Staff Reporter / New Delhi
The historic Qutb Minar came alive last evening as it saw the 1st ever architectural LED illumination. The architectural beauty of the 12th century monument displayed its historic majesty after sunset with the superb LED illumination.
Qutub Minar, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Mehrauli area of Delhi, India. The Minar is a 73-metre (239.5 feet) tall tapering tower of five storeys, with a 14.3 metres (47 feet) base diameter, reducing to 2.7 metres (9 feet) at the top of the peak. It contains a spiral staircase of 379 steps.
Minister for Culture & Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurated the beautiful Illumination of the historic tower. The Minister also inaugurated a QR code scanning facility for hassle free entry for visitors at Qutb Minar. Booking tickets through this facility will give discounts to visitors.
ASI in bid to promote India’s glorious culture and Heritage has begun to showcase India’s cultural vibrancy to the entire world. The move to illuminate the historic monuments is to showcase monuments during late evenings, thereby enhancing the visitor experience.
As part of the effort to increase footfall in the evening, timings for public entry at Red Fort, Safdarjung Tomb and Humayun’s Tomb have also been extended to 9 pm. Qutb Minar, however, is already open till 10 pm. Also, in a new facility for visitor convenience, now the public can skip the queue at Qutb Minar and can purchase ticket for the monument at a discounted rate just by scanning the QR code through their mobile camera.
To highlight the architectural beauty including arches and minarets of the Qutb Minar, a total of 358 technologically advanced LED lights have been used which will consume 62% less electricity than conventional light fixtures. Warm lights will highlight the architectural features on the monument’s facade. Apart from the minaret, the pathways and smaller structures around the Qutb Minar have also been lit. The new illumination comprises lighting that accentuates the silhouette of the monument with the interplay of light and shade. The duration of illumination will be from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM daily with a monthly cost of Rs16,615/- which comes out merely to Rs 1,99,388/- for a year.
Speaking on the occasion, Prahlad Singh Patel said that Qutb Minar complex is a true reflection of India’s culture and contains history of several eras . The bottom to top illumination of this magnificient monument will highlight the true beauty of its elements. The systematic development of the Qutb complex will not only increase footfall of visitors but also benefit communities around it, the Minister added.
The Minar is surrounded by several historically significant monuments of Qutub complex. The nearby pillared cupola known as “Smith’s Folly” is a remnant of the tower’s 19th century restoration, which included an ill-advised attempt to add some more stories.
The minar’s topmost storey was damaged by lightning in 1369 and was rebuilt by Firuz Shah Tughlaq, who added another storey. In 1505, an earthquake damaged Qutub Minar; it was repaired by Sikander Lodi. On 1 September 1803, a major earthquake caused serious damage.
Major Robert Smith of the British Indian Army renovated the tower in 1828 and installed a pillared cupola over the fifth storey, thus creating a sixth. The cupola was taken down in 1848, under instructions from The Viscount Hardinge, then Governor General of India. It was reinstalled at ground level to the east of Qutb Minar, where it remains. It is known as “Smith’s Folly”