state, the monument resonates with the majesty and the magnificence of the bygone era.

Photos of Alai Minar

More on Alai Minar

Winters, early Spring or Late Autumn, is the ideal time to visit this place due to the infamous Delhi heat. The summers can get scorching and sultry, and your visit can get unbearable and really uncomfortable.

1. It is advisable to carry a bottle of water to stay hydrated.
2. Carry some cash if you wish to buy knick-knacks and local souvenirs from stray stalls outside the mausoleum.
3. Try visiting in the early hours of the morning to avoid the tourist rush.

Alai Minar is situated within the Qutub Minar complex. The nearest metro station to the Qutub Minar complex is Qutub Minar Metro station situated on the yellow line connecting Samaypur Badli and Huda City Centre. Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) also runs state buses which are relatively more economical. The nearest bus stop to Qutub Minar complex is Mehrauli Bus Terminal. You can get down either at the bus stop or the metro station and can hire shared auto rickshaws or battery rickshaws to get to your destination.

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