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Destruction of Hindu Temples by Islamists is just tip of an iceberg

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Destruction of Hindu Temples by Islamists is just tip of an iceberg

 ~ Sita Ram Goel, (excerpted from the book, “Hindu Temples: What happened to them?”_

The mention made by Maulana Abdul Hai (Indian Express, February 5, 1989) of Hindu temples turned into mosques, is only the tip of an iceberg, The iceberg itself lies submerged in the writings of medieval Muslim historians, accounts of foreign travellers and the reports of the Archaeological Survey of India. A hue and cry has been raised in the name of secularism and national integration whenever the iceberg has chanced to surface, inspite of hectic efforts to keep it suppressed.  Marxist politicians masquerading as historians have been the major contributors to this conspiracy of silence.

Muslim politicians and scholars in present-day India resent any reference whatsoever to the destruction of Hindu temples in medieval times.  They react as if it is a canard being spread by those they stigmatise as Hindu communalists.  There was, however, a time, not so long ago, when their predecessors viewed the same performance as an act of piety and proclaimed it with considerable pride in inscriptions and literary compositions.  Hindus of medieval India hardly wrote any history of what happened to their places of worship at the hands of Islamic iconoclasts.  Whatever evidence the Hindu communalists cite in this context comes entirely from Islamic sources, epigraphic and literary.

Destruction of Hindu Temples by Islamists is just tip of an iceberg

Epigraphic Evidence

There are many mosques all over India which are known to local tradition and the Archaeological Survey of India as built on the site of and, quite frequently, from the materials of, demolished Hindu temples.  Most of them carry inscriptions invoking Allah and the Prophet, quoting the Quran and giving details of when, how and by whom they were constructed.  The inscriptions have been deciphered and connected to their historical context by learned Muslim epigraphists.  They have been published by the, Archaeological Survey of India in its Epigraphia Indica-Arabic and Persian Supplement, an annual which appeared first in 1907-08 as Epigraphia Indo-Moslemica.  The following few inscriptions have been selected in order to show that (1) destruction of Hindu temples continued throughout the period of Muslim domination; (2) it covered all parts of India-east, west, north and south; and (3) all Muslim dynasties, imperial and provincial, participated in the pious performance.

  1. Quwwat al-Islam Masjid, Qutb Minar, Delhi:
    “This fort was conquered and the Jami Masjid built in the year 587 by the Amir, the slave of the Sultan, may Allah strengthen his helpers.  The materials of 27 idol temples, on each of which 2,000,000 Delhiwals had been spent were used in the (construction of) the mosque”. (1909-10, Pp 3-4). The Amir was Qutbud-Din Aibak, slave of Muizzud-Din Muhammad Ghori. The year 587 H. corresponds to 1192 A.D. Delhiwal was a high-denomination coin current at that time in Delhi.
    Quwwat al-Islam Masjid, Qutb Minar, Delhi:
  1. Masjid at Manvi in the Raichur District of Karnataka:
    “Praise be to Allah that by the decree of the Parvardigar, a mosque has been converted out of a temple as a sign of religion in the reign of the Sultan who is the asylum of Faith.”
    Firuz Shah Bahmani who is the cause of exuberant spring in the garden of religion. (1962, Pp. 56-57).  The inscription mentions the year 1406-07 A.D. as the time of construction.
  2. Jami Masjid at Malan, Palanpur Taluka, Banaskantha District of Gujarat:
    “The Jami Masjid was built by Khan-I-Azam Ulugh Khan… who suppressed the wretched infidels.  He eradicated the idolatrous houses and mine of infidelity, along with the idols with the edge of the sword, and made ready this edifice. He made its walls and doors out of the idols; the back of every stone became the place for prostration of the believer.” (1963, Pp. 26-29). The date of construction is mentioned as 1462 A.D. in the reign of Mahmud Shah I (Begada) of Gujarat.

    Jami Masjid at Malan, Palanpur Taluka, Banaskantha District of Gujarat:

    Jami Masjid at Malan, Palanpur Taluka, Banaskantha District of Gujarat:

  3. Hammam Darwaza Masjid at Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh:
    “Thanks that by the guidance of the Everlasting and the Living (Allah), this house of infidelity became the niche of prayer.  As a reward for that, the Generous Lord constructed an abode for the builder in paradise” (1969, p. 375). Its chronogram yields the year 1567 A.D. in the reign of Akbar, the Great Mughal.  A local historian, Fasihud-Din, tells us that the temple had been built earlier by Diwan Lachhman Das, an official of the Mughal government.

