Alai Darwaza is positioned in the Qutub Minar Complex in front of the Imam Zamin’s Tomb. It was built in 1311 by Sultan Allaudin Khalji. It is recognized as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This article focuses on covering every fact related to Alai Darwaza in addition to the rich historical significance it carries. Continue reading this article to know more!
Amazing Facts about Alai Darwaza
1. Alai Darwaza, located in South Delhi, as a part of the Qutub Minar Complex, is a great expression of early Turkish art and Islamic infrastructure.
2. Alai Darwaza gives a domed entrance to the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque. It was built using white and red sandstones and gives a magnificent look to the Qutub Minar Complex.
3. Allaudin Khalji had an aim to build four such entrances. Alai Darwaza was the only entrance that could get completed before his death in 1316 AD.
4. Alai Darwaza is also known as the ‘Gem of Islamic Architecture’ as it was the one of the first sites made using Islamic Architecture in India.
5. The main objective of Allaudin Khalji behind building this darwaza was to expand Quwwat-ul-Islam-Mosque and further add to the beauty of Qutub Minar.
6. Alai Darwaza has been built using the correct Islamic Architectural techniques for building domes and arches. This was unlike the imperfect buildings erected by Ghulam Dynasty in Delhi.
7. It is not only of cultural significance for Delhites or Indians but also for the world. It was designated as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 under the head of ‘cultural significance’.
8. Despite so many efforts, the dream of completing Alai Minar could not be fulfilled by Allaudin Khalji as only one of the four entrances could be made.
9. Inscription of the Nashk Script adorns the walls of Alai Darwaza, which is another great factor contributing to the richness of its Islamic architecture.
10. Alai Darwaza with its lotus buds resembling arches adds a different elegance to the whole complex, which makes it even more alluring to the tourists.
Alai Darwaza Architecture
1. Alai Darwaza is 60 feet (18 metres) tall and the thickness of its walls are 11 feet (3.4 metres). Its height is 47 feet (14 metres).
2. The exterior part of the hall constituted in Alai Darwaza is of 56.5 feet (17.2 metres) and interior part measures 34.5 feet (10.5 metres).
3. Even though the Darwaza is very old but it still follows up to the modern techniques. It has thick walls with a shallow dome which becomes noticeable only from a height or a precise distance.
4. The arches give it a ‘horseshoe’ look as the arches appear to converge as they move towards the bottom. On the other hand, the internal edges provide more of a lotus bud appearance to it.
5. The surface of its walls is engraved with Arabic Calligraphy. They are also decorated with interweaved floral patterns which are symmetrically depicted on all the surfaces.
6. The door is majorly made up using red sandstones. Placing white marbles on the exterior walls makes it look even more fascinating.
7. The dome stands on an octagonal base. It has been built very scientifically considering geometrical calculations so as to give it a more precise form.
8. There are windows made with lattice marbles which adorn both sides of the entrance, giving it an even more welcoming appearance.
9. The gate has four arches and all are semi-circular in shape. This is an example of how uniformity was an aspect taken care of during its erection.
10. In order to preserve the surface for a longer period of time, the exterior surface of the dome has been covered with plaster material.
Alai Darwaza History
Even a single glance at Alai Darwaza can tell that it has a huge historical significance. All great monuments carry a history which makes them extraordinary. No wonder, Delhi is a hub of such incredible buildings which have such a rich culture associated with them. This richness of historical culture is what makes them a tourist attraction. They strive to carry the greatness of those rulers even after their death. The rulers die but the monuments built by them continue to speak about their great works and achievements. Alai Darwaza is undoubtedly one of them!
• Alai Darwaza was built in 1311 by the great ruler, Sultan Allaudin Khalji with an ambition to add more charm to the Qutub Minar Complex.
• Allaudin Khalji was the third descendant of the Afghan Turk Ferozeshah lineage. He took power in 1296 in Delhi Sultanate.
• He had an aim to build four such Darwazas but could only fulfil his dream of making one of them before his death in 1316.
• Alai Darwaza is of great cultural significance as it was the first structure built on exact Islamic Architectural lines. It even carries a tinge of Turkish art which makes it even more prestigious.
• Interestingly, it has been made up in a scientific manner paying heed to all geometrical aspects, in spite of it being of such old times.
• It was added in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1993 along with the whole complex in order to give it international recognition.
• Since historical times, this wonder has been a great tourist attraction in Delhi and people visit this place to learn more about the rich history and culture connected with it.
How to reach Alai Darwaza
Since Alai Darwaza is situated in South Delhi, you will have to board to Delhi. If you are already a Delhite or after you have reached Delhi, you will have to reach the Qutub Minar complex. There are a variety of modes by which you can reach the Qutub Minar Complex including,
• Your own car or vehicle
• A local bus
• Auto-rickshaw or cab
The mode of transport can be chosen as per your convenience. Alai Darwaza is open from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
There is a small entry fee as well. It is free for all children who are 15 or below 15 in age. The entry fee for Indians is just Rs. 10 and for foreigners, it is Rs. 250 per person.
The months of February, March, October, November and December are the best durations for a visit. You would see diverse people from all parts of the world during these months as the weather is stunning!
Now that you know all about Alai Darwaza, how about you plan it as your next trip? Through this article, we have tried to cover all aspects related to Alai Darwaza, ranging from its historical significance to amazing facts about it. Hope you liked this article!