When the abode of Godly city became a Mughal City!

The city of Dinpanah, was founded by Humayun, four years, after his father had founded the Empire. On the banks of the river Yamuna, the city was constructed unknowingly, that there was another ancient city which existed at the same area. It was called as ‘Indraprastha’ which translates as the ‘city of the God Indra’. While going through the fort complex, you get to witness the Mughal magnificence as well the remains of the ancient city scattered around, in the form of pottery and other materials. But one very significant thing which the fort city reflects is the material remains that have been left by Sher Shah Suri. An Afghan ruler who had overthrown Humayun, wreaked havoc in the Mughal city, built the new capital city called Sher Shahi, which is now known as Purana Qila. After successfully defeating Humayun in 1540, Suri demolished all that remained from the existing fort city of Dinpanah, re-used the materials from it, as well as from Feroz Shah Kotla and Siri, to make his new city SherGarh which translates as ‘the abode of Lions’. While the fort city was enclosed with three gates which were referred to as Bada Darwaza, Talaqi Darwaza and Humayun Darwaza, the outer walls, right in the front was demarcated with few more gates, such as the Lal Darwaza and the Kabuli Darwaza.
Humayun was often known in history as a moderate Mughal ruler between his charismatic father Babur and his legendary son Akbar. Humayun a superstitious man that he was, must have chosen the particular location of Indraprastha, not far from Nizamuddin Auliya’s shrine. It seems a little awkward that although the gates and outer wall can be proved to be of Humayun’s time, there is not a single other structure of his time.
The gates and the outer walls prove to be of Humayun’s time, but not more than this can be called as pertaining to Humayun’s time. A decent look inside the fort will reveal how scantily the monuments are scattered around the whole area. The main attractions of the whole place might be either the Sher Mandal, and The Qila-e-Kuhna Mosque. The exquisite design of the mosque can be credited to Sher shah, but it doesn’t look like Pathan architecture. A look at the octagonal dome makes it look more like a ‘Lodhi-era’ construction. However, the mosque is the best preserved part of the complex as its horse-shoe shaped doorways is one of the most beautiful example of symmetry, two on the left are ‘sawaal’ and two on the right are ‘jawaab’.

The Tentacles of Incomparable Slaves: Qutub Complex

There is no tower like the tower of the triumph modeled to prove the victory of the Turkish over the Indian lands. The QutubMinar is one of the finest brick minaret which was the tower of triumph modeled after another victory, Minaret of Jam near Herat in the remote valley of western Afghanistan, which was erected by the brother of Muhammad Ghori.
The evening QutubMinar, with its tapered star like base with a circular top, was the victory tower with four ornamental bands adorning its lower storey, followed by two more storeys with two bands each. The construction of the first floor of QutubMinar was started by Qutub-ud-din Aibak, the founder of the Mamluk dynasty, who had also commissioned for Jami masjid. Later the first mosque of Delhi, was called as Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, which was right on the stronghold of the Hindu citadel of Tomars and Chauhans in delhi.
“To summon the prayers so loud that it could reach Misr (Egypt) and Medina”, was the intention of building the magnificent Minar. The piece and other pieces in the architectural arena in the QutubComplex, are exquisite as the complex beholds layers of history in it. While the Rajput rulers had stationed themselves in the first city of Delhi which was comprising of the precincts of Qutub Complex, the first Muslim rule had not been that adventurous to explore more places. Hence you come across the Mosque, and in its courtyard you can stumble upon the Iron Pillar which is said to have got by the Tomars, and has resisted rusting for 1600 years. The early Turkish rulers were primarily soldiers who had their imagination take shape with the Hindu craftsmen who were locally available.
The complex, sitting on the old citadel of Tomar’sLalKot represents the imagination of the Turkish sultans which was fuelled by their conquests and an uncertainty in the new land: a Muslim theme with Hindu imagination. Together, the layers of history in the complex area represents group of monuments of the Mamluks and Khilji dynasties, and some unreal dreams which were left deserted.
The journey which started from QutubComplex, spread tentacles around Delhi and spread their Sultanate throughout Delhi. It’s fascinating to trace how the Sultanate started off with simpler backgrounds to such elaborate tomb structures as we see elsewhere.

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