This is maybe the most important part of this structure, the features of the east-facing wall. It has been said that this is a tomb containing THREE mihrabs or maharibs.
The first problem is that this wall appears to be around five degrees off from the direction of Mecca, to the north, aiming somewhere north of Medina instead. The second problem is that masjids, or mosques, only have ONE mihrab, which is a niche indicating the direction to Mecca, AND the problem is that it is forbidden to have a prayer activity inside any Islamic tomb. If there is a graveyard or a tomb, there is almost always a masjid somewhere. Another problem is that if there is a mihrab present, then there ought to be a minbar to one side of the mihrab; the word minbar is a derivative of the Arabic root n-b-r (“to raise, elevate”). A minbar is a raised platform, usually with steps up to it. This is where the imam, or the priest, of the mosque would do his sermons or lectures. Instead, the outside sanctum santorums look identical in design.
Here’s why this is a Hindu temple taken over by the Muslims. First of all, the roof is open to the sky. Chances are, this is ancient enough that it was built roofless like many others, or the roof was made of other materials that either decomposed or was taken away. Secondly, there are three sanctum santorums here. The one on the left is typically for a male deity, the one on the right for a female deity, and then the central one for the supreme being or Ultimate Reality that belonged to the people of this temple. The central sanctum santorum is always bigger than the outside ones. Thirdly, the tomb was mounted in the middle of the floor so as to block the rising sun view from the middle sanctum santorum. In essence, this temple is desecrated by being converted to a tomb, the deities removed from their niches without a proper uninstallment ritual (as is the case when deities are removed for replacement/maintenance), and even the carving of Islamic text into the walls.
In the last installment of this series on Qutb Minar, I will show you what I consider the final desecration of “Hindu civilization.”