Situated at the center of the Qutub Minar complex in the city of Mehrauli,the Quwwat Ul Islam Mosque is the first ever mosque made in India, during the sultanate period. Today, stand by only it’s walls which represents extravagant yet very minute architecture of the Slave dynasty. It’s marvelous architecture and design makes it an attraction point of the Qutub complex, against which stands the Mehrauli iron pillar. And is added up as UNESCO‘s World Heritage Site. The history of this site is both so interesting and large that makes a huge amount of visitors to pay a visit to this place every year.
The history –It was in the year 1193 AD, when Qutub ud – din Aibak, founder of The Slave dynasty conquered the Quila Rai Pithora of the Chauhans and was eager to leave the imprints of his religion to the new territory. He commissioned the mosque using the ruins of 27 Hindu and Jaina temples. And was built over the site of a large temple located at the center of the citadel.
Quwwat ul Islam mosque, also known as Jami masjid or the Friday mosque then came to be used for performing the adhan and became one of the best architectures of the sultanate period, that also made a benchmark for the coming sultans to think upon.
Architecture and design –Archaeological Survey of India states that the mosque was raised over the remains of a temple, and in additio, it was also constructed from materials taken from other demolished temples. Historical records compiled by a Muslim historian Maulana Hakim Saiyid Abdul Hai corroborate to the use of iconoclasm by Qutub ud din Aibak, which was common during his reign.
The mosque was further extended by Sultan Iltutamish (1296), who gave a more complexity to its design.
The iron pillar of Mehrauli, located on the stone pavement in front of it adds to its beauty and history.
The complexity of its design and architecture is what intrigues most of the visitors paying visit to the place. The central arch of the mosque is ogee in shape and the screen is sculpted with religious texts and floral patterns. One of the historians believe that it was not constructed on scientific approach, but in Corbel style as indicated by the variations in the patterns of the arches. The front wall that we see standing still today came to be known as the Western Wall. Though it was a magnificent monument, built with an entrance to the courtyard, and grey colonnades made of greystone.