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British Institute of Persian Studies

The Copies of the Qub Mnr


Author(s): Ebba Koch
Source: Iran, Vol. 29 (1991), pp. 95-107
Published by: British Institute of Persian Studies
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4299851 .
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THE COPIES OF THE QUTB MINAR*

By Ebba Koch
Vienna
To KlausFischerfor his seventieth
birthday
In 1942 Richard Krautheimer in his article on the fifth storey which was rebuilt by FirUi Sh5h Tughluq
iconography of mediaeval architecture brilliantly in 770-1/1368-9 is partially decorated with rounded
defined the nature of mediaeval architectural copies. flanges.6 Because of its unmistakable shape the lowest
He established that such copies intended to evoke the storey was to become synonymous with the Qutb
meaning of a prototype by using selected outstanding Minfr and as such it was to acquire a particular
elements rather than to reproduce faithfully its significance for the Muslim architecture of India.
physical appearance.' Krautheimer limited the scope My attention was first drawn to this phenomenon
of his investigations to the European religious architec- while surveying the Muslim monuments of India in the
ture of the Middle Ages. As a response to Oleg years between 1976 and 1986, I noted repeatedly what
Grabar's "fundamental question.., .whether any appeared to be deliberate architectural references to
culture can be meaningfully understood through the the Qutb The final incentive to analyse this
applications of techniques developed outside it,"2 I material came from the discovery of a shooting tower
Min.r.7
propose to show that a related phenomenon of Indian built for a hunting palace of Shaih Jahan near Palam
Muslim architecture, a series of architectural copies near Delhi (completed in 1634). As the most faithful
originating from one prototype, can only be explained replica of the Qutb Minar, this tower, now known as
meaningfully by Krautheimer's theory. Hashtsil Minfir, will be the focal point of our discus-
sion (Pl. XIb, Figs. 3, 4).8

I. THE QUTB MINAR AND ITS SOURCES


II. THE HASHTSAL MINAR AND THE
The prototype which inspired these architectural TRADITION OF THE MUGHAL
copies is the famous Qutb Minar at Delhi, built HUNTING TOWERS
between the end of the twelfth and the beginning of the
thirteenth centuries as a visible sign of the establish- The HashtsSl MinSr is located in the village of
ment of Muslim rule in Northern India (Pl. XIa, Hashtsal, which is situated next to Utam Nagar, a
Fig. 1).3 It has been shown that the Qutb Minir itself village on the Delhi-Najafgarh road, some 5 km.
was no free invention but that it depended on designs of north-west of present-day Palam. About 90 m. north-
minarets which the Ghfirid conquerors had brought on west of the mfndrare the scant remains of Shah Jahan's
to Indian soil from present-day Afghanistan, Iran and hunting palace. The modern village has been built in
Central Asia. The minaret at Khwaja Siyah Push in and around the palace and mFndr,and the state of utter
Sistan (probably twelfth century) is particularly suit- disrepair of the palace buildings is mainly due to the
able as an illustration of this connection (Fig. 2), since fact that they were used as a quarry for the construc-
its surface is moulded with rounded flanging alternat- tion of the houses in the village. The mnadris built of
ing with angular pleating similar to that which gives brick faced with red sandstone. It stands on a double
the lowest storey of the Qutb MindSrits characteristic platform of mortared rubble-work. The lower layer
appearances.4 To this first storey of the Qutb Minir has been almost completely destroyed by encroaching
constructed by Qutb al-Din Aybak in 596/1199, his houses, the upper platform is octagonal. The surviving
successor Iltutmish added another three storeys, each structure of the tower rises to a height of about 17 m.
of a different shape. The second storey is moulded with from the upper octagonal platform. It is tapering, and
rounded flanges like the tower of Jar Kurgan in today it consists of three storeys, the topmost of which
Uzbekistan (502/1108-9),5 the third storey shows is only partly preserved. The storeys are set off from
angular pleating and the fourth storey is round. The one another by 12-sided cornices consisting of cavettos

* The origin of this paper was my contribution "The Hashtsal Minir of the Festschrifthas become highly uncertain, I have taken up the
at Delhi: Shah Jahin's Copy of the Qutb Minir", to a Festschrift subject again in the present paper and considered it in a wider
planned for Klaus Fischer on the occasion of his seventieth context.
birthday which was to appear from Benares. Since the publication

95

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96 JOURNAL OF PERSIAN STUDIES

5. o .s oMFeTRES

Fig.. 1. Delhi, QutbMznar.Sectionandplans of storeys.(AfterK. V. Soundara


Rajan,1983.)

which, judging from broken-off remains, originally istic form in the repertoire of poly-lobed arches of the
supported surrounding balconies to which access was architecture of ShSh JahSn; the closest parallel are the
possible through rectangular doorways (Fig. 3). The blind arches on the plinth of the TSj Mahal which is
lower half of the first storey is given the shape of a about contemporary with the Hashtsal Minar (com-
dodecagonal base sitting on a narrow recessed plinth pleted in 1633).9 One of the plain panelled faces of the
(P1. XIb). Each of the 12 faces has a width of 1.4 m. base of the HashtsSl Minmr contains a rectangular
above the plinth. The faces are panelled and contain doorway (orientated 25' east of north) which provides
blind three-lobed arches in sequence of one plain frame access to the spiral staircase in the interior of the tower.
and two blind arches alternating circumferencially. The upper area of the panelled zone consists of a tier of
Three-lobed arches are a little-known but character- oblong white marble panels, a feature which also

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THE COPIES OF THE QUTB MINAR 97

Fig. 2. KhwajaSiyahPush,plan andelevationof theminSr. (AfterK. Fischer,1976.)

corresponds to the plinth of the Tij Mahal. The elements as the base of a tower resembles the base of
panelled zone is topped by a narrow cornice and a Akbar's Hiran MinSr at Fatehpur-Sikri (1570s;
relief band with an in-and-out pattern of polylobed P1. XIIIb). Like the Hashtsil Minir it belongs to a
elements, a popular Mughal ornament which was often group of Mughal towers with a distinct hunting conno-
used for ornamental battlements. tation.'0 In addition to the Hashtsal Minar we know of
Whereas the main features of the panelled zone have further four surviving examples of such towers: the
their closest stylistic parallel in the plinth of the Taij Hiran Minar at Fatehpur Sikri," the so called Ch6r
Mahal, the specific arrangement of the decorative Minar at Delhi (Akbar's reign?),'2 the Nim Sard'i

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98 JOURNAL OF PERSIAN STUDIES

ELEVATION SECTION

HASHTSAL MINAR, DELHI


1 0 1 2 3m

Fig. 3. Delhi, HashtsdilMnar. Elevationandsection.

Minar at Old Malda, Bengal (Akbar's reign?)'3 and Mindr of Fatehpur Sikri had the additional function of
Jahangir's mTndrat Shaikhupura near Lahore (1620).'~ being the starting point of a system of mile posts which
All these towers are constructed in a similar way. They in their turn had the shape of smaller mzndrsstudded
rise above a square or octagonal base and are either with deer horns."
studded with [imitation] elephant tusks or else display As far as its function is concerned, the Hashtsal
holes which to all evidence contained such tusks or MinSr belongs to this group of hunting mznars,since to
similar hunting trophies. In this way the Mughal mTnars all evidence it was built as a shooting tower for ShSh
continue a tradition which can be traced all the way jahan's hunting expeditions to Palam.
back to the Sasanian rulers of Iran, of exalting the ruler
as royal hunter by way of exhibiting his hunting
trophies on a tower.'" III. THE HASHTSAL MINAR AS A COPY OF
In addition to their symbolic function as hunting THE QUTB MINAR
memorials, these mzndrsobviously also served the prac-
tical requirements of the hunt. They were used for From the formal point of view, however, only the
firing at game or for witnessing the hunt.'6 The Hiran base of the Hashtsal Minar conforms to the architec-

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THE COPIES OF THE QUTB MINAR 99

TOP LEVEL PLAN

SECOND FLOOR LEVEL PLAN

GROUND LEVEL PLAN

HASHTSAL MINARI, DELHI


S1 m FIRST FLOOR LEVEL PLAN

Fzg. 4. Delhi, HashtsdlMTnar.Plans of storeys.

