Ala'i Darwaza (English: Gate of Alauddin) is the southern gateway of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque in Qutb complex, Mehrauli, Delhi, India. Built by Sultan Alauddin Khalji in 1311 and made of red sandstone, it is a square domed gatehouse with arched entrances and houses a single chamber.
Urdu: علاء دروازه
|Location||Qutb Minar complex, Delhi, India|
|Designated||1993 (17th session)|
|Part of||Qutb Minar and its monuments|
The Alai Darwaza was built by Sultan Alauddin Khalji of the Khalji dynasty in 1311. It was a part of his plan to extend the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque on four sides. Although he planned to construct four gates, only the Alai Darwaza could be completed as he died in 1316. It serves as the southern gateway of the mosque. It is located at the southern part of the Qutb complex.
The Alai Darwaza is made up of a single hall whose interior part measures 34.5 feet (10.5 m) and exterior part measures 56.5 feet (17.2 m). It is 60 feet (18 m) tall and the walls are 11 feet (3.4 m) thick.
The gatehouse, from 1311, still shows a cautious approach to the new technology, with very thick walls and a shallow dome, only visible from a certain distance or height. Bold contrasting colours of masonry, with red sandstone and white marble, introduce what was to become a common feature of Indo-Islamic architecture, substituting for the polychrome tiles used in Persia and Central Asia. The pointed arches come together slightly at their base, giving a mild horseshoe arch effect, and their internal edges are not cusped but lined with conventionalized "spearhead" projections, possibly representing lotus buds. Net, stone openwork screens, are introduced here; they already had been long used in temples.
The entire Darwaza is made up of red sandstone with white coloured marbles inlaid on the exterior walls. There is extensive Arabic calligraphy on the walls of the Darwaza. The arches are horseshoe shaped, the first time such arches were used in India. The façade has pre-Turkish carvings and patterns. The windows have marble lattices. Surface decoration consists of interweaved floral tendrils and is repeated with a symmetry on three doorways.
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- Media related to Alai Gate at Wikimedia Commons