Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Qutb Minar, Delhi

One of my favorite places in Delhi to visit is the Qutb Minar Complex. On its massive grounds, this UNESCO World Heritage site contains a treasure trove or archaeological masterpieces, dating back from between 1193 and the 13th century. Dominating the skyline is the Qutb Minar itself. Tapering from a width at the base from 14.3 meters to 2.7 meters at the top, subsequent additions by different rulers (from 1192-1388) was physically apparent. Loving detail, I am attracted to the gorgeous Kufi-style calligraphy and the ornate balcony. It is the tallest brick minaret in the world.

Elaborate calligraphy can also be found in places such as the Alai Darwaza gate and Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque. Looking closer at the carvings on the columns and other portions of the mosque’s ruins, one can easily see how portions of Jain and Hindu temples were repurposed. Although in ruins now, the archways in front of the mosque and leading to the Qutb Minar had particularly elegant calligraphy. Currently, restoration work is being done inside the Alai Darwaza.
Delhi Flickr page

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