Imam Zamin's Tomb. Exterior View [Qutb]
Imam Zamin's Tomb. Exterior View [Qutb] © British Library/Charles Shepherd

THE remains of the ornamentation upon the exterior surface of the building testify to the beautiful effect which the complete and undamaged structure must formerly have derived from its details. The lightest portions are of white marble, while the darker ones are of red sandstone. The contrast of these materials enhances the value of the decoration cut into them. The juxtaposition of the two columns in the gateway, although many examples of such arrangement exist, together with the minute ornament upon their exposed sides, is pleasing.

It will be observed that upon the bands on the upper portion of the building are Arabic inscriptions, but I have already said they are almost illegible.

The walls are crowned by a parapet, and the dome, which is flat, is only visible at a distance. Perhaps the pleasantest feature of the exterior is to be found in the marble tracery of the windows. In this the usual geometrical forms predominate. The windows at the two extremities are deeply cut into the thickness of the side walls, and therefore partake more of the character of a niche, or "mihrab." The ornament used during Ala-ud-din's reign had not changed, from the flat style of the time of Shams-ud-din Altamsh and in this budding, as in the gateways built by the latter Sultan, the patterns are mostly incised and uncarved.