    Hammam Darwaza Masjid at Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh:

    Hammam Darwaza Masjid at Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh:

  1. Jami Masjid at Ghoda in the Poona District of Maharashtra:
    “O Allah! 0 Muhammad! O Ali!  When Mir Muhammad Zaman made up his mind, he opened the door of prosperity on himself by his own hand.  He demolished thirty-three idol temples (and) by divine grace laid the foundation of a building in this abode of perdition.” (1933-34, p.24). The inscription is dated 1586 A.D. when the Poona region was ruled by the Nizam Shahi sultans of Ahmadnagar.
  2. Gachinala Masjid at Cumbum in the Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh:
    “He is Allah, may he be glorified.” During the august rule of Muhammad Shah, there was a well-established idol-house in Kuhmum. Muhammad Salih who prospers in the rectitude of the affairs of Faith, razed to the ground, the edifice of the idol-house and broke the idols in a manly fashion.  He constructed on its site a suitable mosque, towering above the buildings of all. (1959-60, Pp. 64-66). The date of construction is mentioned as 1729-30 A.D. in the reign of the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah.

Destruction of Hindu Temples by Islamists is just tip of an iceberg

Though sites of demolished Hindu temples were mostly used for building mosques and idgahs, temple materials were often used in other Muslim monuments as well.  Archaeologists have discovered such materials, architectural as well as sculptural, in quite a few forts, palaces, maqbaras, sufi khanqahs, madrasas, etc.

In Srinagar, Kashmir, temple materials can be seen in long stretches of the stone embankments on both sides of the Jhelum.  Two inscriptions on the walls of the Gopi Talav, a stepped well at Surat, tell us that the well was constructed by Haidar Quli, the Mughal governor of Gujarat, in 1718 A.D. in the reign of Farrukh Siyar.

One of them says, “its bricks were taken from an idol temple.”  The other informs us that “Haider Quli Khan, during whose period tyranny has become extinct, laid waste several idol temples in order to make this strong building firm.” (1933-34, Pp. 37-44).

Literary Evidence

Literary evidence of Islamic iconoclasm vis-a-vis Hindu places of worship is far more extensive.  It covers a longer span of time, from the fifth decade of the 7th century to the closing years of the eighteenth.  It also embraces a larger space, from Transoxiana in the north to Tamil Nadu in the south, and from Afghanistan in the west to Assam in the east.  Marxist “historians” and Muslim apologists would have us believe that medieval Muslim annalists were indulging in poetic exaggerations in order to please their pious patrons.

Archaeological explorations in modern times have, however, provided physical proofs of literary descriptions.  The vast cradle of Hindu culture is literally littered with ruins of temples and monasteries belonging to all sects of Sanatana Dharma – Buddhist, Jain, Saiva, Shakta, Vaishnava and the rest.

Almost all medieval Muslim historians credit their heroes with desecration of Hindu idols and/or destruction of Hindu temples.  The picture that emerges has the following components, depending upon whether the iconoclast was in a hurry on account of Hindu resistance or did his work at leisure after a decisive victory:

  1. The idols were mutilated or smashed or burnt or melted down if they were made of precious metals.
  2. Sculptures in relief on walls and pillars were disfigured or scraped away or torn down.
  3. Idols of stone and inferior metals or their pieces were taken away, sometimes by cartloads, to be thrown down before the main mosque in (a) the metropolis of the ruling Muslim sultan and (b) the holy cities of Islam, particularly Mecca, Medina and Baghdad.
  4. There were instances of idols being turned into lavatory seats or handed over to butchers to be used as weights while selling meat.
  5. Brahmin priests and other holy men in and around the temple were molested or murdered.
  6. Sacred vessels and scriptures used in worship were defiled and scattered or burnt.
  7. Temples were damaged or despoiled or demolished or burnt down or converted into mosques with some structural alterations or entire mosques were raised on the same sites mostly with temple materials.
  8. Cows were slaughtered on the temple sites so that Hindus could not use them again.

Destruction of Hindu Temples by Islamists is just tip of an iceberg

The literary sources, like epigraphic, provide evidence of the elation which Muslims felt while witnessing or narrating these “pious deeds.”

A few citations from Amir Khusru will illustrate the point. The instances cited relate to the doings of Jalalud-Din Firuz Khalji, Alaud-Din Khalji and the letters of military commanders. Khusru served as a court-poet of sex successive sultans at Delhi and wrote a masnavi in praise of each.  He was the dearest disciple of Shaikh Nizamud-Din Awliya and has come to be honoured as some sort of a sufi himself.

