The Alai Darwaza is the main gateway from the southern side of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque in Mehrauli, Delhi. Alai Darwaza was built by the second Khilji Sultan of Delhi, Ala-Ud-din Khilji in 1311 AD, who also added a court to the pillared to the eastern side.
The domed gateway is decorated with red sandstone and inlaid white marble decorations, inscriptions in Naskh script, latticed stone screens and showcases the remarkable craftsmanship of the Turkic artisans who worked on it. This is the first building in India to employ Islamic architecture principles in its construction and ornamentation.
About Alai Darwaza
When visiting Qutb Minar, there are several other interesting attractions that you can see within the Qutb Complex, including the Alai Darwaza – the main gateway into the complex built between 1296 and 1316AD, making it one of the very oldest remaining ancient gateways to remain standing in Delhi.
Alai Darwaza is a domed gateway, providing entrance into the southern side of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, which is now in ruins as Alai Darwaza built-in 1311AD. The gateway building was constructed with red sandstone, inlaid with white marble and elaborately decorated with carving and inscriptions. The building is noted for the splendid use of symmetry in its design.
Interestingly, it seems Alai Darwaza was the first of four large gates that Alla-Ud-Din Khilji who built Alai Darwaza intended to make for the city. Unfortunately, he died after its construction and before beginning work on the other three gates. Future rulers must not have shared his vision for the city as the remaining three gateways were never built, leaving Alai Darwaza on its own.
Overall, Alai Darwaza is a nice building, worthy of spending some time looking around. It’s one of several interesting attractions at the Qutb Minar Complex along with the mosque, Imam Zamin’s Tomb, the minaret – Alai Minar and the fascinating Qutb Minar structure.
Alai Darwaza Built by
The Alai Darwaza, known as the jewel of Islamic architecture, is one of Delhi’s oldest doors, which was constructed by Alauddin Khilji, the second ruler of the Khilji dynasty of Delhi Sultanate, in 1311 AD, from the south of the Quwait-ul-Islam Mosque.
The construction of this historic Alai Darwaza was an integral part of the expansion of the Kawwat-ul-Islam-Masjid in the all-purpose Khilji’s project to beautify the Qutab Minar premises.
It was one of the four huge and grand entrance slots, which were completed, while the construction of the remaining three entrances was not completed, because before the construction of the other three gates, Alauddin Khilji who built Alai Darwaza, ruler of the dynasty, died in the year 1316 AD.
Alai Darwaza History
The Alai Darwaza is the main gate from the southern side of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque. A number of gates were built around Delhi over the centuries, in fact, some of the earliest ones in Delhi date back to the first half of the second millennium. By visiting there, you will know about every Alai Darwaza information.
Alai Darwaza is one of the oldest gates and is also one of the first buildings in India to be built using an Islamic architectural style. It is incredibly symmetrical and is indeed a gem of Indo-Islamic architecture.
Considered to be one of the most important buildings of its time, the Alai Darwaza is the first of four gates that Allaudin Khilji wanted to build. However, this ended up being the only Alai Darwaza gate that he did make as he died five years after this gate was constructed.
Alai Darwaza Architecture
The pointed edges of the historic Alai Darwaza and spreading sparse edges are known as lotus buds, which connect it to the Quwait-ul-Islam mosque, in which it is used as an entrance gate.
Within the main Alai Darwaza architecture, there is a single hall, within which the length is about 35 feet and the width is 56.5 feet. The height of its roofed ceiling is 47 feet.
On the east, west and south sides, there are three pointed corners of the door, which are in the shape of the horse’s cord, while the entrance towards the north direction is of the native nature, while the arches are semi-circular. The entire structure of the Alai door looks quite arduous.
The Alai Darwaza, Delhi also includes a dome, the dome has been constructed entirely on scientific principles. On the basis of complex geometric calculations, the dome is made very sophisticated.
This dome is made on the octagonal basis. Plaster material has been used on the outer part of the dome so that it can be preserved and can be uniformed.
The point to note about the dome is that all the efforts before Sultan Iltutmish’s tomb were unsuccessful in forming this dome. In this regard, the dome of the Alai Darwaza is a remarkable achievement. Beautiful marble and red sandstone are beautifully carved around the Alai door, which is made by seeing.
Along with this, the well-worn latticed windows on both sides of the entrance are also maintained, and the decoration of this aristocratic Alai door is also very beautiful and attractive and gives you Alai Darwaza detail architectural information.
The artificial and design of the surface of this historic door are complementary to each other, which is made by itself. This door looks almost the same from both the left and right sides. All entry points and all the architectural features of Alai Darwaza in this historic building have been designed brilliantly.
The four arches of this gate are semi-circular. At the same time, there is a point in the middle of the gate, however, the homogeneity of this gate is almost like the rest of the gate. You also can see these from Alai Darwaza images. The whole shape of the Alai door looks quite arduous and impressive.
The length of the gate is 17 meters and the width is about 10 meters. The gate is about 3 meters thick. This gate was constructed very strongly by Alauddin Khilji, ruler of the Khilji dynasty, so it took too much time to make it.
The magnificent and historic Alai Darwaza, built-in Delhi, is quite spectacular, people come from far away to see beautiful carvings and present condition of Alai Darwaza. The Alai Darwaza gate which is not only huge and magnificent, but it is also a unique model of Islamic architecture.
How to reach
You have to reach the premises of Alai Darwaza in Delhi. You can reach the Alai Darwaza, Delhi via a local bus or by renting an auto-rickshaw and taxi.
- Address – Aurobindo Marg, Qutub Minar Complex, Mehrauli, New Delhi, Delhi – 110030.
- Nearest Metro Station – Qutub Minar Metro Station(3Km away from the monument).
- Timings – Open from 6 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. daily.
- Entrance Fee – For Indians Rs. 35 & for Foreigners Rs.250. Free Entry for children up to 15 years old.
The Alai Darwaza is also known as the first monument that reveals the true and real Islamic imprints and hence is historical. Alai Darwaza’s present condition is still a remarkable one.
One of the most significant buildings made during the Delhi Sultanate era seen with domes pointed arches and beautiful carvings that add a royal charm to the nearby mosque and complex.
Places to visit near Alai Darwaza:
- Qutb Minar
- Tomb of Adham Khan
- Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque
- Iron Pillar
- Tomb of Iltutmish
- Tomb of Imam Zamin
- Alai Minar of Khalji
- Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb
- Mehrauli Archaeological Park
- Jahaz Mahal
- Garden of Five Senses