In this way, many lofty and impressive building were constructed. The arch and the dome dispensed with the need for a large number of pillars to support the roof and enabled the construction of large halls with a clear view.
Such places of assembly were useful in mosques as well as in palaces. However, the arch and the dome needed a strong cement, otherwise the stones could not be held in place. The Turks used fine quality light mor-tar in their buildings. Thus, new architectural forms and mortar of a superior kind became widespread in north India, with the arrival of the Turks.
The arch and the dome were known to the Indians earlier, but they were not used on a large scale. The Turkish rulers used both the dome and arch method as well as the slab and beam method as well as slab and beam method in their buildings. In the sphere of decoration, the Turks eschewed representation of human and animal figures in the buildings. Instead, they used geometrical and floral designs, combining them with panels of inscriptions containing verses from the Quran. Thus, the Arabic script itself became a work of a art. The combination of these decorative devices was called Arabesque. They also freely borrowed Hindu motifs such as the bell motif, the bel motif, swastika, lotus, etc.
The most magnificent building constructed by the Turks in the thirteenth century was the Qutab Minar. This tapering tower, originally 71.4 metre high, build by Iltutmish, was dedicated to the Sufi saint, Qutab-ud-Din Bakh tiyar Kaki, who was greatly venerated by all the people of Delhi. Although traditions of building towers are to be found both in India and West Asia, the Qutab Minar is unique in many ways.
|1. What is the significance of Delhi Sultanate architecture?|
|2. What are the key features of Delhi Sultanate architecture?|
|3. Which are the famous examples of Delhi Sultanate architecture?|
|4. How did the Delhi Sultanate architecture influence later architectural styles in India?|
|5. What role did religion play in shaping Delhi Sultanate architecture?|