General view of mosque round Qutb Minar (top right), Cloister and screen of the mosque round Qutb Minar (bottom right)
Author: Metcalfe, Sir Thomas Theophilus (1795-1853)
Medium: Ink and colours on paper
[From 'Reminiscences of Imperial Delhi’, an album consisting of 89 folios containing approximately 130 paintings of views of the Mughal and pre-Mughal monuments of Delhi, as well as other contemporary material, with an accompanying manuscript text written by Sir Thomas Theophilus Metcalfe (1795-1853), the Governor-General’s Agent at the imperial court. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund and of the National Art-Collections Fund.]
The Kutb or Kootub Minar, distant about 12 miles from Dehlie S.W., is said to have been completed in the reign of Shumsodeen Altumsh (AD 1211) one of the Toorki Slave Kings. In Elphinstone’s India the height is stated at 242 feet, by the late Major General Mackenzie, the highly talented Survey General, the original height was computed at 269 feet. It rises on five stages with projecting galleries at each. The lowest three are of red stone, the 4th of red stone intermixed with marble. The first story (height 90 ft) is formed of 27 divisions or compartments alternately semi-circular and angular. The 2nd (ht. 90 ft) of semi-circular only and the 3rd (ht. 40 ft) of angular ones. Three hundred and seventy nine is believed to by the correct number of steps.
On the night of the 10th September 1803, the eve of the Battle of Dehlie, the pillar was seriously injured by an earthquake and more especially at the base and 3rd story - the latter of which bulges considerably. It was subsequently 1826/27 repaired by the British Government at an expense of Rs20,000 or £2000.
It is believed to be the highest column in the world, and in an inscription it is ascribed to Shahabodeen Ghoree, who invaded India in 1193 - by others to Kootubadeen, the slave and afterwards the regal representative of the former in India. Both Mahomedans and Hindoos assert a national claim thereto. In favor of the former the Koran inscriptions are evidenced and tradition supposes that the column was intended as a minaret to a mosque of which the three beautiful arches now in ruins, and the uncompleted minar at a distance were to form component parts; but the last mentioned is 1/3 larger in circumference and is raised on a base, which is wanting in the present pillar
[The Qutb Minar, Alai Darwaza etc. from the south-west. The Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque is one of the earliest extant in India and was begun in 1192 by Qutub-ud-din Aibak. The Qutb Minar 72.5 m tall, built as a celebratory victory tower and as minar attached to the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, was begun by Qutub-ud-din Aibak in 1199 and completed by his successor Iltutmish (r. 1211-36) in 1215. The two upper tiers were rebuilt at later dates. More than a hundred years later the complex was enlarged by Alauddin Khalji (r.1296-1316) and he built the Alai Darwaza, in 1311, as an entrance gateway to his southern extension of the mosque. It is a sandstone cube topped by a shallow dome with the exterior ornamented with jali screens and designs of contrasting white marble and red sandstone. ]
Inscribed: naqsha-i minar-i Khvaja Qutb al-Din sahib. Mazhar ‘Ali Khan.
[Cloister, screen, Iron Pillar and Qutb Minar of the Quwwat-al Islam Mosque. The Quwat ul-Islam mosque displays a blending of Hindu and Islamic styles. Hindu motifs can seen on the pillars which were taken from razed temples. Later screen work and other extensions added by Iltutumish in 1230, were Islamic in design such as the arabesque patterns and Quranic inscriptions. The Iron pillar, in the background, is dated to the Gupta period with Sanskrit inscriptions from the 4th or 5th century. This pillar was taken from a Vishnu temple and placed at this site before the construction of the complex.]
Inscribed: naqsha-i minar-i ahani ? ?. Mazhar ‘Ali Khan.