[Distant view of the] Kutub Minar [Delhi].
Photographer: Murray, John
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of Qutb Minar from 'Murray Collection: Views in Delhi, Cawnpore, Allahabad and Benares' taken by Dr. John Murray in 1858 after the Uprising of 1857. One of the greatest monuments of Islamic architecture in India, the minaret forms part of a complex containing some of the earliest structures of Muslim rule in the country. Standing 72.5 ms tall, it was built as a celebratory victory tower accompanying the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque and was probably inspired by the style of Afghan minarets. Inscriptions suggest that it was begun by Qutub-ud-din Aibak in 1198 and completed by his successor Iltutmish in 1215, although the two upper tiers were rebuilt at later dates. The chief material used is red sandstone. Four balconies separate its five storeys, and a beautiful effect is achieved in the lower three storeys which have broad carved bands of interwoven calligraphy and floral motifs. Within the minaret is a spiral stairway of 360 steps.