The Candid Eye

July 18, 2009

Distortion of Indian history – Part 3

Qutb Minar      Qutb Minar


Dr Radhasyam Brahmachari

Distorted History of Qutb Minar:

The Qutb Minar (also spelled Qutab or Qutub), a tower in Delhi, India, is the world’s tallest minaret, made of red sandstone. It is 72.5 metres (238 ft) tall with 379 steps leading to the top. The diameter of the base is 14.3 meters wide while the top floor measures 2.75 meters in diameter. The authorship of this magnificent piece of architecture is attributed to the Muslim invader Qutb-ud-din Aibok and the Indian as well as the Western historians write, “Inspired by the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan and wishing to surpass it, Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced construction of the Qutb Minar in 1193, but could only complete its base. His successor, Iltutmish, added three more stories and, in 1386, Firuz Shah Tughluq constructed the fifth and the last story.

According to another version, Qutb-ud-din Aibak came to India in 1193 AD, as the ruler of Delhi and laid the foundation of the Qutb Minar in 1206 AD. Before his death in 1210 AD, he could complete the construction of only the first storey of the monument. Later on his son in law Iltutmish (or Altamash) took up the job and added three more stories, and the topmost storey of the minaret was completed in 1386 by Firuz Shah Tughluq. But, after going through all these narrations, following suspicions crops up in an inquisitive mind. 

Firstly, all the barbaric Muslims invaders, like Muhammaf Ghori, Qutb-ud-din Aibak, Firuz Shah Tughluq and their lot, came to India to plunder its wealth and not to erect a minaret, like the Qutb Minar, by spending money. Though the so called secular historians are projecting these barbaric invaders as great builders and great admirers of art, sculpture and architecture, it becomes hard to believe that those cruel killers and lecherous vandals had any affinity for art and culture.

Real History Minaret, Now called Qutb Minar:

Qutb Minar

According to Hindu records, the place now known as the Qutb Complex, which has now been declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, was a seat of learning or a university, where students used to come from far away places to learn and do research on mathematics, astronomy and astrology. There were several residential buildings for the students and the teachers and 27 temples dedicated to 27 asterisms. In Indian astronomy there was a practice of dividing the ecliptic into 27 equal parts with the help of these 27 asterisms and each part covering 13 degrees and 20 minutes of the ecliptic (the practice is still being used today by Indian astrologers).

The pillar or the minaret, now called Qutb Minar, was used by the researchers as the astronomical observation tower and at that time, it was known as Meru (pole) Stambha (pillar). According to another group of scholars, the other name of this pillar was Vishnu Dhwaj (Banner of Lord Vishnu) and the scholars agree that it was authored by the great astronomer Varaha Mihira. Confusion may arise in the reader’s mind – How such a tall pillar did serve the purpose of an astronomical observatory? So, it needs some explanation. Suppose one wants to know the exact altitude of the sun in the sky. He has to measure the length of the shadow of the pillar and dividing it by the height of the pillar, one obtains the tangent of the altitude of the sun. One should notice that, taller the pillar, more accurate would be the results of his measurements.

The reader should notice that this could be done for any heavenly body. In that case, the observer is to move away from the pillar until the tip of the pillar and heavenly body is on a straight line. One should also notice that by measuring the length of the shadow of pillar under midday sun, it is possible to ascertain into which Zodiacal Sign the sun happens to be and thus to ascertain the beginning of a solar month which coincides, according to Hindu system, with the entry of the sun into a new Zodiacal Sign. It has been pointed out above that accuracy of such measurements would increase with the height of the pillar. The reader should also notice that by measuring the length of the shadow, the other parameters of the annual motion of the sun, like ascertaining the days of summer and winter solstice, and vernal and autumnal equinoxes, could also be accurately done.

For example, on 22nd June, or the day of Summer Solstice, when the sun rests on the Tropic of Cancer, it will be inclined by 5.0 degrees to the south in Delhi, as the latitude of Delhi is 28.5 degrees North and that of the Tropic of Cancer is 23.5 degrees North. So, on that day, the length of the shadow of the Qutb Minar at midday would be 19.7 ft. While on 22nd December, or on the day of Winter Solstice, the sun will be inclined by 52 degrees towards north in Delhi and the length of the shadow of Qutb Minar, at midday, would be nearly 288. 0 ft. Hence the difference between the longest (on 22nd December) and the shortest (on 22nd June) shadows would be 268.3 ft. and this facilitates the observer to determine comfortably in which Zodiac the sun is lying.

It should be mentioned here that, like the Meru Stambha in Delhi , Varaha Mihir built a similar pillar in Ghazni , Afghanistan , but with bricks, in stead of sandstone. So, it becomes evident that both the Qutb Minar and the minaret at Ghazni were built nearly seven centuries before the arrival of the Muslim invaders and hence they were superb examples of Hindu architecture. But the renowned historian John Marshall, in his Monuments of Muslim India, wrote, “The whole conception of the minar and almost every detail of its construction and ornamentations is essentially Islamic. Towers of this kind were unknown to the Indians, but to the Muhammadans they had long been familiar, whether as mazinas attached to mosques or as free standing towers like those at Ghazni.” [7] It should be mentioned here that the said comment of John Marshall is now being profusely used by the so called secular historians of India to attribute the authorship of the Qutb Minar to Qutb-ud-din Aibak.

It should be mentioned here that, Sir Syed Ahmed, the founder of the Aligarh Muslim University, used to believe that Qutb Minar had been authored by the Hindus and not by the Muslim rulers. In this context, it should also be noted that General Cunningham, the first Director of Archaeological Survey of India, used to hold the same view.

Read the full article here.

Also read the Part 1  & Part 2  of this series. Next article is here:- Part 4.


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