Click here to skip to content

The Kootub [Delhi]. North-west corner of the inner enclosure.

The Kootub [Delhi]. North-west corner of the inner enclosure.

Photographer: Impey, Eugene Clutterbuck

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 971/(7)

Item number: 9717

Genre: Photograph

Print from an album of 80 albumen prints taken by Eugene Clutterbuck Impey. The Qutub Minar Complex encompasses the earliest great monuments of Muslim rule in India. The partly ruined complex is built on the site of Lal Kot, an earlier city which was the seat of the Rajputs who were defeated by the armies of Mohammad Ghori, the conqueror of North India. It contains the Quwwat-ul-Islam, the first congregational mosque in Delhi, the celebrated minaret known as the Qutub Minar, the Alai Darwaza or the 'Lofty Gateway', and a tomb believed to that of Sultan Iltutmish (reigned 1211-36). The mosque was founded in 1192 by Qutub-ud-din Aibak, the commander of the armies of Mohammad Ghori. Although the design stems from Islamic architecture, masonry from 27 temples was used in the construction. The central courtyard contains the famed Iron Pillar (also seen), a tapering column 7.21 ms high which was a victory standard or dhvajasthambha as its inscription states. Dating from the 4th century, it is a relic of the Gupta period cast in a pure, non-corrosive iron. Nothing is known of how it came to be here. It was probably crowned by a garuda figure, which no longer survives. Qutub-ud-din Aibak may have either placed or retained the standard as a victory symbol.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: