A temple built over 200 years was burnt down by Ghazni in smoke and ashes

24th September 2020

24th September 2020

(This is the second and final part of the series on Hindu temples which fell to the loot and destruction of Muslim invaders. The first one could be read here).

According to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), there are many mosques in Indian which were built after demolishing Hindu temples and with that material only.

Here's the list of how some Hindu temples were destroyed to build mosques by the Muslims.

Citadel-temple of Debal, Sindh: Arabs finally defeated the Hindus of Makran and Sindh after 14 massive defeats over 68 years in 712 CE at Debal, city of Sindh kingdom with the help of treacherous Buddhist leaders of that city, Debal. The invaders destroyed the city's citadel temple that had 120 feet high stone walls and a dome of a similar height along with Sindh's Buddhist temples.

Mathura's Vasudeva Temple: In 1018, when Mahmud of Ghazni came to India, he saw a magnificent Vasudeva temple in Mathura. It was believed by the inhabitants that the temple was built by Divine beings and not humans. The city had strong walls of hard stone and the river used to flow under the city from two gates which had a strong foundation to avoid the destruction from rains and river.

There was a large Vasudeva temple in the middle of the city surrounded by a thousand castles made by masonry and they all had idol temples attached to them. About the temple Mahmud of Ghazni wrote: “If any should wish to construct a building equal to this, he would not be able to do it without expending a hundred thousand thousand (100 million) red dinars, and it would occupy 200 years, even though the most experienced and able workmen were employed.”

After raiding the temple, Mahmud of Ghazni gave the orders to burn the temple with naphtha, fire, and levelled the temple to the ground. The work of nearly two centuries was converted into smoke and ashes.

Gujarat's Somnath Temple: This Shiva temple was desecrated for six times. Mahmud of Ghazni raided this temple in 1024 and broke the jyotirlinga of the temple while plundering it. He took a valuable booty worth 20 million dinars. The second time, Somnath temple was razed by Ulugh Khan, governor of Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khilji in 1299. The third destruction was done by Zafar Khan in 1395. He founded Gujarat Sultanate after demolishing the Somnath temple.. In 1451, the Sultan of Gujarat Mahmud Begada destroyed it. The Somnath was attacked by the Portuguese in 1546. Aurangzeb did the sixth and final destruction of the temple in 1665. According to the Sufi schola of Alauddin Khilji's reign, Amir Khusrau, the statue of Somnath (Shiva) was taken to Delhi, where it was thrown to be trampled under the feet of Muslims.

“They made the temple prostrate itself towards the Kaaba. You may say that the temple first offered its prayers and then had a bath (i.e. the temple was made to topple and fall into the sea). He (Ulugh Khan) destroyed all the idols and temples, but sent one idol, the biggest of all idols, to the court of his Godlike Majesty (Mahmud Ghazni) and on that account in that ancient stronghold of idolatry, the summons to prayers was proclaimed so loudly that they heard it in Misr (Egypt) and Madain (Iraq).”

Tamil Nadu's Nataraja Temple: Khusrau described the scene of Bhagwan Siva's temple in a perverted way. He said, "it was the holy place of the Hindus which the Malik dug up from its foundations with the greatest care, and the heads of Brahmans and idolaters danced from their necks and fell to the ground at their feet, and blood flowed in torrents. The stone idol called Ling Mahadeo, which had been a long time established at that place and on which the women of the infidels rubbed their v***s for (sexual) satisfaction, these up to this time the kick of the horse of Islam had not attempted to break. The Musalmans destroyed all the lings and Deo Narain fell down, and the other gods who had fixed their seats there raised their feet, and jumped so high, that at one leap they reached the fort of Lanka, and in that affright the lings themselves would have fled had they any legs to stand on.”

Qutub Minar, earlier Hindu Fort, Delhi: Sultan Mohammad Ghori's slave Amir Qutbud-Din Aibak conquered Hindus Fort and built Qutub Minar in 1192. Jama Masjid was built in 1656 AD at the orders of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and Imam Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah Bukhari inaugurated it. It is believed that the mosque was constructed by razing a Hindi temple.

Gujarat's Jami Masjid at Malan: Khan-I-Azam Ulugh Khan built the Jami Masjid in 1462 by eradicating the idols on the sword's edge.

Andhra Pradesh's Gachinala Masjid: During the reign of Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah, Muhammad Salih built a mosque, taller than all other buildings by demolishing the Kuhmum's idol house in 1729-30 A.D.

Mathura's Krishna Janmabhumi Temple: During the reign of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir (1605-27), Rao Bir Singh Bundela built the Bhagwan Krishna's temple in Mathura by spending Rs 33 lakh. Aurangzeb destroyed the temple in 1670 and issued a farman: “in this month of Ramzan, the religious-minded Emperor ordered the demolition of the temple at Mathura known as the Dehra of Keshav Rai. His officers accomplished it in a short time. A grand mosque was built on its site at a vast expenditure…Praised be the God of the great faith of Islam that in the auspicious reign of this destroyer of infidelity and turbulence, such a marvellous and [seemingly] impossible feat was accomplished. On seeing this instance of their strength of the Emperor’s faith and the grandeur of his devotion to God, the Rajahs felt suffocated and they stood in amazement like statues facing the walls. The idols, large and small, set with costly jewels, which had been set up in the temple, were brought to Agra and buried under the steps of the mosque of Jahanara, to be trodden upon continually.”

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi: Aurangzeb built Gyanvapi Mosque by destroying the temple. Maulana Abdul Hai wrote in his book, “it is said that the mosque of Benares was built by Alamgir on the site of the Bisheshwar Temple. That temple was very tall and (held as) holy among the Hindus. On this very site and with those very stones he constructed a lofty mosque, and its ancient stones were rearranged after being embedded in the walls of the mosque. It is one of the renowned mosques of Hindustan. The second mosque at Benares (is the one) which was built by Alamgir on the bank of the Ganga with chiselled stones. This also is a renowned mosque of Hindustan. It has 28 towers, each of which is 238 feet tall. This is on the bank of the Ganga and its foundations extend to the depth of the waters.”

(This is a rewrite from an excellent piece in IndiaFacts.in).

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