The Qutb Minar, also spelled as Qutub Minar and Qutab Minar, is a minaret and 'victory tower' that forms part of the Qutb complex. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Mehrauli area of New Delhi, India. It can be compared to the 62-metre all-brick Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan of 1190, which was constructed a decade or so before the probable start of the Delhi tower.
The surfaces of both are elaborately decorated with inscriptions and geometric patterns. The Qutb Minar has a shaft that is fluted with superb stalactite bracketing under the balconies at the top of each stage. The lowest three tiers are made of alternating red and buff sandstone, the fourth and fifth of marble and sandstone.
In general, minarets were slow to be used in India and are often detached from the main mosque where they exist. Qutab-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced the construction of the Qutab Minar in 1200 AD, but could only finish the basement. His successor, Iltutmush, added three more storeys, and in 1368, Firoz Shah Tughlak constructed the fifth and the last storey.
Chand Minar built in 1445 in Daulatabad, Maharashtra was inspired from Qutub Minar. It was damaged by lightning and earthquakes in the 14th and 15th centuries, the tower was rebuilt and repaired by local rulers at the time. It is one of most visited tourist spots in the city due to it being one of the earliest that survives in the Indian subcontinent.