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100 JOURNAL OF PERSIAN STUDIES

tural tradition of earlier Mughal hunting towers. The We shall first look at the use of the characteristic Qutb
elevation of the mfnar above its base alludes to a motif up to Shah Jahan's reign.
different tradition of towers. Here the tapering shaft is In the pre-Mughal architecture of the sultans of
moulded with convex rounded flanges alternating with Delhi, this motif was preferably inserted in the form of
angular pleats in clear imitation of the characteristic a band or "storey" in the engaged minarets or but-
outline of the lowest storey of the Qutb Minar. While tresses which accentuate corners, or which flank gate-
the fluting of this storey of the Qutb consists of 12 ways, the central arch of the facade and the external
rounded and 12 angular sectors (Fig. 1), the Hashtsal mihrdb-projection21 ('Tdgdh at Jalor, 718/1318-19;22
Minar shows a finer articulation with exactly twice the Pattharia Masjid at Thanesar, fourteenth century?23
number of these elements, namely 24 rounded and 24 the L6di mosque at Bhondsi near Gurgaon, Haryana,
angular ones (Fig. 4). When we look back to the most ca. 1490; in Delhi the Khifiki Masjid, 1351-8824
likely prototype of this series, the minaret at Khwaja (P1. XIIa); the mosque of Maulana Jamali; the Bara
Siyah Push, the surface of which is modelled with eight Gumbad mosque, 900/1494; the M5th ki Masjid, the
rounded and eight angular elements (Fig. 2), we can so-called Jahaz Mahal at Mehrauli, both early six-
see that the number of elements of the surface pattern teenth century;25 at Sasaram the unfinished tomb of
gradually increases in multiples of the number four."8 Islam Shah Sur, who died in 1554).26
The finer structuring of the surface of the Hashtsll From the Lodi period onwards the Qutb motif is
MinSr relates to its smaller size. Its diameter is 5.35 m. seen also in a new architectural context. The gadroon-
above the plinth, while the Qutb Minar has a diameter ing of domes is occasionally alternated with angular
of c. 14 m. at about a corresponding level. In its present pleats (e.g. the central dome of the so-called tomb of
state, the Hashtsil MinSr has a height of ca. 17 m., and Bahlfil L6di, r. 1451-89,27 or the domes of the corner
since its top has fallen off, we can only speculate about towers of the enclosure wall of Hasan Khan Sfir's tomb
its original height. It could have amounted to about at Sasaram, early 1540s, P1. XIId).
one-third of the present height of the Qutb Minar of In S5iri or early Mughal architecture the Qutb motif
71.4 m.'9 appears mainly in the modelling of engaged shafts
While, as noted already, the surface moulding of the framing the pish.taqsof gates or archways or accentuat-
Qutb Minar changes from an alternation of convex ing corners of buildings,28 (the Jamali-Kamali mosque
rounded flanges with angular elements in the first at Mehrauli, first third of the sixteenth century,
storey to rounded flanges only in the second storey and P1. XIIc;29 the Qil'a-i Kuhna mosque at Delhi, early
to angular pleating only in the third storey, the surface 1540s;30the tomb of Humayfin at Delhi, 1562-71;31 the
of the Hashtsal Minar is fashioned throughout with Hathi P61 of the Agra Fort, 976/1568-9;32 the Jami'
rounded and angular elements. It appears therefore Masjid and the Buland Darwaza, Fatephur Sikrl,
like a bundle of tapering flanges and pleats held completed ca. 1574).33
together by the encircling belts of the cornices. The We find the motif also on decorative pinnacles
older, bold architectural concept of the Qutb Minar (guldasta) serving as finials of engaged shafts above the
was thus not only transferred onto a smaller scale but it parapet of a building (Akbar's tomb at Sikandra,
was also translated into the elegant idiom of Shdih dated 1022/1633)34 or set independently atop of
Jahan's architecture. One of the main characteristics of buildings (on the qibla side of the Bara Gumbad at
this style was a restriction of variations in the architec- Delhi, 900/1494; Ibrihim Sfir's tomb at Narnaul,
tural vocabulary in order to obtain uniformity--a 949/1542-3;35 Hathi P61 of the Agra Fort, 976/1568-9,
tendency to which the selective and persistent use of the P1. XIIIa).
motif of the Qutb Minar's lowest storey bears witness. To summarise this stage of the development from
the stylistic point of view, we can state that the Qutb
motif was gradually transformed from a monumental
architectural feature into a decorative roll and edge
IV. REFERENCES TO THE QUTB MINAR moulding. At the same time its proportions underwent
IN SULTANATE AND EARLY MUGHAL a change in favour of the round flanging, with the effect
ARCHITECTURE that the angular element was reduced to a narrow-
edged reed (cf. in particular, P1. XIa with Pls. XIIc
Shah Jahin was by no means the first patron among and XIIIa).
the rulers of Delhi to make reference to the Qutb The incomplete and decorative character of these
Minair in his architectural enterprise. Right from the references must not induce us to underrate their signifi-
time of its construction until the present-day, allusions cance and to read them as mere ornaments without any
were made to the Qutb Minar (with a few exceptions) particular meaning or symbolic function.36 As has
by singling out what was apparently considered to be already been pointed out at the beginning, the
its most outstanding and typical feature, namely, the phenomenon of partial copying in Indo-Muslim archi-
alternating rounded flanging and angular pleating.20 tecture can be explained by what Krautheimer has

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THE COPIES OF THE QUTB MINAR 101

