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Qutub complex

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INTRODUCTION

The Qutb complex is one of those historic sites which can extend beyond its own historical moment to carry a much larger symbolic statement. Its ruins are presented today as a part of "Indian" antiquity, a part of each Indian’s inheritance which can be cherished. The Qutb complex situated in Mehrauli, Delhi consists of an array of monuments and buildings which stand as a testimony to the affluent historical trends and the radiant culture of Medieval India, the most famous of which is the five-storeyed, and 239 feet sandstone tower Qutb Minar. Apart from the architectural wonder Qutb Minar, other prominent monuments in the precincts of the Qutb complex include Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, i.e, one of the oldest existing mosques in India, the Alai Darwaza, the Alai Minar, the tomb of Iltutmish and the magnificent Iron Pillar. My endeavour will be to illuminate vital architectural attributes of each monument and subsequently proceed to historical interpretations by the historians from these monuments and their relative connotations in the sustenance of Delhi Sultanate. For a better understanding of the diverse historical trends of the Qutb complex, it would be expedient to have a brief knowledge of the history of Qutb complex.

Muizuddin Ghori led a series of successful military campaigns to India in the late twelfth century. Following successive defeats at Ankhud, Tarain, and Anhilwada, he registered a momentous victory at Tarain in 1192 and proceeded to defeat Raja Jai Chand of Kanauj at Chandwar. With these victories a new era in the history of Delhi(and also India) was inaugurated. During these campaigns a major role had been played by Qutubuddin Aibak (a slave general of Ghori). Muizuddin Ghori died soon and Aibek found himself a joint claimant to his master’s dominions in India along with two other fellow slaves, Nasiruddin...