Qutb Complex: Alai Minar and Alai Darwaza

Alai Minar

Alai Minar is an incomplete monument.

Alauddin Khilji started building the Alai Minar, after he had doubled the size of Quwwat ul-Islam mosque. He conceived this tower to be two times higher than Qutb Minar in proportion with the enlarged mosque. The construction was however abandoned, just after the completion of the 24.5-metre-high (80 ft) first-story core; soon after death of Ala-ud-din in 1316, and never taken up by his successors of Khilji dynasty. The first story of the Alai Minar, a giant rubble masonry core, still stands today, which was evidently intended to be covered with dressed stone later on. Noted Sufi poet and saint of his times, Amir Khusro in his work, Tarikh-i-Alai, mentions Ala-ud-din's intentions to extend the mosque and also constructing another minar.

Gate of Alai Minar
The first floor construction of the Alai Minar was completed and measured 24.5 metres high, but unfortunately, the construction was abandoned after the demise of Sultan Ala-ud-din Khalji in 1316 AD. His subsequent successors could never contribute to its completion as they were defeated, post which the Delhi Sultanate was seized by the Tughlaq dynasty.

The actual conception date of the Alai Minar is not known, however, it is noted that during the reign of the Khilji dynasty, Amir Khusro, a renowned Sufi poet did make a mention of its date of construction, in one of his works referred to as the ‘Tareekh-i-Alai’. It states that the Alai Minar took shape in 1253 AD in Patiali, situated in Northern India.

Alai Darwaza

The Alai Darwaza is the main gateway from southern side of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque. It was built by the second Khilji Sultan of Delhi, Ala-ud-din Khilji in 1311 AD, who also added a court to the pillared to the eastern side.

The Alai Darwaza is the main gate from the southern side of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque in the Qutub Minar complex .Built by Allaudin Khilji the Sultan of Delhi in 1311 AD, the Alai Darwaza has a domed entrance which is constructed using red sandstone and is adorned with white marble.

Inner dome of Alai Darwaza

Art work in Alai Darwaza

Other monuments of the Qutb Complex:

Source of information: WikipediaQutubMinar.inDelhi Tourism
Pictures: Copyright (c) HyM Photography