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Record of All The Quranic and Non-Historical Epigraphs on The Protected Monuments in The Delhi Province

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Item Code: NAL331
Author: Maulvi Muhammad Ashraf Husain
Publisher: Archaeological Survey of India
Language: English
Edition: 1999
Pages: 159
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 10.5 inch x 8.5 inch
Weight 710 gm
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Book Description

In this Memoir, which embodies all the non-historical epigraphs so far collected from the protected monuments in Delhi, “No” refers to the number of the monument, “A” the name of the monument, “B” the position of the monument, “c” a brief history of the monument and its founder, based chiefly on the original historical records, and “D” the inscriptions.

Starting from the Delhi Fort the monuments have been arranged so far as possible in a sequence decided by their position. The monuments have been numbered serially and the inscriptions on each monument then numbered afresh. The Memoir contains in all about 900 epigraphs. For every Quranic verse, tradition of the Prophet, prayer, or passage from standard books of Arabic or Persian literature, full references have been quoted in footnotes or in the body of the report, so as to enable those interested in epigraphy to check them with the original books, or to study them in the translation with reference to the context. The footnotes also contain critical and explanatory remarks and an exhaustive index has been appended to the Memoir for the convenience of the readers.

(a) The Muslim rulers of India loved to ornament their mosques and tombswith inscriptions consisting of Quranic texts, traditions of the Prophet, Muslim creeds, moral teachings and passages of a religious character from standard authors. The monuments of the Pathan period are more profusely decorated than those of the Mughal period. Under the Slave, Khalji and Llodi kings, and more particularly in the reigns of Altamsh, ‘Alu-d-Din Khalji and Sikandar Lodi, inscriptional decoration was the chief characteristic of a building. In stances of this are to be seen in several buildings, especially in monuments Nos. CXIX (tomb of Altamsh), CXVI (‘Alai Gate) and XLV(Bara Gumbad mosque)bearing about sixty, seventy and a hundred and thirty inscriptions respectively.

Quranic quotations-(b) In regard to the Quranic quotations the following texts are most often to be seen. It is difficult to decide which verses were meant exclusively for mosques and which for mosques and which for tombs as such a distinction does not seem to have been in the mind of the builders:-

(i) The Throne Verse or Ayatu-l-Kursi.
(ii) The ninetynine attributes of God preceded by verses 22-3 of chapter 59 entitled “Al-Hashr” (the Banishment).
(iii) Verses 17-8 and 25-6 of chapter 3 entitled “Al-i-‘Imran” (The Family of Amran).
(iv) Verses 285-6of chapter 2, entitled “Al-Baqarah” (The Cow).
(v) Chapters 1, 109, 113, 114 and several long quotations from chapters 17, 36, 48, 55, 62, 67, 71 and 73.
(vi) The 1st and 2nd Muslim creeds, entitled “Kalima-i-Taiyib” (Creed of Excellence) and “Kalima-i-shahadat” (Creed of Witness), particularly the 1st Kalima.
(vii) The words ‘Allah, ‘Ya Allah,’ ‘Ya Fattahu’ ‘Al-Mulkulillahi,’ ‘Subhanallah,’ ‘Hasbiyallahu.’

(c) On the gravestones also the ‘Throne verse’ and the 1st Muslim creed are frequently found, but on the graves of the later of the later Lodi and Mughal periods the phrase ‘Huwal Haiyu-l-lazi Ia yumutu’ (He is living, never to die), verse 26-7 of chapter 55 entitled “Ar-Rahman” (The Beneficent) and verses 53 of chapter 39 entitled “Azzumar” (The Companies) are often inscribed.

(d) The tombs of martyrs are mostly graced by verses 154-5 of chepter 2 entitled “Al-Baqarah” (The Cow), and verses 168-9 of chapter 3 entitled “Al-i-‘Imran” (The Family of Amran). A question may arise as to why these verses embellish the tomb of Mirza ‘Aziz Kokaltash (No. XXXIV) when it is a fact that he was never a martyr but died a natural death in 1033 A. H. (1623-4 A. D.). The reply in all probability is that he built his own tomb about the same time as that of his father Shamsu-d-Din Atgah Khan (No. XXXV) and the verses were carved under the impression that, like his fater, he might also be killed by the supporters of his father’s assassin Adham Khan, the youngest son of Akbar’s wet-nurse Maham Anagah.

(e) Among the religious inscriptions under the Pathan kings right up to the close of the Saiyid dynasty, the traditions of the Prophet formed a chief factor, and regard seems often to have been paid to the fact that only such traditions were inscribed on te mosques or tombs as were connected with their character, e.g., the divine bliss promised to those who erected a mosque or provided it with a lamp or a prayer carpet, etc. The monuments of Sikandar Lodi largely bear Quranic texts, but traditional epigraphs, though sparingly used, are not entirely wanting.

(f) The fact that most of the traditions of the Prophet which grace the monuments are no traceable in the six recognized books o f Hadith (vide foot notes) supports the common belief that the ‘Ilm-i-Hdith in India was system-atized early in the 11th century A. H. by Shah ‘Abdu-l-Haq Monuments, Dehlvi. Hence the authenticity of the traditions inscribed on the monuments, specially in regard to the exact words of the Prophet, cannot be guaranteed.

Scripts- (g) The study of various scripts in different periods is no less interesting. Of the Kufic and Naskh characters a number of varieties has been noticed they may be supposed to have their peculiar value in regard to historical research: the Kufic scripts, both plain and decorative, seem to have become less fashionable aiter the slave dynasty, for with a few exceptions all the Persian and Arabic epigraphs are to be found in various styles of Naskh only. A rare example of Kufic Tughra incised in plaster has, however, been discovered in monument No. XXXII(tomb of Khan-i-Khanan) where an appropriate text, viz., the Prophet’s last prayer on his deathbed, is recorded.