described as the principle per se of copying in mediaeval V. ALLUSIONS TO THE QUTB MINAR
European architecture, namely, the fact that the IN SHAH JAHAN'S ARCHITECTURE
prototype was never imitated in its entirety. The
mediaeval beholder expected to find in a copy some During Shah Jahan's reign we witness a fresh
creative interest in architectural copies of the Qutb
elements of the model but by no means all of them. A
Minar. On the one hand, the Qutb motif continues to
particular feature stood for a whole building as a
stimulus to arouse all the associations connected with appear in a conventional way as the fluting of engaged
the prototype.37 (corner) shafts terminating in guldastas (gates of Diwan-
In the absence of any specific written records telling i 'Amm, Agra Fort completed 1637; gate of M6ti
us about the meaning of such architectural mimesis in Masjid, Agra Fort, 1057-63/1647-53; facade ofJami'
Muslim India, Krautheimer's hypothesis is particu- Masjid, Delhi, 1060-6/1650-6, P1. XIVc)43 and of
independent guldastas (Nagina Masjid, Agra Fort,
larly helpful in explaining the persistent use of the Qutb
motif. The fact that the rulers from the Muslim 1630s). On the other hand, Shah Jahan's architects
further explored the potential of the Qutb motif for
dynasties who succeeded Qutb al-Din Aybak as sultans
of Delhi had worked the Qutb motif into their own fluting. Dwarfed and twisted into a spiral pattern as a
reformulation of the Timurid rope moulding for lining
buildings can only mean that they wanted to transfer with the former45-a
the significance of the prototype, which had become arches,44 it became-together
the landmark of the establishment of Muslim rule in
distinctive feature of Shhjahjahamnbuildings at Agra (the
pavilions of the emperor in the Red Fort, 1630s;46
India, onto their own constructions. The persistent use
of the motif tempts us into regarding it as an architec- Jami' Masjid, 1053-8/1643-8, P1. XIVd; and M6ti
tural confirmation of the continuity of Muslim Masjid in the Red Fort, completed 1063/1653).47
The Qutb motif was at this time also employed for
presence in India. Our hypothesis finds support in the the fluting of freestanding functional pillars. Here it
observation that in the whole history of Indo-Muslim
architecture the Qutb Minar seems to have been the appeared first on the great columnar invention of this
period, namely the Shahjahani baluster column
only building which inspired such a continuous series of
architectural copies.38 That a political and religious (P1. XIIIc).48 Later, it was also used for the fluting of
more conventional supports such as the columns of the
meaning was attached to the Qutb motif is also borne
out by the fact that it was particularly used to FatehpFiri Masjid at Delhi (1650). The Qutb motif
made its appearance again as the moulding of the outer
emphasise those parts of a building or an architectural shell of domes which had gone temporarily out of
complex which were in the public eye-such as the
fashion in the architecture of Akbar and Jahangir. We
main entrance or the main gate-or which had a
find it first on the surface of domes with a decorative
special religious significance, such as qibla walls of
purpose such as the small domes crowning the minarets
mosques or 'idg/dhs.39It is also significant that, at least of the Jami' Masjid, Delhi,49 or the blind domes
up to the eighteenth century, the Qutb motif was not
used by Hindu patrons who in other respects adopted decorating the central window of the eastern front of
the Imtiyaz or Rang Mahal in the palace of Delhi
Muslim ways of building.
It emerges from our previous discussion that up to (1639-48; P1. XIVa).
These applications of the Qutb motif still belong to
Shah Jahan's reign references to the Qutb Minar were
the time-honoured convention of quoting pars pro toto,
confined to enhancing important parts of a building
and one might question with some justification
with the characteristic pattern of the lowest storey.
With the exception of 'Ald'al-Din Khalji's uncom- whether, at this time, such ornamental reductions still
carried a symbolic meaning. The Hashtsal Minar,
pleted 'Ala'i Minar near the Qutb Minar (early
fourteenth century),4 there are only two instances however, proves that centuries of decorative use had
not worn out the symbolic power of the Qutb motif.
extant for the Qutb motif being used on free-standing
On the one hand, the Hashtsal Minar is the first
minarets. The first one-contemporary with the Qutb
Minar-occurs in the form of the paired dwarf unambiguous reproduction of the Qutb Minar in its
minarets surmounting the central arch of the Ai'ha'i- entirety as an independent tower, but on the other
hand, the model is not copied in the true appearance of
din-ka-jompia mosque at Ajmer (P1. XIIb).41 Today its varying storeys but preference is given to the sole use
only stumps of them survive. The second instance is of the unmistakeable and meaningful pattern of the
seen in the early reign ofJahangir (r. 1605-27). A wide
lowest storey rather than to historical faithfulness.
band of finely articulated fluting with the characteristic
Qutb pattern is inserted in the marble facing of the
VI. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE QUTB
lowest storey of the four minarets set on top of the gate
MOTIF FOR THE HASHTSAL MINAR
of Akbar's tomb at Sikandra (dated 1022/1613;
AS A HUNTING TOWER
P1. XIIId).42 In both cases, however, we are not
dealing with independent towers but ones which form This attempt at a monumental recreation of the
part of another building. prototype raises the question of how the Hashtsal

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102 JOURNAL OF PERSIAN STUDIES

Minar as a hunting tower connects with the message thought when he justifies the ruler's hunting as a means
which the earlier (partial) copies of the Qutb Minar of gaining knowledge about the condition of his
were meant to convey, namely to proclaim-architec- country without any intermediaries as well as
turally-the continuity of Muslim rule in India. The administering justice on the spot.57 Hunting also
sources fail to give us an answer to this question; when enables the ruler to have spiritual experiences by
we search through the contemporary records we do meeting religious recluses and ascetics.5 Consequently,
not find even a single allusion to the tower. This silence Abu '1 Fail dresses his emperor's hunting in a mystical
of the texts appears by no means unusual if we call to garb: "At this time, the lord of the universe in
mind that the creative developments which took place accordance with his noble ways were [sic] continually
in the visual arts were only reflected to a limited extent outwardly engaged in hunting while inwardly he
in Mughal writing. This is particularly true for the walked with God and was employed in the capturing of
meaning of art. If it was at all interpreted by Mughal souls."59 These arguments in defence of the hunt were
writers, this was mainly done-as far as it was possible taken up by Shah Jahan's authors. Kanb6, for
-without leaving the well-trodden paths of the instance, closely follows Abu '1 Fail when he puts
thematic conventions of Persian court literature. We forward the view that ".. . for the ones who see only
must thus seek the reasons for the particular shape of the outside of things (dar nagzir-i bTndn)it [his
the tower by means of indirect literary channels. emperor's hunting] is a cause of .dhir enjoyment and of
While the Mughal records provide no information cheerfulness for the mind, but for spiritual persons
about the Hashtsal Minar, they do find occasion to (ashab-i bdtin) it is a means to capture the hearts [of the
mention the hunting ground of Palam and its palace. subjects] and to demonstrate wonderful powers.""60
We learn that already Akbar (r. 1556-1605)50 and While these arguments attempt to elevate the ruler's
Jahangir51 used to hunt there. No building, however, hunting to the spiritual plane, they evoke at the same
seems to have existed there until the one constructed by time the image of conquest and thus remind us that in
ShSh Jahan. It falls well into line with the building Mughal India-as in medieval Iran-hunting was
programme of this emperor to put his architectural regarded as the peacetime extension of warfare.61'
stamp on sites used by his father and grandfather. Often, to use the words of Kanbo, the true meaning
Shah Jahan's historians mention the palace at Palam of a hunting expedition was that of a campaign in
with rather unusual briefness on the occasion of what disguise.6"
appears to be his first hunt as emperor in this hunting We have to approach the Hashtsal Minar with such
ground during the last days of Sha'ban 1043/February texts in mind in order to be able to reconstruct what
1634. At this time, we are told, the emperor alighted in the tower was meant to convey to contemporary
the imperial buildings ('imdrdt-i pddshdhif constructed observers. Shah Jahan is just as eager as his father or
on his order in the established hunting ground (saidgdh-i grandfather to demonstrate his skill as a hunter in
muqarrar) of the Mughal emperors at the pargana of taking as much prey as possible, but he does not
Palam.5" continue their custom of exhibiting hunting trophies on
The silence of the historians about the architectural his hunting tower. This somewhat archaic Iranian way
details of the palace and mnadrcontrasts markedly with of demonstrating royal huntsmanship, which
their detailed description of the huntsmanship dis- translated (to remain within the terminology of the
played by the emperor on this occasion. They praise Mughal argument) the outer aspect of hunting into a
his bringing down of forty black bucks (dhu siydh) with visual form, was replaced by the reference to a monu-
his gun named Khdsybdnin a single day as an unique ment which had a definite Islamic meaning of conquest
hunting feat, the like of which having never before been and victory attached to it.63 The Qutb Minar's form
achieved by the "great rulers" of the past, not even by must thus have suggested to knowing persons what
Shah Jahan's father Jahangir, who had claimed to be imperial propaganda represented as the true or inner
such an outstanding hunter.53 meaning of the emperor's hunting, namely, the captur-
Such remarks leave us in no doubt that the hunt as ing of his subjects' souls by a just Muslim king who, we
"the royal sport par excellence"54had also its special must remember in this context, saw himself as a
place in the life of Shah Jahan. This royal pleasance, champion of Islam.64
however, seems not to have been without critics, a
reaction which is hardly surprising in a country where
royal hunters since the days of Aoka (r. 269-232 B.C.) VII. THE SERAI AT GHARAUNDA
had run into conflict with the doctrine of ahimsd (non-
injury to human beings and animals)." Abu '1Fail, one The Mughal serai at Gharaunda, situated ca. 100 km.
of the main engineers of the image of perfect Mughal north of Delhi between Panipat and Karnal on the
kingship, is at pains to bring Akbar's foible for hunting Grand Trunk Road, further testifies to the preoccupa-
into accordance with the emperor's role as the spiritual tion of the builders of the period with conscious
guide of the people."56He takes up a Persian line of allusions to the Qutb Minar on a monumental scale.

