Rao Petarah's Temple, Delhi 1858


Photograph of Rao Petarah's Temple, Delhi, taken by Dr. John Murray in 1858. The photograph shows a section from the Quwwat al-Islam mosque, part of the complex in South Delhi that includes the Qutb Minar. The complex was first begun by Qutb-u’d-din Aibak, the first ruler of the Slave Dynasty, and was added to by many subsequent rulers. The Quwwat al-Islam mosque was built in 1192. Inscriptions record that spolia from 27 Jain and Hindu temples that were torn down for its creation. Pillars from the destroyed temples were reused and the Hindu images were plastered over with geometric designs. Over time, the plaster has fallen away revealing the original Hindu carvings. This may explain why the caption refers to the building as a temple instead of a mosque created out of Hindu architectural material.