Credits: – Geetha Sharma.
Shri Prafull Goradia in his speech on Srijan Talks, has eloquently and elaborately, articulated on the distressing stories of massacre and desecration of many iconic Hindu temples by Islamic barbarians, consequently building a masjid on its rubble. Hence he aptly names his book as Hindu Masjids. It is quite astonishing and heart-breaking to hear the amount of plunder and destruction meted out by the likes of Mahmood Ghazni and Mohmud Ghori, predominantly in the pre-Lodi period, with the single motive to loot the immense wealth of the temples, with a sole aim to establish and spread Islam.
Mr.Goradia’s states that the present government should declare this contentious issue as a national issue as a matter of principle. It is evident from his painstaking research, how much he feels for this project and how very little has been done to restore the past glory of the Hindu Mandirs. The professor speaks about the possibility of restoration of these temples by adopting policies by the ministry/government, taking care by not hurting the other communities but nevertheless, to have a passionate intention and mission to conserve and preserve whatever is left behind, as ruins or as debris which have been used as foundational plinth to place a masjid on top.
Mr.Goradia speaks in detail, about various Hindu Masjids which he visited with his friends. They are all sad tales and heart-wrenching to hear 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 professor says it is the first ‘kiran’ in the sunshine, owing to the determination of getting back the disputed area for Ram mandir construction, through the legal process. 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.
Somnath Mandir : This mandir, now standing on the coast of Gujarat, is one of the many, that must have seen the ravage innumerable number of times. Fortunately, Sardar Patelji took up this mission and under the supervision of Mr.Kanhaiyalal Munshi, this Shiva mandir was rebuilt and restored to its past glory.
Dhai din ka jopda : This mandir, also called as ‘teen mandir’, close to Ajmer Shariff, was converted into a masjid in a matter of 60 hours, on the orders of Mohmud Ghori, to be destroyed, by Mohd bin Aibak, his slave, as he wished to pray there. It is evidently a Hindu mandir all the way, with beautiful sculptures and carvings, missing only the main ‘murthy’ and the garbhagriha, meaningless arabic screen installed in the front yard, reminding the visitor of the Islamic invasion. This mandir was probably built by Prithviraj Chauhan around 1192 and is now standing as a masjid with occasional prayer being conducted.
Quwwatul Islam Mosque : This so called masjid, close to Qutub Minar in Delhi, now an unorganised 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/sculptures in its inner walls and also a Ganesh murthy in its outer wall indicating the glory of the past.
Makhdoom Jahaniya Dargah, Kannauj : The professor calls it as 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.
Govind Dev Temple, Vrindavan : Probably a 120 feet high existing temple was chopped into half around 1670, because Aurangazeb did not want to see the flame burning on the top and wanted it to be destroyed and ordered to install a ‘mehrab’ for him to pray. All the sculptures and murthy have been completely defaced excepting one or two.
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 destruction which they undertook and also recorded the post Lodhi period monuments whcih involved recycling of structures of Hindu temples. One such example is of Jamie Masjid in Ahmedabad, which is in fact a Krishna temple.
9. Ataladevi Masjid, Jaunpur : Jaunpur is a distasteful area where every 2nd house is a slaughter house. Many mandirs converted masjids are existing 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.
10. 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.
11. Siddpur Mandir,Gujarat : Very few templates are available now, with most of the idols having got defaced, excepting one ‘linga’ 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, in turn sought permission to bury them back and withdrew beautification. ASI has done no exploration in this area, instead has 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.
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 its original glory for the sake of our civilization and for the sake of sanatan dharm to be established.