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THE COPIES OF THE QUTB MINAR 103

Only the northern and southern gates of the serai are References to the Qutb Minar are also found in the
preserved in a somewhat ruined state. The serai has southernmost extension of the Delhi Sultanate, in
been dated to the reign of Shah Jahan, an attribution Daulatabad. According toJ. Burton Page, the bastions
which is at least not contradicted by the stylistic of the western wall of the Jami' Masjid, constructed in
evidence."65The outer fagades of the gates are accentu- 1318 under Khalji patronage, recall "the shape and the
ated by corner towers that exhibit a deliberate playing flutings of the Qutb Minar".71 It is possible that the
with the different patterns of the two lowest storeys of reeding of a section of the Chand Minar (849/1445)
the Qutb Minar (although the actual shape of the was also intended as an allusion to the Qutb Minar.72
moulding bears close resemblance to the Hashtsal To this group of monuments which invite associ-
Minar).66 Despite being double-storeyed, the towers do ations with the Qutb Minar but which do not declare
not show the two patterns superimposed upon one themselves unambigiously as its copies, belongs also
another like the prototype but juxtaposed in such a the so-called tomb of Shah Shuja' at Burhanpur,
way that both storeys of the corner tower of the dating probably from the eighteenth century (P1.
southern gate are fashioned with the typical motif of XVIa).73 The tomb's pronounced bulbuous flanges
the first storey of the Qutb MinSr (P1. XVa), while the and polygonal shafts (which here take the place of the
corner towers of the northern gate show in both storeys angular pleating) form the walls and terminate in small
the flanging of the second storey (P1. XVb). In this way half-domes and pinnacles buttressing the correspond-
the towers of the Gharaunda serai reverse the designing ing flanges of the main dome. This original design calls
process of the Qutb Minar, at least as it has been to mind the surface moulding of the Qutb Minar,
reconstructed at the present state of our knowledge of Iranian tomb towers, as well as the concept of &ikharas
preserved monuments; the Qutb Minir seems to have (temple towers), as found in several Indian temple
been pieced together from different minarets, while the styles.74 We are not able to ascertain whether the
corner towers of the Gharaunda serai disassemble the inherent kinship of the design of the Qutb MinSr with
model again into its constituent parts. indigenous Indian building traditions was consciously
put to use by the builders of the tomb.

VIII. POSSIBLE COPIES OF THE QUTB MINAR


IX. THE QUTB MOTIF IN LATER
The surface moulding in the less specific form of INDIAN ARCHITECTURE
rounded flanging found in the towers of the northern
Gharaunda gate can be identified as a clear reference to From the later seventeenth century onwards, we
the Qutb Minar because it appears in the context of the witness in Northern India the development of an
serai, together with the unambiguous pattern of the architectural style which, although derived from
lowest storey of the Qutb Minar.67 That the case is Mughal architecture, became more and more
more difficult to decide, when the flanging appears by independent of the patronage of the Great Mughals.
itself, can be seen in the architecture of Muslim Bengal. Typical of this style is a florid ornamental mode with a
Here corner quoins, half-turrets flanking doorways, preference for bulbous shapes. The decorative version
pillars and even a freestanding minaret, namely the of the Qutb motif appearing in a vegetal context which
minaret at Chota Pandua (dated variously to the had been created during Shah Jahan's time, continued
fourteenth and to the fifteenth centuries; P1. XVc) are to play an important role here as a decoration of
articulated by means of vertical flanging or reeding baluster columns, engaged shafts, corner elements,
only."68We are thus left to wonder whether we meet guldastas and bulbous domes which were the popular
here with deliberate allusions to the Qutb Minar by architectural elements of this style.75
imitating the shape of its second storey or whether this It is worth noting in this context that the decorative
architectural feature was inspired by some other adaptions of the Qutb motif as they had appeared in
source. The flanging appears also very prominently on Shah Jahan's architecture were now blown up to a
the corner quoins of the Adina Mosque at Pandua and monumental scale (compare P1. XIVa with P1. XIVb)
further appears as the extraordinary fluting of the and were as such even introduced in the serious context
pillars in the takht (an area in the prayer hall set apart of fortification architecture. Examples are the towers
for the ruler)69 of the same mosque (P1. XVIb) built in of Aurangzib's gate of the Lahore Fort (built probably
1374 by Sikandar Shah, according to Asher, "as a in 1084/1673-4) (compare Pls. XIIIc, XIVc with
visual proclamation of this sultan's final defeat of the P1. XVIIb, or the bastions of the fort of Bhatinda,
Delhi ruler and overlord Firuz Shah Tughluq".70 eighteenth century). In this ornamental way, the Qutb
If, indeed, these flangings were deliberate allusions motif came to be employed so widely that one might
to the second storey of the Qutb Minar, they may well have assumed that its origin had been forgotten, were it
have been intended in this context as an architectural not for the twin towers which the Maharaja of Patiala,
challenge of the sovereignty of the Delhi Sultanate. Narinder Singh (r. 1845-62) had constructed in the

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104 JOURNAL OF PERSIAN STUDIES

artificial lake of his garden palace M6ot Bigh in 1847 Kaki at Mehrauli, Delhi and found there a mfndrunder
(P1. XVIIa).76 These three-storeyed towers translate construction. The mouldings which were applied to its
the concept of the Hashtsal MinSr into the florid surface made it obvious that the tower would become
Mughalising fashion (compare P1. XIb with the first free-standing copy of the Qutb Minar which
P1. XVIIa), and thus they appear as deliberate would show the varying profile of its storeys
imitations of the common prototype, sc. the Qutb superimposed (although in a different sequence) (P1.
Minar. XVIIc). This attempt at a truer representation of the
prototype in an entirely different historical situation
brings to mind Krautheimer's conclusion of his argu-
EPILOGUE ment that "the modern copy... with its striving
towards... faithfulness, ... omits the elements which
Since I wrote this article in 1986, I revisited in were important to the Middle Ages: the content and
December 1989 the dargidhof Qutb al-Din Bakhtiyar the significance of the building."77

