Qutb Complex, -  Iltutmish Tomb


1 Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque

2 Iron Pillar

3 Qutab Minar 4 Alai Darwaza

5 Alai Minar

6 Iltutmish Tomb

7 Alauddins Tomb and College

8 Imam Zamin's Tomb


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The heavily ornamented interiors of Iltutmish,s tomb


The tomb of Shamsu'd-Din Iltutmish (1211-36), son-in-law and successor of Qutbu'd-Din Aibak, lies to the north-west of the Quwwatu'l-lslam mosque. It was built in about 1235 by Iltutmish himself, only five years after the construction of Sultan Ghari's tomb. Yet it is quite different from the latter and illustrates that phase in the development of Indo-Islamic architecture when the builder had ceased to depend for material on the demolition of temples, although the arches and semi-domes below the squinches were still laid in the indigenous corbelled fashion. Its tomb-chamber with .a cenotaph in its centre, internally nearly 9 m sq. and faced with red sandstone, was certainly intended to be covered with a dome, as is clear from the squinches, which appear for the first time in this building. It is believed that the original dome had fallen and was replaced by Firuz Shah Tughluq (1351-88), but even this did not survive. The interior on the west is occupied by three mihrabs, the central one higher and ornamented with marble, to serve as a place for prayers, while the other sides are pierced by arched entrances. The tomb is plain on the outside, but is profusely carved on the entrances and in the interior with inscriptions in Kufi and Naskh characters and geometrical and. arabesque patterns in Saracenic tradition, although several motifs among its carvings are reminiscent of Hindu decoration. To this class belong wheel, bell. And chain, tassel, lotus and diamond. In view of its lavish ornamentation, Fergusson described it as ‘one of the richest examples of Hindu art applied to Muhammadan purposes.’



A Squinch Arch - The first monument in India to use this architectural device

The tomb chamber, now open to the sky


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