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The Kutab Minar, Delhi

The Kutab Minar, Delhi

Photographer: Deen Dayal, Lala

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1895

Shelfmark: Photo 430/21(61)

Item number: 4302161

Length: 25

Width: 19.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Qutb Minar at Delhi, taken by Lala Deen Dayal in the 1890s, from the Curzon Collection: 'Views of places proposed to be visited by Their Excellencies Lord & Lady Curzon during Autumn Tour 1902'. Lord Curzon served as Viceroy of India between 1899 and 1905. The Qutb Minar is a tower of victory, situated in a complex containing some of the earliest structures of Muslim rule in India. It was begun by Qutb-ud-Din Aybak (r.1206-1210), the first Sultan of Delhi and founder of the Slave Dynasty, and continued by Shams-ud-Din Iltutmish (r.1211-1236). This victory tower accompanies the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque and was probably inspired by the style of Afghan minarets. It is 72.3m (238 ft) high, and rises in five tapering fluted storeys interrupted by projecting balconies decorated with inscriptions. The chief material used is red sandstone. Four balconies separate its five storeys, and the lower three storeys have broad carved bands of interwoven calligraphy and floral motifs. The two highest storeys are mainly marble, rebuilt by Firuz Shah Tughluq (r.1351-1388) in 1368 when a cupola was added, later damaged in an earthquake and removed. This is a view from the east looking towards the tower, obscured at the base by trees, with the dome of the Alai Darwaza at the left, and a small pavilion on the right. Adham Khan's Tomb can be seen in the background to the left of the Qutb Minar.

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