Perhaps in no other country would you witness the enormous magnitude of destruction and desecration of Hindu temples and ancient monuments, that Bharatavarsha endured, during the Islamic conquests, the practice that led to gut-wrenching conflicts and insurmountable religious strife, that strife, which is evident even to this day in modern India. The Islamic barbarism began with the likes of Mahmood Ghazni and Mohmud Ghori, predominantly in the pre-Lodi period, and continued till the Mughal period. It is believed that Muslim marauders went on a relentless campaign of savagery, that continued for 500 long years, with distressing stories of massacre, genocide, the annihilation of many iconic Hindu temples, consequently building masjids on the rubble of our sacred spaces. It is quite astonishing and heart-breaking to hear the amount of plunder and destruction meted out with the single motive to loot the immense wealth of the temples, with a sole aim to establish and spread Islam.
The following are the heart-wrenching sad tales of the humiliating state of affairs of these temples.
Ayodhya Ram Mandir : There are no words to express about the damage done to this temple. The rubble under the demolished Babri Masjid, indicated the size and the magnanimity of the Ram temple that once must have stood. It is one amongst thousands and thousands of the iconic temples that our ancestors constructed, which were destroyed by the Islamic rulers.
(The recent Ayodhya verdict by the Apex Court has come in Hindu’s favour and the first ‘kiran’ of re-building this iconic temple has been undertaken by the Yogi government in UP and it is a delight to watch the Bhoomi Poojan indicating the sacred work has finally began)
Somnath Mandir : This mandir, now standing on the coast of Gujarat, is one of the many, that has seen the ravage, innumerable number of times. Fortunately, Sardar Patelji took up this mission and under the able supervision of Shri. Kanhaiyalal Munshi, this Shiva mandir was rebuilt and restored to its past glory immediately after Bharat attained Independence.
Dhai din ka jopda : This ‘teen mandir’, close to Ajmer Shariff, was converted into a masjid in a matter of 60 hours, hence the name – on the orders of Mohmud Ghori. Mohd bin Aibak, his slave, carried out this murderous task. It is evident that this is a Hindu mandir all the way, with beautiful sculptures and carvings, the only missing aspect is the ‘murthy’ and the garbhagriha. A meaningless arabic screen has been installed in the front yard, reminding the visitors of the Islamic invasion. This mandir was probably built by Prithviraj Chauhan around 1192 and the iconic sculptures were used as steps for the Islamists to climb whilst entering the masjid, reminding the Hindus of utter Islamic supremacy.
Quwwatul Islam Mosque: This so-called masjid, close to Qutub Minar in Delhi, now a disorganised and ugly structure, was actually converted after destroying 27 Jain temples by muslim conquerers. It is distressing when people like Syed Ahmed Khan, founder of Aligarh University, takes great delight and pleasure in expressing the way the Islamic barbarians destroyed everything and constructed a mosque in its place. This masjid, still has many Ganesh murthys and sculptures in its inner walls and also in its outer walls indicating the glory of the past.
Makhdoom Jahaniya Dargah, Kannauj : This is the Waterloo of Aryavarth, the capital of north India, was completely destroyed and nothing has remained here. The entire area of Kannauj is now famous for Rose garden producing itthar or perfumes. There is no trace of anything Hindu here, leave alone the soil that once held the pride of Bharata race.
Govind Dev Temple, Vrindavan : Traces of probably a 120 feet high temple, that existed around 1670, was chopped into half, as once a passing Aurangazeb did not want to see the flame burning atop, a ritual conducted by the temple priests during that period. Hence it was destroyed and a ‘mehrab’ was installed in its place for Aurangzeb to pray. All the sculptures and murthys have been completely defaced excepting one or two which are still remaining.
Mathura Temples : Al Baruni destroyed many temples and looted so much of gold, silver, precious gems that he had to arrange 100 camels to take the loot back to Ghazni.
Keshav Dev Mandir: Aurangzeb destroyed everything of this mandir leaving only a mound on which an Idgah was built. It has an open courtyard with servant quarters like structures giving a very agonizing sight.
Although all the muslim invaders were on the path of ravage and destruction, one aspect which they followed was to make record of all the savagery and demolition. They documented the post Lodhi period monuments which involved recycling of structures of Hindu temples, as one being Jamia Masjid in Ahmedabad, which is in fact a Krishna temple.
Ataladevi Masjid, Jaunpur : Jaunpur is a distasteful area where every 2nd house is a slaughter house. Many mandirs have been converted into masjids in this area. Bijoy Mandal Mandir is one such masjid and the list goes on and on, with many dilapidated and ruined remnants of temples still existing.
Bhojshala Masjid, Dhar, Indore : Built by Raja Bhoj in the 11th century, which was a mandir-cum-patashala-cum-library. Nothing is left of this mandir excepting that of an order by the government to allow Hindus to offer prayers once a year, on Vasant Panchami. Muslims are allowed to pray only on Fridays for not more than 2 hours.
Siddpur Mandir, Gujarat: Very few templates are available now, with most of the idols having got defaced, excepting one ‘lingam’ that is still remaining. The mandir consists of a huge compound extending upto a hillock, with 7 mandirs buried underneath. Sometime in 1959, the locals filed a petition to beautify this area with gardens, etc., When ASI began the work, a lot of artefacts and sculptures were unearthed, causing immense embarrassment to the local community. Permission was sought to bury them back and the beautification process was withdrawn. ASI has done no exploration in this area, and has only helped the minority community in whitewashing their atrocities.
Just the way Gaya is sacred in offering father’s side ‘pind daan’, Siddpur is sacred for its Bindusagar, where mother’s side ‘pind daan’ is offered.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple : The original temple was demolished by Aurangzeb in 1669, who constructed Gyanvapi Mosque atop the most sacred Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Even today, the pillars and structures of the original temple are clearly seen. The debris and the ruins have been used as foundational plinth to place a masjid on top.
Bindu Madhav (Nand Madho) Temple: The Alamgir mosque in Varanasi was constructed after destroying 100ft high Bindu Madhav Temple, by Augrangzeb in 1682. The defaced and broken sculptures and idols are lying astray around the mosque.
It is indeed a sorry and pitiful plight of the Hindu Masjids and it should be our responsibility to restore the innumerable desecrated mandirs to their original glory. The present government should declare this contentious issue, on a principal basis, as a national issue. This is for the sake of our civilization and for the sake of Sanatana Dharma.
Sources: Prafull Goradia’s Hindu Masjids