Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Kootub (Qutb) Temples, Delhi, from the 'Crofton Collection: Topographical and architectural views mostly in India', taken by an unknown photographer in the 1860s. The Qutb Minar complex in southern Delhi was initiated by Qutub-ud-din Aibak, the first Sultan of Delhi and the founder of the Slave Dynasty (1206-90), to celebrate the onset of Islamic rule in India in 1192. The Quwwat-ul-Islam or Might of Islam Mosque is one of the earliest surviving mosques in India and stands in the Qutb Minar enclosure. It was begun in 1193 by Qutub-ud-din Aibak and was completed four years later, with further additions made by later Sultans in the 13th and 14th centuries. It is a fine example of Islamic architecture employing Islamic principles of curved construction and geometric ornamentation, but utilising Indian trabeate building traditions. It was built on the site of Rai Piathora’s Hindu temple using the remains from 27 other Hindu and Jain temples. Carved Hindu motifs on salvaged and recyled masonry are found throughout the mosque in combination with later Islamic arabesque patterns and Quranic insciptions. This photograph is a view of the interior of a Hindu colonnade at the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque at the Qutb complex, Delhi.