History of Alai Minar
Throughout the sovereignty of the Khilji dynasty, a renowned Sufi poet named Amir Khusro makes a mention in one of his works named 'Tareekh-i-Alai' of the Sultan's intentions to increase the size of the mosque and the plan to construct the Alai Minar. The building was completed up till the first row and at a height of 24.5 metres but unhappily, the construction was deserted after the death of Sultan Ala-ud-din Khalji in 1316 AD and the following successors could not continue further construction as they were defeated and the Delhi Sultanate was taken over by the Tughlaq dynasty.
Architecture of Alai Minar
The Alai Minar in fact looks like a piece of undulating rubble core that was definitely intended not to look like it does now but in fact would have been ornamentally decorated and covered with stone carvings, intricate design and art work as Ala-ud-din had planned. Though it comprises only the original core of the structure and that in a dilapidated condition, it is nevertheless possible to recognise several distinctive features that this great was intended to exhibit.
Inside the minar, it is very clear from the relative heights of the encircling windows that pierce the walls at every quadrant that the means of ascent was to be a very gradual ramp, and not a stair as in the smaller Qutub Minar of Qutbuddin Aibak and Iltutmish. Entered through a doorway on the east, the ramp would follow the inclination of these windows and ascend the minar from right to left.
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