The Kutub [Qutb] Minar & great arch, Delhi
Photographer: Bourne, Samuel (1834-1912)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Qutb Minar at Delhi from the Lee-Warner Collection, taken by Samuel Bourne in the 1860s. The Qutb Minar is one of the most famous monuments in India and one of the most significant examples of early Indo-Islamic architecture. It is a tower of victory which also served as a minaret for the adjacent Quwwat al-Islam (Might of Islam) mosque. It was begun by Qutb-ud-Din Aybak (ruled 1206-1210), the first Sultan of Delhi and founder of the Mamluk or Slave Dynasty, and continued by Shams-ud-Din Iltutmish (ruled 1211-1236). It is 72.5 m (238 ft) high, and rises in five tapering fluted storeys interrupted by projecting balconies decorated with inscriptions. The lower stories are of red sandstone and the two highest storeys are of white marble. They were rebuilt by Firuz Shah Tughluq (ruled 1351-1388) in 1368 when a cupola (later destroyed by an earthquake) was added. The tower is situated in the Qutb complex in the Lal Kot, a Hindu citadel built by the Tomar Rajputs in 1060 which was the first city of Delhi. Later known as Qil’a Rai Pithaura, the fort became the centre of the Mamluk capital. The photograph is taken from an album containing mainly architectural and topographical views of sites throughout western and northern India, including a number of E.D. Lyon's views of Ahmadabad. The album was formerly in the collection of Sir William Lee-Warner (1846-1912), who served in the Indian Civil Service and was a Member of the Council of India between 1902 and 1912.