THE QUTB ARCHAEOLOGICAL AREA :
QUWWAT-UL-ISLAM MAS]ID (MEHRAULI)-
Barring the pre-Sultanate monuments of Kachchh District, this is the earliest extant mosque in
India and consists of a rectangular court enclosed by
cloisters, erected with the carved columns and other
architectural members of twenty-seven Hindu and Jaina temples demolished by Qutbu'd-Din Aibak as recorded by him in his own inscription on the main eastern entrance.
Later it came to be called the Quwwat-ul-Islam (might of Islam) mosque. The construction of the mosque began in AD. 1193 by Qurbud-Din and completed in A.D. 1197. The screen of arches is beautifully carved with borders of inscriptions and geometrical and arabesque designs, but the hands of craftsmen used to Hindu motifs is clearly
perceptible. Subsequently, it was enlarged by two later rulers, Sharnsud-Din Iltutrnish (A.D. 1210-35) and Alau'd-Din Khalji (AD. 1296-1316).