'"Introduction to an 'Iconography of Medieval Architecture'", was able to confirm it by means of contemporary texts and stylistic
Journalof the Warburgand CourtauldInstitutes[henceforth cited as evidence, for which see below and my forthcoming book, The
JWCI], V (1942), pp. 1-33. HuntingPalacesof ShdhJahdn.The drawings of the Hashtsil Minir
2 "Reflections on the Study of Islamic Art," Muqarnas, I (1983), p. 2. were prepared under my supervision by Mr. Richard A. Barraud
3For a detailed description of the Qutb Minfr, see J. A. Page, An on the basis of measured drawings done by the ASI in 1951 and
HistoricalMemoiron the Qutb,Delhi, in Memoirsof the Archaeological some corrective measurements taken during a visit to the mTndr in
Surveyof India, XXII (1926; rpt. New Delhi, 1970) and more February 1986. I thank Mr. Barraud and the officersof the ASI for
recently A. B. M. Husain, The Manarain Indo-MuslimArchitecture their kind cooperation.
(Dacca, 1970, pp. 27-49, 201-13, pls. 1-4. See also T. W. Arnold 9 For date and illus. of the plinth, see W. E. Begley and Z. A. Desai,
and K. Fischer, EF2art. "Kutb Minar". Taj Mahal: TheIlluminedTomb,(Cambridge, Mass., 1989) pp. 51-
4Fischer, "Interrelations of Islamic Architecture in Afghanistan: 4, pls. 25, 33, XXI, et passim.
The Remains of Afghan Seistan: Notes on the Evolution of Islamic 0oFor a recent brief discussion of the significance of these towers, see
Architecture in Turan, Iran and India," Marg, XXIV 1 (1970), Koch, "The Architectural Forms", Fatehpur-Sikri. SelectedPapers
p. 56; idem(ed.), Nimruz: Gelandebegehungen in Sistan1955-1973und from theInternational Symposium heldon October17-19,
onFatehpur-Sikri
die Aufnahmevon Dewal-i Khodaydad1970 (Bonn, 1974-6), vol. I 1985,at HarvardUniversity,Cambridge, Massachussetts, eds. M. Brand
(1976), n. 461, vol. II, (1974), pls. 63-8, 252-4; idemand Ch.-M.F. and G. D. Lowry (Bombay, 1987), p. 125, nn. 42-6).
Fischer, IndischeBaukunstislamischerZeit (Baden-Baden, 1976), " E. W. Smith, TheMoghulArchitecture of Fathpur-Sikri,vol. III (ASI,
p. 60. Husain, op.cit., pp. 41-9, gives a usefulsummary of the older Allahabad, 1897), pp. 36-7, pls. 57-62; cf. Husain, op. cit.,
arguments of the sources and meaning of the Qutb Minfr. The pp. 136-9, pl. 43.
formal forerunnersof the Qutb Minir are briefly discussed in the I2I propose this date for the ChOr Minar on the basis of its general
light of recent research by J. Burton-Page, EF art. "Manira. 2. in resemblance to the other Mughal towers of this type. The structure
India". J. Bloom's recent work Minaret,Symbolof Islam (Oxford, is built of rubble-work and it has lost its entire original facing
1989), includes also brief comments on the Qutb Minar (pp. 9, n. 1, which could have served as an indication for a more exact dating.
172-4). The Delhi ProvinceList, vol. III: MahrauliZail, pp. 166 f.; Husain,
5Pope, Survey,vol. II, p. 1027, fig. 363, was the first to draw The Manara,p. 130, pl. 39; and Sharma, Delhi, p. 85, suggest that
attention to this particular resemblance. the Char Minar was built during the Khalji period, without
6 Firfiz Shih divided the fourth storey into two, thus making five in providing any solid evidence for this hypothesis. A. Cunningham,
all. See Page, op. cit., pp. 19-20; and Husain, op. cit., pp. 28, 32, ASI Report,XX, (Calcutta, 1883), pp. 149-51, suggests no date for
211-2. the tower. See also ASI, AnnualProgressReportof theSuperintendent,
I7 have drawn attention to some of these architectural referencesin NorthernCircle, Muhammadanand British Monuments, for the Year
my "The Baluster Column-a European Motif in Mughal Archi- Ending31st March1914,p. 42, pl. lb. The works cited above differ
tecture and its Meaning", JWCI, XLV (1982), p. 258, n. 68. Brief from my reading of the tower by interpreting the holes in the Ch6r
comments upon this phenomenon have also been made by Z. A. Minar as receptacles for the skulls of thieves or prisoners of war.
Desai in "The Jalor 'Idgah Inscription of Qutbu'd-Din Mubarak Husain, op. cit., p. 130 f. quotes Cunningham but suggests that the
Shah Khalji," EpigraphiaIndica: Arabic and Persian Supplement tower might have been a watch or lamp tower because it was
(1972), p. 13; R. Nath, Historyof SultanateArchitecture (New Delhi, erected "on the edge of the old high road".
1978), p. 27; A. Welch and H. Crane, "The Tughluqs: Master Illus. by C. B. Asher, "Inventory of Key Monuments", in The
Builders of the Delhi Sultanate," Muqarnas,I (1983), pp. 138, 162 IslamicHeritageof Bengal,ed. G. Michell (Paris, 1984), p. 108. Asher
n. 57; and, over the years, also by Burton-Page in his EF arts. also proposes as date for the tower Akbar's reign, as does Husain,
"Dihli", "Hind", and "Mandra". pp. 139 f., pl. 44.
The mmfndrwas firstnoted by Maulavi N ir Bakhsh,who gave a brief '4 Ahmad Rabbdni, " 'Haran Munira' at Sheikhfipura Punjdb and
description of it in the AnnualProgressReportof the Archaeological Some Problems Connected with It", in Armughan-i cIlmf:Professor
Survey,PunjabCircle,fortheYearEnding31stMarch1902,Appendix H, M. Shafi'PresentationVolume,ed. S. M. Abdullah (Lahore, 1955),
p. 23. Neither palace nor tower received any further scholarly pp. 181-99; cf. Husain, pp. 142-4, pl. 46.
attention aside from being briefly described in J. F. Blakiston, '5Rabbini, pp. 190-9.
Maulvi Zafar Hasan, Maulvi Ashfaq Ali, Delhi Province:List of '6 Already E. W. Smith was inclined to read the Hiran Minir at
Muhammadan andHinduMonuments, vol. IV (Archaeological Survey Fatehpur-Sikri as a hunting tower, but he abandoned this inter-
of India [henceforth quoted as ASI], Calcutta, 1922), pp. 39-40; pretation because of the architectural provisions of the tower
and by Y. D. Sharma, Delhi and its Neighbourhood, 2nd ed. (ASI, which show that it was used by the ladies of the court. Smith
New Delhi, 1974), pp. 132-3. In all these publications a connection overlooked the fact that Mughal ladies also partook in shooting.
to Shah Jahin was made on the basis of a local tradition only. I We know fromJahangir that his queen NfirJahan was an excellent

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THE COPIES OF THE QUTB MINAR 105

