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Quwwat Ul Islam Masjid

Built on the foundations of Hindu and Jain temples, the Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid offers its visitors a glimpse into early architectural instincts of Mughal rulers. The Masjid, though in ruins, attracts a large number of visitors from world over.

Quwwat –ul-Islam Masjid is unique in the sense that it was the first mosque in Delhi after Islam made its advent in India. The Masjid was built by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, who was the founder of Slave or Mamluk dynasty.The Masjid is a live example of Ghurids style of architecture in India, which is evident from the intricate carvings of cloister columns within the complex. At the same time, the inner eastern gateways in this mosque have Persian inscriptions, which hint that the Masjid was built in parts collected from Hindu and Jain temples that were built previously by Prithvi Raj Chauhan and the Tomar dynasty.Construction of the Masjid was started by Qutb-ud-din-Aibak in 1193 CE as a mark of his victory over the Rajput rulers.

Architecture of Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid

Built on the plinth of Hindu and Jain temples that existed in the area earlier, this mosque holds unique historical references. Built on a raised courtyard that measures 43 x 32 metres, this mosque has a grand appeal. Cloisters of Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid found in the masjid are three aisles deep. These cloisters were built using pillars taken from Hindu temples and can be considered a true tribute to religious harmony. The courtyard is surrounded by these cloisters and is 105 x 141 feet in size.

The pillars were designed in such a manner that it added ample space to the complex. Further, these pillars were resolved into series of bays with shallow domed roofs. The front portion of sanctuary had a screen of arched facade that was installed in 1199. There are 5 arches that pierce the screen with the centre being supported by two smaller arches. Smaller arches have clerestory over it and the same was done primarily for decoration purposes. Facade of the mosque has carvings of floral designs and Quran verses, which are well preserved.

The design of the arches takes its inspiration from Buddhist caves of Barahar Hills as also from Stupas of Sarnath. Though the Quwwat –ul-Islam Masjid is in ruins today, yet the corbelled arches, geometric patterns and floral designs survive well adding a unique touch to what remains of the Masjid.

Where to Eat

The Masjid is located in the Qutub complex, which has a range of monuments including the famed Qutb Minar.A restaurant and other local eateries adjacent to the Qutb complex dish out a range of cuisines and you can try feasting on any of these while visiting the Quwwat –ul-Islam Masjid.

Useful Tips for Tourists

The Masjid is easily accessible from all corners of Delhi, especially with the Qutub metro station that connects the complex to other areas.

Visitor Information

There is no entry fee for visiting the Masjid and it is open to visitors throughout the week.

Best Time to Visit

October to March is the best time to visit this area because the temperatures cool down and one can move around comfortably.

How to Reach

By Air

Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi is connected to all parts of the country as well as to international destinations.

By Train

There are three railway stations in Delhi, the Old Delhi Railway Station, New Delhi Railway Station and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station. All of these are well-connected to all parts of the country.

By Road

There are many state and national highways touching Delhi via the Sarai Kale-Khan Bus Terminus, Anand Vihar Bus Terminus and Inter State Bus Terminus. There are government and private buses plying to and from Delhi.

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