Tomb of Ghiyas ud din Balban

A 'true arch' spanning the main entrance to the tomb.
A ‘true arch’ spanning the main entrance to the tomb.

The Tomb of Ghiyas ud din Balban (1287 AD), situated within what is now known as the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, occupies a position of immense importance in the evolution of architecture in India. It was in this structure, that for the first time, true arches were employed in the spanning of openings. All Islamic buildings built before this tomb contain ‘false’ corbeled arches

The tomb itself is square in plan, with the walls translated into an octagon through squinches at a higher level. There may have been a true dome, the first of it’s kind in the subcontinent, capping the tomb, but only ruined vestiges remain today. The grave sits at the geometric centre of the structure.

The tomb in its entirety.
The tomb in its entirety.
One of the 'true arches' of the tomb. For the first time in India, arches began to be constructed by radial arrangements of the voussoirs, as opposed to 'fasle' corbeled arches used earlier.
One of the ‘true arches’ of the tomb. For the first time in India, arches began to be constructed by radial arrangements of the voussoirs, as opposed to ‘fasle’ corbeled arches used earlier.
The interior of the tomb. Notice the vestiges of the squinches translating the square plan to an octagon.
The interior of the tomb. Notice the vestiges of the squinches translating the square plan to an octagon.
The grave of Balban occupies the geometric centre of the structure, as is the case with most Islamic tombs.
The grave of Balban occupies the geometric centre of the structure, as is the case with most Islamic tombs.
The approach to the tomb.
The approach to the tomb.

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