shot; see The Tizuk-i Jahdngrfr,tr. A. Rogers, ed. H. Beveridge the Bari Gumbad mosque include bands "reminiscentof the lowest
(London, 1909-14), vol. I, p. 375. Since the Hiran Mindr is storey of the Kutb minIr" was already observed by Burton-Page,
situated close to the lake of Fatehpur-Sikri, one of its several EF arts. "Dihli", vol. II, p. 264, and "Hind", vol. III, p. 443.
functions was obviously that of a shooting tower for water fowl. 26 See Nath, Sultanate Architecture,pp. 27, 94, pls. 105-7.
See also Rabbani, p. 190;and Husain, p. 138 f. We can visualise the 27Yamamoto, Ara, Tsukinowa, op. cit., vol. I, pl. 120a (for another
use of such hunting towers on the basis of related hunting boxes example see pl. 39b: mosque of Makhdfim Sihib). Simon Digby
appearing on Rijpfit miniatures. See for an early nineteenth has raised well-founded doubts about this tomb being that of
century example from Kotah, one which is used by ladies aiming Bahlfil L6di ("The Tomb of Buhlfil L6di", BSOAS XXXVIII
guns at lions, A. N. Heeramaneck, Masterpieces of IndianPainting (1975), pp. 550-61.
from theFormerCollections of Nasli M. Heeramaneck (1984), pl. 68. 28 Occasionally we do find engaged shafts, or rather, slender turrets
See Koch, "Architectural Forms", p. 125, where attention is patterned on the Qutb MinIr already in the L6di architecture,
drawn to the fact that Badiyuini criticises the erection of such such as on the tomb called Dddi kd Gumbad at Delhi; see for illus.
hunting memorials as imperial vanity. Yamamoto, Ara, Tsukinowa, op. cit., vol. I, pl. 90c. In this
I8It is interesting to note that the tomb tower of Kishmir in instance, reference to the Qutb MinIr is made by copying the
Khurasan, which has been dated variously to the thirteenth and flanging and pleating of the upper storeys.
fourteenth centuries, shows exactly the same number of angular 29 Husain, TheManara,p. 154, was the first to suggest that the flutings
and round elements than the Hashtsil Minfr. For a plan, see of the vertical mouldings of the engaged shafts of the Jamili
D. N. Wilber, The Architecture of IslamicIran: The Il-KhdnidPeriod Kamali Masjid-which he terms mandras-were derived from
(Princeton, 1955), Cat. No. 25, fig. 16. Before the discovery of the those of the Qutb Minar or of the mandrasof the Ai'fhi'-din-ki
mfndrof Khwaja Siyah Push, the Mindr-i Kishmir was the main at for which see below and our P1. XIIb.
jompia Mosque Ajmer,
piece of evidence for the Iranian connections of the Qutb Minir. 30Illus. in Nath, Historyof Mughal Architecture (New Delhi, 1982),
See in particular, M. van Berchem, in E. Diez, Churasanische vol. I, pls. 122-5. The engaged shafts framing the pfshtadq
Baudenkmaler, vol. I (Vienna, 1918), pp. 109 ff. (monumental entrance portal consisting of an arched niche in a
'9I have taken the measurementsof the Qutb Minir from Page, who rectangular frame) of the mosque consist of sections fashioned with
with 232' 31" (71.4 m.) on his pl. XII gives a different height than three different patterns:the lowest section is polygonal, then follow
Arnold and Fischer (238'/72.5 m.) (see n. 3 above). The Hiran two sections with a roll and edge moulding, and two sections with a
Minir of Fatehpur Sikri, which is the only example of such a free- roll moulding only, alluding to the first and second stage of the
standing Mughal tower whose top is completely preserved, has a Qutb Mindr respectively.
height of 20.1 m. as measured from the upper platform. At its foot 3' Illus. in G. D. Lowry, "Humayun's Tomb: Form, Function, and
its diameter is 4.6 m., at the top at the base of the chhatrf(small Meaning in Early Mughal Architecture", Muqarnas,IV (1987),
pillared kiosk) it is 2.8 m.; see Smith, op. cit. Since the diameter of fig. 18.
the foot of the Hashtsil Mindr is, with 5.35 m., somewhat wider 32 Illus. in O. Reuther, IndischePalasteund Wohnhduser (Berlin, 1925),
and its present top has a diameter of about 3.7 m., it was probably pl. 43.
higher than the Hiran Minfr. Nfir Bakhsh reports that, according " Illus. in FatehpurSikri (see n. 10 above), pls. 4.4, 5.2 etpassim.These
to local tradition, the Hashtsil Minar was four storeys high; the engaged shafts are not fashioned throughout with the Qutb pattern
Delhi ProvinceList talks even of five storeys and a crowning chhatri. but-comparable to the Qil'a-i Kuhna Mosque-show two sec-
20Occasionally we can observe also references to the second or the tions with the Qutb motif in form of a roll and edge moulding
third storey of the Qutb Mindr. See below, p. 103 and nn. 28, 30, inserted into their polygonal shafts.
72. 34The pish*tgqs of the tomb are framed with engaged shafts of red
21Already noted by Burton-Page, EF art. "ManaFa" Husain (The sandstone inlaid with white marble. The inlay pattern consists of a
Manara, esp. p. 20) treats these architectural elements (which chevron design which changes into the Qutb motif in the free-
"invariably form parts of buildings, and are built either as but- standing finials (guldastas)above the parapet. Reproduced in
tresses or merely as ornamental appendages") as "mandrasor colour in G. Hambly, Cities of Mughul India (New York 1968),
turrets", i.e. "the gateway turret, the front corner turret, the rear pl. 41.
corner turret, the corner turret and the pinnacle turret". 35According to Asher, "The Qal'a-i Kuhna Mosque: a Visual
22 Desdi, "TheJalor 'Idgah Inscription", p. 13, sees in the Qutb motif Symbol of Royal Aspirations", in Chhavi:Rai KrishnadasaFelici-
of the Jilor 'TdgIh inserted in the "tapering minir-buttress at the tationVolume(BanarasHindu University, 1981), p. 213, n. 12, these
corner treated with angular and circular flutings ... the firstsurviv- guldastasare modern reconstructions. If so they must, however,
ing intermediate stage between the similarlyfashioned Qutb-Minir have been patterned on some existing evidence. For an overall view
and like features of tapering minarets flanking the entrance gates of the tomb on which the details of the guldastascan be made out,
and back projections or occurring at the quoins of mosque- albeit with some difficulty, see Asher, "The Tomb of Ibrdhim Sfir.
buildings of the late Tughluq period". Epigraphs and Implications", in IndianEpigraphy,its Bearingon the
23A. Cunningham, ASI Report,II (1865), p. 222, comments briefly on Historyof Art, eds. F. M. Asher and G. S. Gai (New Delhi, 1985),
the use of the Qutb motif and dates the mosque tentatively to the pl. 260.
Tughluq period. 36Nath, SultanateArchitecture, p. 27.
24 Welch and Crane, "The Tughluqs" p. 138, seem to be misled by 37Krautheimer's thought-model (see n. 1 above) has also provided
the unclear detail visible on their pl. 7 when they read the motif of me with the key for identifying Shah Jahin's thronejharika in the
the engaged mfndrsflanking the eastern and main entrance gate of palace of Delhi as a Mughal version of the Solomonic throne. See
the Khifki Masjid as "stellate flanging identical to that of the third Koch, Sh h Jahan and Orpheus:The Pietre Dure Decorationand the
storey of the Qutb minar." Our P1. XIIa clearly shows that the Programmeof the Throne in the Hall of Public Audiencesin the Red Fort of
flanging consists of alternate rounded and angular elements, the Delhi, (Graz, 1988).
conventional reference to the lowest storey of the Qutb Minfir. 38 In a general way, Husain, The Manara, esp., pp. 7 ff., has already
25 For good illus. of these buildings see T. Yamamoto, M. Ara, and called attention to the significance of the Qutb MinIr as a
T. Ttsukinowa, Delhi: Architectural Remainsof the Delhi Sultanate prototype for subsequent mandras built by Indian sultans wanting
Period[in Japanese], I. GeneralList (Tokyo, 1967), pls. 41a, 44b, "to leave memorials to posterity as just Muslim rulers". He does,
69b, 154b; for further examples see ibid., pls. 58d, 61d, 90a. Since however, not take into account the role the Qutb motif played in
this publication is difficult to find, see also Sharma, Delhi, pls. 17, this process.
19b, 20a, for overall views of these buildings (except the mosque of 39An example of special interest is here the main gateway of the
MaulinsaJamali) on which the Qutb motif can be made out, albeit Khiiki Masjid (PI. XIIa). While it is identical to the other two
with some difficulty. That the engaged minarets of the rear side of gates and the mihrab-projection of the mosque, it is given special

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106 JOURNAL OF PERSIAN STUDIES

emphasis by the insertion of the Qutb motif in the engaged vol. I, pt. 2. Persian text
52See 'Abd al-Hamid Lih6ri, Bddshdh-ndma,
minarets of the corners.The correspondingengaged minaretsof the ed. K. Ahmad and A. Rahim (Calcutta, 1866-72), pp. 6 f.
other two gates and the mihrdb-projectionare left plain. Another Muhammad Salih Kanb6, 'Amal-isalih or Shdhjahdn-ndma, vol. I,
telling example is in the guldastasof the Bard Gumbad. Only those Persian text ed. Wahid Quraishi based on the Calcutta ed. of
of the qiblaside show the Qutb pattern. This phenomenon falls well Ghulim Yazdini, 2nd ed. (Lahore, 1967), p. 519, says expressis
into line with whatJ. Bloom (see n. 4 above) in his recent study on verbisthat the building was founded by Shih Jahin ('imdrat-i'al ki
the minaret has described as "hierarchisation"of various types and dar dn maqdmasds nihddadn hairat ast). Other chroniclers of Shah
forms in Islamic architecture as a means to advertise religious Jahin's reign, such as 'Inayat Khin (The ShahJahan Nama, tr.
policies and/or sovereignty. A. R. Fuller, ed. Begley and Desai (New Delhi, 1990), pp. 121 f.)
40 See Page, An HistoricalMemoir,p. 16; and Husain, op.cit., pp. 51-3. inform us in addition that Shih Jahin constructed the palace on
41Ibid., pp. 78-9, pl. 11 (erroneously labelled as gateway of the the suggestion ofJahingir. Once again, I have to acknowledge my
mosque). Cf. also Nath, SultanateArchitecture, pp. 15-18, pls. 19, 20, debt to Dr. Yunus Jaffery for his assistance in my study of the
23. Persian records of Shih Jahan's reign.
42 While the upper part of the minarets was reconstructedin 1905, the
-3 Ibid.The boasting ofShihJahin's authors must be seen in the light
fluting is original. See W. H. Nicholls, "Restoration of the of the fact that at times the Tkzukread like a game book. See vol. I,
Minarets on the South Gateway of Akbar's Tomb at Sikandarah", pp. 83, 167, 204, 344 f., 368 f., etpassim.
ASI. AnnualReport(1905-6), pp. 28-9, pls. 7-9. 54 For the complex meaning of the hunt for Iranian rulers, see for

