The Qutab Minbar

Persian culture was brought into India by various Persianised Turkic and Afghan dynasties. Where the Arab invasions in Byzantine areas changed everything to Arab culture, the opposite happened in Persia. Persians incorporated their new rulers and religion into all areas of their society and the Arab rulers became Persianate. Later on South Asian society was enriched by the influx of Persian-speaking and Islamic scholars, historians, architects, musicians, and other specialists of high Persianate culture who fled the Mongol devastation. The sultans of Delhi, who were of Turko-Afghan origin (eg. Mamluks), modeled their lifestyles after the Persian upper classes. They patronized Persian literature and music, but became especially notable for their architecture, because their builders drew from Irano-Islamic architecture, combining it with Indian traditions to produce a profusion of mosques, palaces, and tombs unmatched in any other Islamic country.

One of the great examples of Persianate architecture in India constructed during the Mamluk era is the Qutab Minar built by Qutab Ud-Din-Aibak, first Mamluk ruler of India and founder of the Delhi Sultanate, who started construction around 1192. The Qutab Minar is a minaret that forms a part of the Qutab complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Mehrauli area of Delhi, India. Aibak's successor and son-in-law Iltutmish completed a further three storeys. In 1369, a lightning strike destroyed the top storey. Firoz Shah Tughlaq replaced the damaged storey, and added one more.Sher Shah suri also added an entrance to this tower while he was ruling and Humayun was in exile.

The tower's style is basically Iranian and adapted to local artistic conventions by the incorporation of "looped bells and garlands and lotus borders into the carving". Aibak also started Qutab Minar along the patterns of Iranian minarets but built by Hindus artisans. Numerous inscriptions in Parso-Arabic and Nagari characters in different sections of the Qutab Minar reveal the history of its construction, and the later restorations and repairs by Firoz Shah Tughluq (1351–89) and Sikandar Lodi (1489–1517).