Quwaat-ul-Islam Mosque – The Great Mosque of Delhi


The Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque is also commonly known as Qutub Mosque. Qutub-ul-din Aibak was in charge of the construction of this mosque. He is the founder of the Slave Dynasty also known as Mamluk.

The mosque was constructed using spolia from several Hindu and Jain temples. Spolia is a reusable stone used in a building so that it can be repurposed for new construction. The mosque was built in a temple complex that was situated in the center of a citadel.


All the idols of worship were gotten rid of as soon as the conqueror took over the city and its vicinity. Several archaeological surveys conditions that the mosque was erected over the ruins of a temple. The materials used in the construction of this mosque were also taken from twenty-seven demolished temples.

The Planning Of The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque

Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque is one of the oldest surviving mosques in India. The courtyard measures 43 meters by 33 meters. The dimensions of the west side prayer halls measure approximately 45 meters by 12 meters.


The colonnades of the mosque are constructed of grey stone which gives it an overall grey appearance. There are two bays in the Northern and Southern directions. The other three bays are situated on the Eastside.


The North and Southside of the mosque were extended by 115 feet.

The popular iron pillar is constructed in front of the mosque. It stands tall on a stone pavement. The Qutub Minar is situated on the West side of the prime entrance.

The ogee-shaped central arch is approximately 21 feet wide and 52 feet in height. However, the side arches are comparatively smaller in size.

The Architecture Of The Great Mosque Of Delhi

Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque was built on a raised courtyard that was spectacularly paved and encircled with a pillared arcade. The arcade was installed by Iltutmish. The tomb of Iltutmish is located to the west of this mosque.

The mosque’s entrance to the courtyard has a richly decorated mandapa dome from temples. The pillars of the same were used throughout the premises.

After the death of Aibak, his successor Iltutmish carried on with the expansion of the prayer hall. He replaced the Hindu masons with the Muslims. This change in craftsmen explains a lot about why the later constructions resembled the fine Islamic architecture. The materials used in the construction were not reused from the remains of the earlier temples.

Written By Aishee Bachhar | Subscribe To Our Telegram Channel To Get Latest Updates And Don’t Forget To Follow Our Social Media Handles Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Twitter. To Get the Latest Updates From Arco Unico


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