43The Qutb motifis here expressed in sandstone (flanges) and white instance William L. Hanaway Jr., "The Concept of the Hunt in
marble (edged reeds) similar to the guldastasof Akbar's tomb; Persian Literature", and Richard Ettinghausen, "The Boston
cf. n. 34 above. For a colour illus. of the whole building see e.g. Hunting Carpet in Historical Perspective", both in BostonMuseum
J. Dickie [Yaqub Zaki], "Allah and Eternity: Mosques, Madrasas Bulletin,LXIX (1971), pp. 21-34 and 70-81. Observations on the
and Tombs", Architecture of the Islamic World, ed. G. Michell hunting of the Mughal emperors are made by Robert Skelton,
(London, 1978), p. 21, pl. 10. "Two Mughal Lion Hunts", Victoriaand AlbertMuseumYearbook
44Related forms of this reinterpretationof the Timurid rope mould- (1969), pp. 33-48.
ing (which consists of gadrooning only and thus contains no 55"Hunting was usually among the chief of his [the Indian king's]
angular elements, see e.g. L. Golombek and D. Wilber, The Timurid pleasures, and though the doctrine of non-injury discouraged it, a
Architecture of Iran and Turan (Princeton, 1988), vol. II, pl. 76: tacit exception was made in the case of kings and nobles."
Samarqand, mosque of Bibi Khinum, 801-8/1398-1405; pis. 90-1: A. L. Basham, The Wonderthatwas India (repr. New Delhi, 1977),
madrasaof Ulugh Beg, 820-3/1417-21; et passim) can be seen p. 92. Akbar was impressed by ahimsdto the extent that he forbade
already in the ornamental style of the Delhi sultanate, e.g. on the the killing of animals at certain periods "to please the Hindus",
engaged corner colonettes of the gate of the so-called mosque of Badiyini, Muntakhabal-tawdrrkh,tr. W. H. Lowe (Calcutta,
Jahiniin at Kanauj, dated 881/1475-6. For illus., see Koch "The 1884-98), vol. II, p. 331. See also Abu 'l-Fail 'Alldmi, TheA'in -i
Architectural Form", in FatehpurSikri, pl. 8.21. Occasionally, this Akbari, tr. H. Blochmann, 2nd rev. ed. D. C. Phillott, vol. I
type of twisted roll and edge moulding appears also in Akbari (Calcutta, 1927), pp. 64 f. et passim;Jahangir apparently felt
architecture, e.g., as on the engaged colonnettes in the courtyard of compelled to follow his father's example. When, however, on
Jodh BaTs palace at Fatehpur Sikri and on the pillars of the two forbidden days or during the time when he was bound by a vow,
eastern roof pavilions of the Jahingiri Mahal, Agra Fort. For illus., his hunting passion got the better of him, he circumvented his vow
see Smith, The MoghulArchitecture of FathpurSikri, vol. II, pl. 90; not to kill with his own hand with royal ingenuity by hunting either
and A. Volwahsen, IslamischesIndien(Munich, 1969), p. 63 (this with cheetahs or by asking Nfr Jahin to shoot in his place! See his
plate is erroneously labelled as the pillars of the south hall of the Tazuk,tr. Rogers, vol. I, pp. 184 f. and vol. II, pp. 104 f.
central courtyard on the ground-floor of the Jahingiri Mahal). 56A'in-i Akbari,tr., vol. I, p. 292; See also the translator'scomment
45The Timurid version of the rope moulding is employed to line the on p. 308, n. 4. Cf. Peter Hardy, "Abu 'l-Fazl's Portrait of the
arches of the Tij Mahal and its subsidiary buildings, 1632-43. For Perfect Padshah: A Political Philosophy for Mughal India-or a
illus., see Begley and Desai, Taj Mahal, pls. 32, XIII, XIV, 136, et Personal Puff for a Pal?", Islamin India.StudiesandCommentaries, ed.
passim. Ch. W. Troll, vol. II, (1985), pp. 118 f., who is of the opinion that
46Reuther, op. cit., pl. 54 (Diwin-i Khiss). "Abu 'l-Fazl's picture of Akbar is very much that of crowned Sufi
47Illus. in Begley, "The Symbolic Role of Calligraphy on Three in action".
Imperial Mosques of Shih Jahin," KIalddariana. AmericanStudiesin 57Compare Hanaway, op. cit., pp. 27 ff. with Abu 'l-Fail, A'rn-i
theArt of India,ed. J. Williams (New Delhi, 1981), pls. 2, 3, 6. Akbarf,tr., vol. I, p. 292.
4' The tapering shaft of the baluster column seems to have invited this 58 Abu 'l-Fail, Akbar-ndma, tr ., H. Beveridge (Calcutta, 1897-1921),
association with the Qutb Minir. Cf. Koch, "The Baluster- vol. III, p. 345.
Column" p. 258, n. 68. It is difficult to determine if the angular 59 Ibid., vol. II, p. 235; cf. pp. 508 f., 528 f. etpassim.
pleating found on some (baluster) columns of Shih Jahin's 60 Kanbo, 'Amal-isdlih, I, p. 201.
architecture is intended as deliberate allusion to the pleating of the 6' Hanaway, op. cit., pp. 25 ff.
third stage of the Qutb Minir. See ibid., pl. 41c, showing baluster 62 Kanbo, vol. I, p. 269, states that while Shih Jahin's expedition to
columns of the Bhidon pavilion in the Delhi Red Fort (1639-48). Gwalior at the end of the first year of his reign (1628-9) was clad in
49'For illus., see Dickie "Allah and Eternity". This moulding of the apparent form (ba hasb-i of pleasurable hunting, its real
domes was to become very popular in post-Shihjahini architec- meaning (ma'nd)was to favour friendsand to annihilate enemies, or
.zdhir)
ture, see below. I also propose to read the stripes on the main more precisely, to warn the rebellion-prone Bundela chief Jajhir
domes of the mosque as a transformation of this moulding into an Singh.
inlay pattern. Consequently, the vertical striping of the minarets 63The meaning of the Qutb Minir as a victory tower has been
should be read along the same lines, that is, as a translation of the disputed by Husain, The Manara, pp. 8-9, 44-5, who prefers to see
three-dimensional Qutb motif into a two-dimensional design. it solely as a tower glorifying its builders. Since these are eulogised
0 Nizim al-Din Ahmad, The Tabaqdt-i Akbarf, vol. II, tr. B. De in the inscriptions as victorious against the enemies, proclaiming
(Calcutta, 1936), p. 508. the word of Allah, rendering Islam and the Muslims power-
'Jahingir in his memoirs mentions two hunts at Pilam, of which the ful... etc. (ibid. pp. 202 ff.), it is splitting hairs to separate one
greater one--a cheetah hunt--took place in November 1619 when meaning from the other. Furthermore, the construction of the
"in the space of 12 days 426 antelopes were caught". At this hunt tower right after the conquest of Delhi leaves no doubt that it was
he was accompanied by Shih Jahin, who shot two antelopes. intended as a sign of Islam triumphant. This view has been
Tizuk-i vol. II, 109. substantiated by recent scholarship such as Nath, pp. 28-37, and
Jahdngfrf, tr.,

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THE COPIES OF THE QUTB MINAR 107