(h) Under the Mughals the (Naskh) Tughra style was prized most, and besides others the tomb of Atgah Khan bearing hymns in Arabic composed by a didactic author provides us with a well preserved specimen of it. The Nastalig lettering is the most modern of all scripts and is not traceable in inscriptions dating prior to 1530, the years of Humayun’s accession.


Author's Introduction3
Delhi Fort, Bridge No. (1)3
Delhi Fort, Khwabgah3
Delhi Fort, Muthamman Burj4
Delhi Fort, Balcony4
Delhi Fort, Dian-i-Khas4
Delhi Fort, Bridge No. (2)5
Jami' Masjid5
Lal Darwaza or Kabuli Darwaza5
Mwsque of Shai'kh Abdu-n-Nbi6
Sher Shah's Mosque9
Talaqi Gate9
Bara Darwaza10
Humayun Darwaza10
Kahiru-l-Manazil Mosque10
Mosque (Nameless)11
Unknown Tomb known as Sundarwala Burj11
Unknown Tomb known as Manhariwala Gumbad11
Chhota Batashewala Mahal12
Unknown Tomb known as Chhota Batashewala Gumbad13
Lakkarwala Gumbad14
Bara Batashewala Mahal14
Nili Chatri15
Sabz Burj15
Humayun's Tomb17
Tomb of the Barber17
Nila Masjid in the enclosure of Humayun's tomb18
Nila Gumbad or tomb of Fahim Khan18
Afsarwala Gumbad19
Mosque Afsarwala19
Tomb of 'Isa Khan20
Mosque of ' Isa Khan20
Tomb of Khan -i-Khanan 'Abdur-Rahim Khan21
Kali Masjid or Sanjar Masjid21
Chaunsath Khamba23
Tom of Atgah Khan26
Eastern Gateway to the enclosute of Amir Khusru's tomb26
Tomb of Hazrat Amir Khusru27
Tomb of Jahanara Begam28
Tomb of Emperor Muhammad Shah29
Tomb of Mirza Jahangir30
Barah Khamba31
Tomb of Muhammad Shah or Mubarak Khan -ka -Gumbad31
Bara Gumbad32
Bara Gumbad Mosque or the Jami 'Masjid of Sikandar Lodi33
Shish Gumbad47
Tomb of Sikandar Lodi47
Mosque of Basti48
Tomb of Basti48
Gateway to the enclosur containing the Mosque, Tomb and Baoli of Basti49
Masjid Ugar Sen49
Tomb of Safdar Jang49
Tomb of Najaf Khan50
Tomb of Darya Khan50
Bare Khan-ka-Gumbad51
Chhote Khan-ka-Gumbad56
Kale Khan-ka-Gumbad56
Tomb of Mubarak Shah59
Masjid Mubarakpur Kotla60
Bhure Khan-ka-Ghasiwala Gumbad60
Dhaura Gumbad60
Kala Gumbad60
Nili Masjid63
City wall of Siri64
Mosque of Makhdum Sahib64
Unknown Tomb or a Domed Pavilion65
Muhammadiwali Masjid69
Tomb of Shaikh Kabiru-d-Din Auliya Know as Rikabwala Gumbad or Llal Gumbad70
Tomb of Hazrat Yusuf Qattal70
Unknown Grve to east of the tomb of Hazrat Yusuf Qattal70
Tomb of Bahlol Lodi72
Tomb of Zafar Khan or Dad Khan74
Biwi or Dadi-ka-Gumbad74
Tomb of Firoz Shah Tughlaq76
Firoz Shah's College77
Grave of Yusuf bin Jamal77
Chhatri No. (1) to east of the tomb of Firoz Shah in the same emclosure77
Chhatri No. (2) to north of Chhatri no. (1) noticed above78
Chhatri No. (3) opposite the main entrance to the enclosure of Firoz Shah's tomb78
Chhatri No. (4) to north-west of the old gate to the enclosure of Firoz Shah's tomb78
Chhatri No. (5) to north of Chhatri No.(4) noticed above78
Old Cemetery to east of the old gate to the enclosure of Firoz Shah's tomb78
Tin Burjiwala Gumbad80
Unnamed Gumbad in village Muhammadpur81
Unnamed Tomb to south-east of Wazirpur-ka-Gumbad81
Unnamed Tomb to west of Wazirpur-ka-Gumbad81
Unnamed Mosque to south-west of Wazirpur-ka-Gumbad82
Parlegaonwala Gumbad82
Unnemed Tomb known as Chhota Munirka-ka-Gumbad82
Unnamed Mosque in village Munirka83
Attewala Gumbad83
Masjid Kalu Sarai84
Begampuri Mosque84
Tomb of Adham Khan84
Mosque at the Rajon-ki-Bain85
Chhatri at the Rajon-ki-Bain86
Grave of Sha 'Alam II87
Grave of Akbar Shah II88
Grave of Shahabadi Begam88
Hujra now called Tosha Khana88
Lal Mahal or the Palace of Bhahdur Shah89
Jahaz Mahal89
Tomb of Sultan Ghari89
Mosque attached to tomb of Sultan Ghari90
Mosque known as Mandiwali Masjid91
Tomb of Jamali92
Unknwn Grave known as Chhatri94
Mosque of Jamali Kamali94
Tomb of Muhammad Quli Khan known as Metcalfe House95
Tomb of Imam Zamin96
Alai Gate96
Qutb Minar104
Qutb Mosque or Masjid Quwatu-l-Islam106
Tomb of Altamsh114
Qudsiya Bagh Mosque119
Tomb of Makhdum Shah 'Alam120
Mosque to west of the tomb of Makhdum Shah 'Alam120

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