In our own times, he is being hailed is the father of a composite Hindu-Muslim culture and the pioneer of secularism.  Dr. R. C. Majumdar, whom the Marxists malign as a communalist historian names him as a liberal Muslim.

  1. Jhain: “Next morning he (Jalalud-Din) went again to the temples and ordered their destruction.” While the soldiers sought every opportunity of plundering, the Shah was engaged in burning the temples and destroying the idols.
    There were two bronze idols of Brahma, each of which weighed more than a thousandmans.  These were broken into pieces and the fragments were distributed among the officers, with orders to throw them down at the gates of the Masjid on their return (to Delhi). (Miftah-ul-Futuh).
  2. Devagiri: “He (Alaud-Din) destroyed the temples of the idolaters and erected pulpits and arches for mosques” (Ibid.).
  3. Somanath:“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 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) (Tarikh-i-Alai).
  4. Delhi:“He (Alaud-Din) ordered the circumference of the new minar to be made double of the old one (Qutb Minar).”
    The stones were dug out from the hills and the temples of the infidels were demolished to furnish a supply. (Ibid.).
  5. Ranthambhor:“This strong fort was taken by the slaughter of the stinking Rai.  Jhain was also captured, an iron fort, an ancient abode of idolatry, and a new city of the people of the faith arose.”  The temple of Bahir (Bhairava) Deo and temples of other gods, were all razed to the ground. (Ibid.).Destruction of Hindu Temples by Islamists is just tip of an iceberg
  6. Brahmastpuri (Chidambaram):“Here he (Malik Kafur) heard that in Bramastpuri there was a golden idol. He then determined on razing the temple to the ground.”“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 idols called Ling Mahadeo, which had been established a long time at the place and on which the women of the infidels rubbed their vaginas for (sexual) satisfaction, these, up to this time, the kick of the horse of Islam had not attempted to break.  The Musulmans destroyed in the lings and Deo Narain fell down, and other gods who had fixed their seats there raised 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 had any legs to stand on.” (Ibid).
  7. Madura:“They found the city empty for the Rai had fled with the Ranis, but had left two or three hundred elephants in the temple of Jagnar (Jagannatha).  The elephants were captured and the temple burnt.” (Ibid.).
  8. Fatan: (Pattan):“There was another rai in these parts, a Brahmin named Pandya Guru; his capital was Fatan, where there was a temple with an idol in it laden with jewels.  The rai fled when the army of the Sultan arrived at Fatan. They then struck the idol with an iron hatchet, and opened its head.  Although it was the very Qibla of the accursed infidels, it kissed the earth and filled the holy treasury.” (Ashiqa).
  9. Malabar:(Parts of South India): “On the right hand and on the left hand the army has conquered from sea to sea, and several capitals of the gods of the Hindus, in which Satanism has prevailed since the time of the Jinns, have been demolished.  All these impurities of infidelity have been cleansed by the Sultan’s destruction of idol-temples, beginning with his first holy expedition to Deogir, so that the flames of the light of the Law (of Islam) illumine all these unholy countries, and places for the criers of prayers are exalted on high, and prayers are read in mosques.  Allah be praised!” (Tarikh-i-Alai).

The story of how Islamic invaders sought to destroy the very foundations of Hindu society and culture is long and extremely painful.  It would certainly be better for everybody to forget the past, but for the prescriptions of Islamic theology which remain intact and make it obligatory for believers to destroy idols and idol temples.

 

 

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History

Snakes and Ladders, Originated in Ancient India called Mokshapat or Moksha Patamu

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Snakes and Ladders, originated in ancient India called Mokshapat or Moksha Patamu

The board game, today called Snakes and Ladders, originated in ancient India, where it was known with the name Mokshapat or Moksha Patamu.

It’s not exactly known when or who invented it, though it’s believed the game was played at a time as early as 2nd century BC. According to some historians, the game was invented by Saint Gyandev.

Originally, the game was used as a part of moral instruction to children. The squares in which ladders start were each supposed to stand for a virtue, and those housing the head of a snake were supposed to stand for an evil. The snakes outnumbered the ladders in the original Hindu game. The game was transported to England by the colonial rulers in the latter part of the 19th century, with some modifications.

Through its several modifications over the decades, however, the meaning of the game has remained the same — ‘that good deeds will take people to heaven (Moksha) while evil deeds will lead to a cycle of rebirths in lower form of life (Patamu).

The modified game was named Snakes and Ladders and stripped of its moral and religious aspects and the number of ladders and snakes were equalized. In 1943, the game was introduced in the US under the name Chutes and Ladders.

