DARGAH QUTUB SAHIB

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Location: Mehrauli, New Delhi
Also Known As: Khwaja Qutub-Ud-Din Bakhtyar Kaki
Built In: 1542


Legend Of Kaki
Khwaja Qutub-ud-Din Bakhtyar Kaki, popularly known as Qutub-Sahib, and surnamed 'Kaki' because during his meditation he was fed on small cakes known as 'kaks', was born at Ush in Persia. He came to India with the earliest Muslim conquerors after journeying through Khurasan and Baghdad and became a disciple, and later a spiritual successor, of Khawaja Mu'inu'd-Din Chishti of Ajmer. He lived during the reign of Iltutmish and died in 1236.

Making Of The Memorial
His grave, originally plain and earthen, but now enclosed within marble balustrades and surmounted by a dome resting on pillars, completed as late as 1944, is the main shrine in the dargah. It lies in the middle of a rectangular enclosure, which has been embellished by different rulers of Delhi, the most pleasing part being the western wall containing floral multi-coloured tiles, said to have been fixed by Aurangzeb.
The saint was held in high esteem by different rulers and several of them lie buried in the various enclosures around his grave, the whole place being turned into a kind of necropolis. Among those buried here are Bahadur Shah I, Shah 'Alam II, Akbar II and members of their families. Bahadur Shah II prepared a grave here for his burial, but it remained unutilized, as he was deported to Rangoon where he died and was buried.

The dargah is provided with several gates, halls for different purposes, such as the 'Naubat-Khana' (drum-house), 'Majlis-Khana' (assembly-house) and 'Tosh-Khana' (robe-chamber), mosques, tanks and a baoli.

According to an inscription on its main northern gate, it was erected in 1542, during Sher Shah's reign by Shaikh Khalil, a descendant of saint Faridu'd-Din Shakarganj, who was himself a disciple and successor of Khwaja Qutub-ud-Din Kaki.

Important Mosques
Among important mosques is the small marble-built Moti Masjid (pearl mosque) with three arched openings, and double-storyed minars at the eastern corners of its courtyard. It is believed to have been built about 1709 by Bahadur Shah I. Farrukhsiyar added two gates to the enclosure of the dargah.

Ruins Of Zafar Mahal
Outside the western entrance of the dargah, known as the Ajmeri gate, are the ruins of Zafar-Mahal, a palace built by Akbar II, the main gateway of which is said to have been reconstructed by Bahadur Shah II and named after his "nom de plume" Zafar. Built of red sandstone relieved by marble, it is a lofty, three-storeyed imposing structure, with arcades inside it flanked by rooms on the same pattern as in the Chhatta-Chowk in the Red Fort.



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