Pillars and dome of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, Qutb, Delhi.
Photographer: Beglar, Joseph David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the pillars and dome of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, taken by Joseph David Beglar in the 1870s. The Quwwat-ul-Islam or Might of Islam Mosque is the earliest surviving mosque in India and stands in the Qutb Minar enclosure in Delhi. It was begun in 1193 by Qutb-ud-Din Aibak (r.1206-1210), the first Sultan of Delhi and founder of the Slave Dynasty and completed four years later, with further additions made by later Sultans in the 13th and 14th centuries. It was built on the site of Rai Piathora’s Hindu temple using the spoil from 27 other Hindu and Jain temples. Carved Hindu motifs such as tasselled ropes, bells, tendrils, cows and leaves can all be traced on the recycled masonry which can be found throughout the mosque Later screenwork and other extensions added by Iltutumish in 1230, are fundamentally Islamic in design such as the diapered arabesque patterns and Quranic inscriptions.