Snakes and Ladders, originated in ancient India called Mokshapat or Moksha Patamu

The Game of Knowledge

Originally, the game of Snakes and Ladders was known variously as Gyan Chaupar (meaning ‘Game of Knowledge), Mokshapat, and Moksha Patamu, and was originally a Hindu game. Nobody knows for sure as to who invented this game, or when it was created.

It may be said that whilst the gameplay of Gyan Chaupar is the same as today’s Snakes and Ladders, the board and higher objective of the game may be said to be quite different. Like the modern Snakes and Ladders board, the number of squares in that of Gyan Chaupar may vary. One version of this board, for instance, contains 72 squares, whilst another has 100. A major difference between the traditional and modern versions is the fact that in the former, a virtue or a vice and the effects of these virtues and vices, or something neutral is placed within each box.

Gyan-Chaupar-board

For instance, in an Indian Gyan Chaupar board of 72 boxes, squares number 24, 44, and 55 have the vices of bad company, false knowledge, and ego respectively. As the game places great emphasis on karma, the Hindu principle of cause and effect, each vice (the snakes’ heads) has a corresponding effect. Thus, for the vices mentioned above, the corresponding effects are conceit or vanity, plane of sensuality, and illusion. On the other hand, the virtues of purification, true faith, and conscience are contained in squares number 10, 28, and 46, and these lead to heavenly plane, plane of truth, and happiness respectively. In this version of the board, the goal is to reach box number 68, which is the plane of Shiva.

Religious Teaching Tool

This game was so popular that it was also adopted and adapted by other religions that existed in the Indian subcontinent. It is known that Jain, Buddhist, and Muslim adaptations of the game exist, as the concepts of cause and effect, and reward and punishment, are common to them. For devout followers of these religions, the game may be played as a form of meditation, as a communal exercise, and even as part of one’s religious studies without the use of more conventional books or sermons.

Gyan-Chaupar-board

It may be added that many of the surviving game boards are works of art in their own right, as they contain elaborate illustrations of human figures, architecture, flora and fauna, etc. These boards were commonly made of painted cloth, and most of the extant ones date from after the middle of the18th century AD.

The Modern Game

The game of Gyan Chaupar became Snakes and Ladders towards the end of the 19 th century, when it was introduced to Great Britain by India’s colonial rulers. Whilst the original gameplay was maintained, its underlying philosophical message was greatly diminished. The religious virtues and vices were replaced by two-part cartoon dramas connected either by a snake or a ladder. Additionally, the number of snakes and ladders were equalized, whilst in the original ones, there were usually more snakes than ladders, which symbolizes the belief that it is far easier to fall prey to vice than to uphold virtue. From Great Britain, the game traveled to the United States, where it was introduced in 1943 by Milton Bradley as Chutes and Ladders.

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Telhara University – Older than Nalanda, Vikramshila Universities

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Telhara University - Older than Nalanda, Vikramshila Universities

It was a useful mound, no doubt. A good vantage point where villagers occasionally relieved themselves.

But who would have thought that deep beneath its golden brown earth would be stories of dynasties and empires that now suggest that this — Telhara, a village 33 km from the ruins of the more famous Nalanda University — could be ‘Tilas-akiya’ or ‘Tiladhak’, the place Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang visited and wrote about during his travels through India in 7th century AD? So far, there were only vague references but recent excavations at the mound suggest that Telhara was indeed an ancient university or seat of learning with seven monasteries.

 

The Bihar government has been calling the Telhara project one of its biggest after the excavations that unearthed Nalanda and Vikramshila universities. The excavation at Telhara should have happened earlier, say experts, but the site lost out to the more famous Nalanda.

The Telhara project that started on December 26, 2009, has so far come across over 1,000 priceless finds from 30-odd trenches — seals and sealing, red sandstone, black stone or blue basalt statues of Buddha and several Hindu deities, miniature bronze and terracotta stupas and statues and figurines that go back to the Gupta (320-550 AD) and Pala (750-1174 AD) empires. But the 2.6-acre mound has now thrown up the most tantalising find yet — evidence of a three-storied structure, prayer hall and a platform to seat over 1,000 monks or students of Mahayana Buddhism.

The terracotta monastery seals — a chakra flanked by two deers — unearthed at Telhara are similar to those at Nalanda, suggesting Telhara or Tiladhak was another great seat of learning besides Nalanda and Odantpuri during the Gupta and Pala reigns. It was the discovery of a similar monastery seal that clinched it for Nalanda University.

