The Tomb of Altamash
In the same complex is the tomb of Shams-ud-din Altamash (1211-36),
the son-in-law and successor of Qutub-ud-din Aibak.
Altamash is widely regarded as the real founder of the Delhi
sultanate and had a very successful reign (see history).
tomb was built in 1235 and is quite an interesting example of Islamic
architecture in India. It marks the phase when the sultans had stopped
spare parts from broken temples for their buildings. The building was
made from foundation up and not assembled.
It seems that there had been plans to cover the tomb chamber with a
dome, as is obvious from the squinches which make their first
appearance in this building. It is said, once the dome fell but was
replaced by Feroze Shah Tughlaq and then again fell down, beating even
his patience for it was not replaced.
Inside the tomb there are three mihrabs (prayer niches). The central
one of these is located higher than the other two and is profusely
decorated with marble. The tomb itself is quite simple, but its
entrance is intricately carved with geometrical and arabesque
patterns. There are some Hindu motifs too though like wheels,
the lotus, diamonds and so on.
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