A. Welch, "Islamic Architecture and Epigraphs in Sultanate Cambay,Dholka,Champanir, andMahmudabad in Gujarat,in ASI. New
India", in Studies in South Asian Art and Archaeology,ed. ImperialSeries,vol XXIII (Calcutta, 1896), pls. 25, 27.
A. K. Narain, forthcoming, who shows that the Qur'anic verses on 73The tomb is situated outside the city walls, at a short distance
the mindr are closely associated with its symbolic function of north of the Itwara Gate, the northern town gate of Burhanpur.
marking the Dar al-Islam. The interior of the tomb shows a well-preserved painted wall
64 Some authors have already drawn attention to this aspect of
Shah decoration in the later Mughal style. When I photographed this
Jahan's rulership, but the problem has never been studied in its tomb during a survey of the Muslim monuments of Burhanpur in
entirety. See Wheeler M. Thackston Jr., The Poetryof Ab Tdlib March 1984, the local representative of the ASI pointed it out as
Kalim: PersianPoet-Laureate of Shdhjahdn,Mughal Emperorof India, that of Shah Shuja', which I took to be the one of Shah Jahan's
unpublished Ph.D. diss. Harvard University, 1974, pp. 168 ff., with son, not keeping in mind that, to use the words of Niccolao
further literature; B. P. Saksena, History of Shahjahanof Dihli Manucci, the sepulchreof this unfortunate prince had become "the
(Allahabad, 1976), especially pp. 244 ff., and Koch, ShahJahdnand bellies of wolves and tigers" in the jungles of Arakan, see Storiado
Orpheus,pp. 28, 35, nn. 93, 94, 140. Mogoror MogulIndia:1653-1708,tr. W. Irvine (London, 1907) vol.
65The remarkable architectural features of the Gharaunda Serai led I, p. 356. So far I have not been able to bring more light into this
to its early archaeological documentation in 1889, C. J. Rodgers, matter. P. N. Shrivastav, East Nimar District Gazetteer(Bhopal,
Reportof the Panjab Circle of the Archaeological Surveyfor 1888-89 1969), p. 462, believes the tomb to be "possibly of Begam Shah
(Calcutta, 1891), p. 44, published the ground plan and the Shuja". K. V. Soundara Rajan, IslamBuildsin India(Delhi, 1983),
elevation of the northern gate (pls. 46, 47) which were p. 114, describes the tomb briefly as that "of Shah Shuja' ... of the
unfortunately not bound with the library copy in the Victoria and Faruqi style" without revealing more about the identity of the
Albert Museum, London, consulted by me. Rodgers considered person to whom it is dedicated. The tomb may also be that of
the flanking towers fashioned after the Qutb Minar as unique. He Shuja' al-Mulk, son of Nizam al-Mulk Asaf Jah I. The latter
mentions that he was not able to trace any inscription on the resided much at Burhanpiurand constructed the city wall in 1728.
building, but that local tradition assigned the "Badshahi Sarai" to See Shrivastav, op. cit., p. 464; cf. A. S. Bazmee Ansari, EF2
Shah Jahan's period. Cf. his RevisedList of Objectsof Archaeological "Burhanpur".
Interestin the Punjab (Lahore, 1895), p. 58. For a recent brief 74Soundara Rajan holds that the "tomb of Shah Shuja"' "pro-
discussion of the serai, see S. Parihar, Mughal Monumentsin the claim[s] the obligation of the craftsmen to the regional Bhumija
Punjab and Haryana (New Delhi, 1985), pp. 20-1. He quotes style of the Northern RekhaNagaraof the Malwa temples". He does
Captain Mundy, PenandPencilSketches,beingtheJournalof a Tourin not see a resemblance to the Qutb Minar. One is perhaps predis-
India, vol. I (London, 1832), p. 105, who claims to have seen in posed to establishingsuch a connection because one has in mind the
1828 a Persian inscription on one of the gates which said that the arguments of a certain school of thought which tries to prove a
serai was built during the reign of Shah Jahan "by one Khan Hindu origin for the Qutb Minar. See for instance Page, Memoiron
Feroze". Mundy does not actually mention the name of the serai, the Qutb,who on his pls. 18b and c illustrates these formal affinities
but since he saw it on the way from Panipat to Karnal it is obvious with such buildings as the Mahadeo temple at Gondesvar, Sinnar,
that it must be the one at Gharaunda. Nasik District and the Doddabasappa temple at Dambal, Dharwar
~ An additional feature of the flanges of the towers are small District, Bombay, in the star-shaped plan of which "certain writers
openings arrayed in tiers with some of the openings taking the seek the prototype of the Qutb Minar plan". Cf. S. K. Banerji,
shape of miniature oriel windows. These echo the oriel windows "The Qutb Minar-its Architecture and History",Jnal. of theU. P.
flanking the archways of the gates. HistoricalSociety,X (1937), pp. 38-58, who gives an overview of this
67The same applies to the engaged corner shafts discussed in n. 30 controversy;and Husain and Burton-Page, who discuss the issue in
above. the light of later research. The discussion has, however, gone on
6 See for
instance, S. M. Hasan, MosqueArchitecture of Pre-Mughal even after K. Fischer pointed out the minaret at Khwaja Siyah
Bengal,2nd rev. ed. (Dacca, 1979), p. 84, fig. 10, pls. 6, 19, 20. The Push as the direct prototype of the Qutb Minar, and it was
mfnaris discussed more fully by Husain, The Manara, pp. 61-3, brought on to a polemical, ahistorical level by the publications
pl. 6. who dates it to 882/1477. Asher, "Inventory of Key Monu- engendered by P. N. Oak's Institute for Rewriting Indian History,
ments", p. 53, suggests a date in the early fourteenth century. I which claims a Hindu origin for every major Muslim building in
thank Dr. Asher for providing me with the photograph published India. See e.g. for the Qutb Minar, P. V. Begde, Ancientand
on Pl. XVc. MediaevalTown-Planning in India (New Delhi, 1978), pp. 166-8. In
69There is a controversy as to whether such areas set apart in the retrospective, the highly original "tomb of Shah Shuja'" ties
prayer hall of mosques were intended for the ladies of the courts or together both arguments because it appears like a revival of
for the sultan and his entourage. Asher, op. cit., p. 110, and Iranian tomb towers (which have been considered as a possible
Y. Crowe, "Reflections on the Adina Mosque at Pandua", in ibid., source of inspiration for the Qutb Minar, see the literature given
p. 160, favour the latter use. The case is decided, at least for the above in n. 4, as well as in n. 18) but expresses the concept in
mosques of Gujarat, by no less an authority than the Mughal Indianised forms.
emperor Jahangir in his description of the Jami' Masjid of 75This style culminated in the "last phase of Mughal art and culture"
Ahmadabad, in his Tizuk, tr., vol. I, p. 425. Jahangir describes the in the Nawabi architecture of Lucknow. A useful overview is given
screened-off areas as a mulhk-khdna, a separate seating area for the by B. Tandan, "The Architecture of the Nawabs of Avadh, 1722-
king and his close courtiers. 1856" in Facetsof IndianArt: A Symposium Held at the Victoriaand
70Asher, op. cit., p. 109. AlbertMuseumon 26, 27, 28 April and I May 1982, eds. R. Skelton,
7 Reported by Burton-Page, in "Daulatabad", Islamic Heritage of the A. Topsfield, S. Strong and R. Crill (London, 1986), pp. 66-75.
Deccan, ed. G. Michell, (Bombay, 1986), p. 25. 76Punjab States Gazetteers, XVII, A: Phulkian States. Patiala, Jind and
72 Illus. in ibid., pls. 4, 5. The mrndr
is also discussed by Husain op. cit., NJVabha: 1904 (Lahore, 1909), rpt. in Extractsfrom the District & States
pp. 74-6, pl. 9. The round mtndr consists of four storeys of which Gazetteersof the Punjab (India), vol. IV (Lahore, 1979), pp. 202, 261.
the second one has a section with reeding; the reference to the Qutb The Gazetteer mentions the tank and the bridge but not the towers.
Minar is thus not clear. The same is true of Gujarati minarets We may, however, assume that they were constructed at the same
which show a surface pattern of angular pleating, e.g. the dwarf time. The date of the garden is given as Safivat 1904, which
minarets of the mosque of Hilal Khan Qazi at Dholka built in corresponds to A.D. 1847.
1333. See J. Burgess, On the Muhammadan Architecture of Bharoch, 77 Krautheimer, "Introduction", p. 20.

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