One of the first tombs built from scratch in India, this is the tomb of Sultan Iltutmish, inside the Qutb Minar complex. It was built by the Emperor himself in 1235 AD. Note that the Mamluk Dynasty had only recently come to wield power over northern India, a territory so far occupied by Hindus alone. The word Mamluk means slave, as the rulers of this dynasty originated from being slaves who converted to Islam. Iltutmish had only a few years ago buried his loving son and heir, Prince Naseeruddin, at the Sultanghari Tomb. Until then the custom was to use the remains of old Hindu and Jain temples to construct new structures, as the Sultans were busy strengthening the empire. But within a few years Iltutmish had established his stronghold, and was able to give more thought to things of beauty!
Thereafter came up this beautiful mausoleum near the Qutb Minar, which was also completed by Iltutmish. Today the tomb is open to the sky, since its roof collapsed long ago. It looks quite plain from the outside, but the interior is absolutely grand. Lofty arches rise on all sides, and lavish carvings cover the walls in a mix of Hindu designs and Islamic calligraphy (since most of the builders were still accustomed to the Hindu style of building and decoration, but the orders came from the Muslim Sultans). This led to a slow amalgamation over the centuries that finally led to the creation of a very refined style of Mughal architecture, the best example of which is the Taj Mahal.
In the picture, a girl prays facing the mihrab in the tomb, which is a niche indicating the direction of Mecca.
Read more about the coup after Iltutmish’s death, the story of his famous daughter Razia Sultan here. And visit the son who became a saint at Sultangarhi, here.
12 Comments Add yours
Lovely picture, another good post.
Thanks Srishti 🙂
hey wanderfool 😀 yr blog is also very wonderful the facts and dose lovely pics of various monuments are really wonderful 🙂
Haha Saikat, thanks 🙂 Hope you get a chance to see all of these monuments!
A delight to read and picture is wonderful
Thank you Sunil!
great picture and post!
Thanks a ton 🙂
very nice 🙂
Thank you! That means a lot coming from you!