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The Kootub [Delhi]. Part of the front of the Mahmometan façade

The Kootub [Delhi]. Part of the front of the Mahmometan façade

Photographer: Impey, Eugene Clutterbuck

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 971/(6)

Item number: 9716

Genre: Photograph

Photograph from an album of 80 albumen prints taken by Eugene Clutterbuck Impey, showing the celebrated Iron Pillar of Delhi's Qutub Minar complex in the foreground, with an archway beyond. James Fergusson's description accompanying the image reveals: 'The large arches are fifty-three feet high and about twenty-two feet wide, the smaller ones about half that size. The carving is of an unexampled delicacy, and consists of Arabic inscriptions alternated with Hindoo ornament similar to that on other parts of the enclosure.' The pillar, cast from a pure iron which has never corroded, is a relic of the Gupta period and dates from the 4th century. How it came to stand within the 12th century mosque complex is unknown. It was originally a dhvajasthambha or victory standard and was possibly placed here or retained here by Qutub-ud-din Aibak to signify victory.

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