Hello all my dear readers. Well last time when I visited the Qutub Complex I had to cut short my trip because I had forgotten to charge the battery of my camera and it had discharged in the middle of my trip to the Qutub complex. That definitely left me so dejected and exhausted and I had to make an overall another visit to this place but I have no regrets. Such is the magic and beauty of this place and for medieval Indian History lovers like me, this place is certainly a heaven. And this time I of course made sure that it my camera was fully charged so that I again can embark on to unravel other beautiful parts of the Qutub complex. This time I covered other monuments like Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, Alai Darwaza, Alauddin Khalji tomb and madrasa and Tomb of Imam Zamin. Read on to know more about what I discovered this time and I am sure you will love it.
One monument that has left an impact on mind ever since I visited Qutub complex is the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque. This mosque was one of the first mosques built in India. It was built by Qutubuddin Aibak and later extended by other Mamluk dynasty rulers, Khalji and Tughlaq rulers. But what is extraordinary about this mosque is that this mosque is built using the materials from the 27 Hindu and Jain temples destroyed by the Muslim rulers of that time. No doubt you will see many pillars and columns that have the typical Hindu and Jain temple features like human faces, human figures, animal figures, vines and other foliage. Well thats what makes it even more interesting. Since the Mamluk rulers had no place of worship when they established their rule in Delhi, so they found it faster and easier to construct a mosque from the material of the destroyed temples.
The First thing that you will notice as you enter the mosque from its eastern gate is the beautifully carved inner dome that has also been brought from some temple and installed here. This dome is no doubt so magnificient that you will not be able to take your eyes off it for some time.
An iron pillar is placed at one end of the mosque and bears a Sanskrit inscription in Brahmi script. It was originally constructed in the 4th century AD during the times of a Gupta ruler of Ancient India and erected in front of a Hindu temple. The unique feature about this pillar is that it is believed to be made of corrosion free material and thats the reason it has remained rust free since the ancient times. It is believed that if you encircle your arms backward around this pillar and make a wish then it comes true. However a lot of tourists were doing it everyday and this pillar started showing some signs of rusting. So this pillar is now fenced around and no on is allowed to touch it.
Have a look at some of the images of the mosque captured by me and you will surely appreciate the beauty of this mosque.
You will observe many stunning arched extentions in the Quwwat ul Islam and around it that lead to other parts of the Qutub complex.
Tomb of Alauddin Khalji
Just near the Quwwat ul islam mosque is the tomb of Alauddin Khalji who was the greatest ruler of the Khalji dynasty that succeeded the Mamluk dynasty. There is also a madrasa or an Islamic college adjacent to it which is the first example of a tomb being co-located with a madrasa. Tomb is lying in ruins, its dome is missing but some rooms of this structure are still intact. It is believed that the remains of Alauddin Khalji were brought from the city of Siri in Delhi and buried here in this tomb.
Alai Darwaza is another stunning monument in the Qutub complex and is the earliest example of the typical Muslim architecture in India. This monument is made of sandstone with inscriptions engraved in marble panels. The monument has a true arch and true dome and one can see the stunning latticed screens all around it. The most stunning feature is its arches with stunning lotus buds fringes all along them. This monument was built during the times of Alauddin Khalji as an entrance to the Qutub complex.
Tomb of Imam Zamin
Imam Zamin held an important position in connection with the Quwwat ul Islam mosque and had got this tomb built for himself during the times of Mughal emperor Humayun. But the tomb bears the main features of the Lodi style of architecture which may be due to the fact that Imam Zamin had come to India during the times of The Lodi ruler Sikander Lodi. The tomb is made of sandstone and marble and the most stunning feature that will catch your attention is its intricate jali work or perforated windows constructed on all the walls of the tomb.
The Qutub complex is certainly rich in history and heritage and should definitely be on your must travel travel list if you ever visit Delhi. To read about the other monuments in the complex like Qutub Minar, Iltutmish's tomb, Alai Minar and Smith's Cupola, please read my earlier post A heritage walk in the Qutub Complex: Part I
My overall rating for this place
Beauty and visit worthiness of this place-5/5
Best time to visit this place
To know about some useful tips about this place, what to wear here, where to eat and other tourist attractions near, read my previous blog post A heritage walk in the Qutub Complex: Part I
What I am wearing
Reflectors: Sprint from Shopper's Stop
Sling Bag: Bought from Thailand
Location and How to reach Qutub Complex
Qutub Complex is located in Mehrauli area of New Delhi. See the map below for reference.
Indira Gandhi airport is about 13 kms from here. You can reach here by road and it is very well connected to all parts of Delhi. You can also reach here by taking a metro train and the nearest metro station is Mehrauli metro station but it is about 0.5km away from Qutub complex. So you can either take an autorickshaw from metro station or if you have the stamina then you can even walk upto the Qutub complex.