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Qutub Minar and it's Chhatri

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April 30, 1193
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Delhi Archives
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Architectural and Building
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Abbasid Caliphate 762-1258 AD

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Qutub Minar and it's Chhatri (January, 1915)

 

The Smith's Folly, unlike Feroz Shah Tughlaq's lost dome, has been rebuilt and preserved as a historical relic. This can be seen in the southeast garden of the Qutab Minar complex. 


In 1802-03, an earthquake damaged the entire pillar and destroyed the original cupola installed by Feroz Shah Tughlaq. The repairs were assigned to Major R. Smith, an army engineer working for the East India Company. 


It is said that he capped the tower with a Hindu architecture style chattri, much to the chagrin of the architects. He completely ignored the Qutab Minar's historic context as well as the architectural style used in its construction. 


The view was so absurd, and the cupola so out of character, that Lord Hardinge removed it in 1848 and put it on the Qutub Complex's outer grounds, where it now stands, like an impure, corrupted crown that has fallen off the Minar's head. Since then, it's been known as Smith's Folly.


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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.

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