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The Slave Dynasty


Also called Mumluk or Ghulam Dynasty

• All the Muslim rules that ascended the throne of Delhi after the death of Muhammad
Ghori in 1206 till 1290 were either themselves slaves or the descendants of these slave

• That is why the rulers belonging ot this dynasty are generally are known as the "Slave
Rulers" or the Mameluk Sultans and the dynasty is called the "Slave dynasty.
Qutb Complex, - Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque:

• Barring the pre-Sultanate monuments of Kutch District, this is the earliest extant mosque
in India and consists of a rectangular court, 43.2m by 33m, enclosed by cloisters, erected
with the carved columns and other architectural members of twenty-seven Hindu and
Jain temples demolished by Qutbu'd-Din Aibak, as recorded by him in his own inscription
on the main eastern entrance.

• Qutbu'd-Din calls the mosque as Jami Masjid and states that on the original erection of
each of the demolished temples a sum of twenty lacs of coins had been spent.

• Later it came to be called the Quwaitu'I-lslam (might of Islam) mosque. The western
portion of its courtyard occupies the original site of one of the demolished temples.

• At the two ends of its eastern cloisters, an intermediate storey was raised to provide
compartments for the ladies.

• An iron pillar from Vishnu temple of the fourth century which had been earlier set up
here probably by Anangpal, stands in front of the prayer-hall.
• To provide the considerable quantity of stone work such a scheme demanded, it is
recorded that the materials of some 27 temples were utilized.
• The first Islamic building in India of dressed stone was at its best mainly the patch work
of older materials.

• This mosque consisted of courtyard some 141’x105’ surrounded by pillared cloisters,

three aisle deep, the short pillars from temples being placed one above the other in
order to secure the necessary height.
• Mecca side of the courtyard, the arrangement of pillars was made more spacious and
elaborated into series of bays with shallow dome ceiling, to form the sanctuary.

• Than decided screen of brick to be built to separate the sanctuary and courtyard. no
spoils the existing Hindu temples could provide for such scheme, the whole of which
would be require to be original.

• when complete this screen as a whole formed a great wall of masonry over 50’ in height
at the centre width108’with thickness of 8.5’.Central archway22’x45’,side arch 25’ high.

• The screen is beautifully carved with borders of inscriptions and geometrical and
arabesque designs, but the hand of craftsmen used to Hindu motifs is clearly perceptible
in the naturalistic representation of serpentine tendrils and. undulating leaves of its
scroll-work and even in the fine characters of the Quranic inscriptions.

- This screen of red sandstone is by itself a noble conception, its fine pointed arches with ogee
curves producing that effect of lightness necessary in such massive volume.

- Hindu conception, and contrasting with it are upright lines of decorative inscriptions, just as
emphatically Islamic.
Qutb Minar.:

• Qutbu'd-Din Aibak laid the foundation of the now world-famous Qutb-Minar, intended
possibly mainly as a tower of victory but also as a minar attached to the Quwwatu'l-
Islam mosque for the use of the mu'adhdhin (crier) to call the people to prayer.

• Surprisingly, a later Nagari inscription on the minar calls it Alau'd-Din's victory-column


• Qutbu'd Din had perhaps only succeeded in raising the first storey, the remaining
storeys being eventually completed by his successor Iltutmish.

• From the Nagari and Persian inscription on the minar, it appears that it was damaged
twice by lightning, in 1326 and 1368.
• The first damage occurred during Muhammed Tughluq's reign (1325-51), and was
repaired by him apparently in 1332.

• The second damage was attended by Firuz Tughluq (1351-88). Later in 1503, Sikandar
Lodi (1489-1517) also carried out some restoration in the upper storeys. Originally the
minar had only four storeys, faced with red and buff sandstone.

• The uppermost storey which was damaged in 1368 during Firuz Tughluq's reign was
replaced by him by two storeys, making free use of marble but leaving the lower portion
of the fourth storey built with sandstone in its original condition.

• The original three storeys are each laid on a different plan.

• Each of its four stages is a different pattern in section, the lowest having stellate ,or
wedge shaped flanges alternating with rounded flutes, the second has circular
projections, the third is star shaped, while the fourth is simply round.

• It has a diameter of 14.32 m at the base and about 2.75 m on the top. With a height of
72.5 m and 379 steps, it is the highest stone tower in India and a perfect example of
minar known to exist anywhere.

• The three lower stories remain untouched but the fourth, or the uppermost storey was
composed of circular kiosk with window opening and domical roof.

• The system of stalactite bracketing underneath the balconies by which these projections
are supported and their weight transmitted to the body of the structure.

• Seen from any point of view the qutb mianr as a whole is a most impressive conception,

• The vivid color of its red sandstone, the changing texture of its fluted stories with their
overlay of inscriptional bands, the contrast between the alternating spaces of plain
masonry and rich carving, the shimmer of shadows under the balcony, all combine to
produce an effect of marked vitality.
Qutb Complex, - Extention Quwwat-ul-Islam:

• The mosque was enlarged by two later rulers. Shamsu'd-Din Iltutmish (1211-36), son-in-
law and successor of Qutbu'd-Din, doubled the size of the mosque in 1230.

• by extending its colonnades and prayer-hall outside the original enclosure, with the
result that the Qutb-Minar now fell within the mosque-enclosure.

• The arches of Iltutmish's screen are still principally corbelled, although their arabesque
ornamentation with the inscriptions standing out prominently is Saracenic in feeling, as
distinct from the mixed decoration of Qutbu'd-Din Aibak's screen.

• 'Alau'd-Din Khilji (12961316) again extended the mosque substantially by enlarging the

• He provided two gateways on the longer eastern side and one each on the north and
south, the last one known as 'Ala-i-Darwaza and still extant in entirety.

• In fact, he doubled the area of the mosque, and also commenced the construction of
another minar, intended to be twice the size of Qutbu'd-Din's minar, although it
remained incomplete

• Built in A.D. 1235 just outside the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque.

• A compact square structure of 42' side with entrances at three sides and western wall
enclosed to accommodate 3 mihrabs.

• Exterior is relatively plain, but interior is richly decorated. A square hall of 30' side, its
walls are relieved with white marble insertions. Quranic verses in Kufri, Tugra and
Nashtalik characters with geometrical patterns interspersed.

• Most of the roof has collapsed, but remains show it to have been a shallow dome
composed of concentric rings of masonry which collapsed due to excessive span.

• The most interesting feature is the first appearance in India of the 'Squinch'. This consists
of projecting a small arch across the upper side of the corners of the square room,
turning it into an octagon, then repeating the process to turn it into a 16 sided base in
which a dome can rest.

• In this case, the squinch is a half-dome, though built on the corbelling principle. Thus,
this is an Indianized version of the squinch.

• It has three entrances, on the north, east,and south elevations. The western wall, facing
Mecca, houses the mihrab as the central niche of three.
Hindu motifs such as lotus flowers and bells on chains are also found in the sandstone carvings.