Alai Darwaza – The attraction of the earliest Turkey art

Alai Darwaza – The attraction of the earliest Turkey art
Alai Darwaza

The Alai Darwaza, known as the jewel of Islamic architecture, is one of Delhi’s oldest doors, which was constructed by Alauddin Khilji, the second ruler of the Khilji dynasty of Delhi Sultanate, in 1311 AD, from the south of the Quwait-ul-Islam Mosque.

This is a great entrance gate. It is located inside the Qutub Minar campus in south Delhi, in which beautiful and aristocratic carving of Islamic architecture has been done with white marble and red sandstone stones.

The work of this magnificent and spacious Alai door has been such that it has a glimpse of early Turkish art, so it is also called the best and unique model of early Turkish art.

The construction of this historic Alai Darwaza was an integral part of the expansion of the Kawwat-ul-Islam-Masjid in the all-purpose Khilji’s project to beautify the Qutab Minar premises.

It was one of the four huge and grand entrance slots, which were completed, while the construction of the remaining three entrances was not completed, because before the construction of the other three gates, Alauddin Khilji, ruler of the dynasty, died in the year 1316 AD.

old photo of Alai Darwaza

The Alai Darwaza is one of India’s first buildings, which has been used in the construction of Islamic architecture, therefore the Alai Darwaza is also called ‘Ratna’ of Islamic architecture, beautiful Islamic carving in the Alai Darwaza, The best and unique example of Islamic architecture.

The Ghulam dynasty in Delhi did not employ the genres of Islamic architecture during their reign, along with the use of the wrong dome and false arches. For this reason, the Alai Darwaza is the best example of the first true Islamic domes and true arches in India.

The building of the Alai Darwaza is considered to be one of the most important historical buildings in the time of the Delhi Sultanate.

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Alai Darwaza Architecture

Alai Darwaza plaque

The pointed edges of the historic Alai Darwaza and spreading sparse edges are known as lotus buds, which connect it to the Quwait-ul-Islam mosque, in which it is used as an entrance gate.

Within the main structure of the Alai Darwaza, there is a single hall, within which the length is about 35 feet and the width is 56.5 feet. The height of its roofed ceiling is 47 feet.

On the east, west, and south sides, there are three pointed corners of the door, which are in the shape of the horse’s cord, while the entrance towards the north direction is of the native nature, while the arches are semi-circular. The entire structure of the Alai door looks quite arduous.

Alai Darwaza dome

The Alai Darwaza also includes a dome, the dome has been constructed entirely on scientific principles. On the basis of complex geometric calculations, the dome is made very sophisticated.

This dome is made on an octagonal basis. Plaster material has been used on the outer part of the dome so that it can be preserved and can be uniformed.

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The point to note about the dome is that all the efforts before Sultan Iltutmish’s tomb were unsuccessful in forming this dome. In this regard, the dome of the Alai Darwaza is a remarkable achievement. Beautiful marble and red sandstone are beautifully carved around the Alai door, which is made by seeing.

Along with this, the well-worn latticed windows on both sides of the entrance are also maintained, and the decoration of this aristocratic Alai door is also very beautiful and attractive.

The artificial and design of the surface of this historic door are complementary to each other, which is made by itself. This door looks almost the same from both the left and right sides. All entry points in this historic building have been designed brilliantly. The four arches of this gate are semi-circular. At the same time, there is a point in the middle of the gate, however, the homogeneity of this gate is almost like the rest of the gate.

The whole shape of the Alai door looks quite arduous and impressive. Whose height are more than 14 meters? The length of the gate is 17 meters and the width is about 10 meters. The gate is about 3 meters thick. This gate was constructed very strongly by Alauddin Khilji, ruler of the Khilji dynasty, so it took too much time to make it.

The magnificent and historic Alai Darwaza, built-in Delhi, is quite spectacular, people come from far away to see its beautiful carvings. The Alai Darwaza is a gate that is not only huge and magnificent, but it is also a unique model of Islamic architecture.

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How to Reach Alai Darwaza

Passengers interested in seeing the Alai door will have to reach the premises of Delhi’s Qutab Minar. They can reach the Kutub Minar premises through local buses running inside Delhi or via auto-rickshaw and taxi rentals. You can also use the metro to reach here.

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10 Interesting Fact about Alai Darwaza

Alai Darwaza window

  • It is the main gate from the southernmost side of the Mosque, Quwwat-ul-Islam inside the Qutub Minar complex. Quwwat-ul-Islam is the first-ever mosque to be built in India.

  • Khilji had planned real expansion of the mosque with Alai Minar in the north, a series of arches in the west, and a grand doorway — Alai Darwaza in the south. However, it stopped after he died.

  • A magnificent gateway constructed by the second Khilji Sultan of Delhi, Ala-Ud-din Khilji in 1311 AD, it flaunts exquisite inlaid marble embellishments, geometrical patterns, and latticed stone screens.

  • The foundation of this Indo-Islamic architecture was laid in the country after the advent of the Ghurid dynasty in 1193.

Alai Darwaza close

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  • The domed gateway is decorated with red sandstone and inlaid white marble decorations, inscriptions in Naskh script, latticed stone screens and showcases the remarkable craftsmanship of the Turkic artisans who worked on it.

  • The construction of the Alai Darwaza features mostly red sandstone and white marble, thus making it similar in its construction to other buildings around the area from that time.

  • Square in plan with a dome resting a squinched support, it marks a new stylistic phase in the development of early Sultanate architecture in the sub-continent.

Alai Darwaza closer

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  • Alai Darwaza of Mehrauli Delhi has been inscribed with different verses from the Quran around the inlay.

  • The dome of Alai Darwaza is supported by an octagonal base and a series of squinches to help get the dome to blend in with the rest of the build around the gate.

  • There are some carvings of lotus flowers and other Hindu images around the area, supporting and recognizing the influences of the area on the gate.

Alai Darwaza inner view

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.