Realities Of Indo Islamic Architecture


Islam has its roots in central Asia from where it spread all over the world. Islamic emperor from Persian and other parts of the world invaded the rich land of India initially and later made this country their home. They ruled here for some centuries and were defeated at the hands of British empire later.

I was with my friend Nishant Saxena at Qutab Minar complex on 22nd June, 2013. Our sole purpose was to study Indo-Islamic structure which were a resultant of amalgamation of Hindu architecture represented in Islamic style. And Qutab Minar is finest example of architectural wonder created by slave dynasty in Delhi.

Apart from the tower, there were many other tombs and monuments inside the complex. Mehrauli Archeological Site is also nearby. One can always visit these structure from sunrise to sunset.

Our sole purpose was to explore what was discovered. But what we discovered, unfortunately could not be explored. It was destroyed to grounds, pulverized, fragmented or left to ruins.

Qutab Minar at the backdrop

Qutab Minar at the backdrop

Qutab complex stands on what could be a Hindu Temple Complex. This is evident from the fact that we can still witness the remains of the intricate carvings of floral patterns and sculptures on walls and columns. Here take a look.

Door keepers of temple carved on Lintel

Door keepers of temple carved on Lintel

This idol of Ganesh is kept hidden inside a cage by the Goverment

This idol of Ganesh at Qutab Minar Complex

Ganesh Idol

Ganesh Idol

This was quiet unexpected. I wonder why was the idol kept hidden from the public’s eye. It was wonderful of lord to grant me his ‘darshan‘ as I bow down in gratitude to take his photograph.

Most likely to be 10 avatar of vishnu

Most likely to be 10 avatar of vishnu

Lintel Carving

Lintel Carving

Yaksha at Column's Capital

Yaksha at Column’s Capital

God Narayan with Brahma second from right, Indra fourth right, Skanda fifth right, Shiva sixth right

God Narayan with Brahma second from right, Indra fourth right, Skanda fifth right, Shiva sixth right

I think that this temple was dedicated to lord Vishnu. His temples were more ornamented than those of the hermit god Shiva.

Lintel Carvings

Lintel Carvings

Half Man half Animal.... probably a Naga......

Half Man half Animal…. probably a Naga……

The Idol above depicts an individual with human head and torso and lower body of a serpent. This could be the asur Ketu, one who caused lunar eclipse.

Temple column

Temple column

Underground Passage Near Khilji Tomb which is now closed.

Underground Passage Near Khilji Tomb which is now closed.

I can visualize the era when this temple complex displayed the grandeur which speak in the name of the God. If it had survived to this date, it would be at par to those temples of southern India. The relics of the temple are enough to say that Indian architects already knew of what the world said that they don’t know.

We ended our time witnessing the sunset at victory tower which man has erected over the chest of God. I have been here many times before. But this was the first time I saw God residing at this place.

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7 thoughts on “Realities Of Indo Islamic Architecture

  1. A very good effort.A small beginning towards a much larger picture.We are losing our cultural heritage at an alarming rate due to our callous attitude.Lets not start a blame game,rather if students of architecture ,history and the common people start making tiny efforts towards documentation ,building awareness and making others aware about this loss, if any, that comes to their notice,I am sure our future generation will have a lot to thank the people concerned. Thanks a lot Aman and Nishant for this .Best of luck on this exploration.

  2. Very good effort Nishant and aman. As I heard it is the place of varahmihir’s ( Now named as mehruli) observatory. But a very good observation of hinduism marks and gods on remains. keep it up. Your identification of god’s idol is very fantastic . it is very clear that 3rd idol of dashaavtar is Varha-Avtar.

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