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Quwwat Ul Islam Mosque, New Delhi

Quwwat Ul Islam Mosque Overview

Being the oldest surviving mosque in India this was solely built to celebrate the triumph of Mohammed Ghuri's victory on the Rajputs. This mosque which was started by Qutbuddin Aibak as a token of respect for his master eventually himself became the sultan after the conspired assassination of Mohammed Ghuri and also made his much loved Quwwat-ul-Islam as the Jami Masjid, also known as congregational mosque of Delhi.

The moment you enter the mosque what catches most of your attention is the specifically designed temple ceiling. Right in front of one’s eyes will lay the picturesque courtyard of the mosque which is sequenced by the rows of intricately designed pillars. A lot of variety of Hindu Motif, tasseled ropes, bells, tendrils, cows and leaves to mention, can be found all around. What boasts the most about the Islamic feature are the breathtaking pointed arches which audaciously flaunts the curvaceous and serpentine calligraphy of texts from Quran in Arabic.

Enormous stone-made screens which stand in front of the prayer hall have a central arch and two smaller arches, shaped like an S (ogee-shaped), as its company. A huge stone screen was built ahead of the prayer hall that is accompanied by arches, which are 'S' (ogee-shaped). Another of the architecture which is the perfect example of Hindu and Islamic fusion is the prayer hall co(ogee-shaped) consisting of a central arch of nearly 6.15m (20ft) in height which is further ornamented with out of the box decorations.

A lot of lotuses can be seen dancing out of joy while coordinating with the Koranic calligraphy in an effort to catch attention while peeping through the western end from the sandstone screen, wherein, the screen has a number of arches to it patterned as per the corbelling style which one of the favorite of the Hindu craftsmen. Quwwatul Islam mosque underwent an expansion dated AD 1230 which was an effort of the Qutbuddin's successors and son-in-laws, Iltutmish. When Alauddin Khilji came to the throne he further enlarged boundaries in the first quarter of the 14th century which focused on adding gateways on the eastern, northern and southern walls.

Most of the temples of North India were either flat-roofed or else shaped on mountain peaks which were done by adding the layers of stones that increased in length unless it arranged in a peak above two pillars. These temples did not flaunt arches which were highly admired by the Muslim Sultans since the time they first constructed the mosque of Samara in Iraq, in AD 752. However, the local masons were not tuned with the skill of building an arch, but, with the pressures from the Muslim Masters the Hindu craftsmen developed the corbelled arch by arranging the stones horizontally in layers such that it increased the length, in a similar way in which they peaked the gateways, but they also had to shape the sides of the sounds in a round manner which then resulted in forming the curved lines of the arch.

The mosque has a lot of unique features to it and thus witnesses a lot of visits, especially, from the history aficionados.

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