Telhara University - Older than Nalanda, Vikramshila Universities

Former Archaeological Survey of India director B S Verma, who between 1971 and ’81 supervised the excavation at the site of the ancient Vikramshila university, says, “Telhara or Tiladhak has much more convincing epigraphical proofs — monastery inscriptions — than Vikramshila. The findings that match Hiuen Tsang’s account do more to convince that the place was a university or mahavihara similar to Nalanda.”

In his book, The Antiquarian Remains in Bihar, historian D R Patil writes about Hiuen Tsang’s description of Telhara. “Hiuen Tsang describes Telhara or Tilas-akiya as containing a number of monasteries or viharas, about seven in number, accommodating about 1,000 monks studying in Mahayan. These buildings, he says, had courtyards, three-storied pavilions, towers, gates and were crowned by cupolas with hanging bells. The doors and windows, pillars and beams have bas relieves (sculptures in guilded copper). In the middle vihara is a statue of Tara Bodhisatva and to the right (is) one of Avlokiteshwar”.

Telhara University - Older than Nalanda, Vikramshila Universities

Other history books too talk of Tiladhak monastery, on the western side of Nalanda, as having four big halls and three staircases. It is said the mahavihara or university was built by one of the descendants of Magadha ruler Bimbisara. The monastery was decorated with copper and also had small copper bells that gently chimed in the breeze.

For months now, the excavation has been unearthing these stories. Apart from the mound that is now being dug up, Telhara has six other mounds — five of which have settlements and one which is partially elevated.

Atul Kumar Verma, director (archaeology) of the Bihar government’s Department of Art and Culture, says, “Since the excavations suggest that Telhara might have been a contemporary of Nalanda, it is quite possible that it was either an independent university for specialized education or that students graduating from Nalanda University would come here for specialized study. It is a great feeling to see the place emerging as the next big find after Nalanda. It has also aroused great curiosity and attracted even the likes of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.” Sen wrote in the visitors’ book: “What a wonderful site, really thrilling! And so skillfully excavated and restored.”

Telhara University - Older than Nalanda, Vikramshila Universities

 

“We have found the courtyard that might have been an extension of the platform Hiuen Tsang had described,” Nand Gopal, camp in-charge at the Telhara site, says, peering into his optical line meter that’s mounted on a tripod.

In more recent times, it was A M Broadley, then magistrate of Nalanda, who in 1872 wrote about “Tilas-akiya” as a university and site of learning. British army officer and archaeologist Sir Alexander Cunningham, who visited the place between 1872 and 1878, wrote about inscriptions describing “Teliyadhak” as a place that had seven monasteries and which matched Hiuen Tsang’s account. A statue of the 12-armed Avlokiteshwar Buddha found from a Tiladhak site is at the Indian Museum in Kolkata. Perhaps the best known Pala sculpture from Telhara is now in Rietberg Muzeum, Zurich.

Though there was this and more proof that Telhara could be sitting on a glorious past, it wasn’t until December 2009 that the excavations finally began. Telhara panchayat head Awadhesh Gupta claims to have been the one who got things started.

“We all knew Telhara was once a great seat of learning, but nobody did anything to prove it. In 1995, I approached the Congress government requesting that the place be excavated but got no assurance. When Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar visited the site in 2007, I put up this demand once again. The villagers were not happy with me. They thought I should have demanded something more concrete than just the digging of a mound.”

Telhara University - Older than Nalanda, Vikramshila Universities

But the mukhiya may have had the last laugh. Villagers now talk about Telhara being part of the Nalanda-Rajgir circuit and how that could bring them jobs and better opportunities. “We hope the site is conserved and clubbed with Nalanda to attract tourists. The site has already given temporary jobs to 70 villagers,” says Anil Kumar, a villager.

It was a useful mound, no doubt.

Experts associated with its excavation are now claiming that the university originated in the Kushan period.

 

Atul Kumar Verma said that in the recent excavation, archaeologists have found some bricks of very large size (42x36x6.5cm) substantiating that the university belonged to the Kushan period. “Bricks of the Kushan period were quite large from other dynasties, including the Gupta and Pala periods,” said Verma.

Earlier, the university was thought to come into existence in the Gupta period. The excavation work is going on at Telhara village, around 32km northwest of the Nalanda University ruins.

While the Kushan period is considered to be 1st century AD, the Gupta dynasty ruled from 3rd to 6th century AD.

MAJOR FINDINGS

SEALS AND SEALING

The recovery of over 100 terracotta seals and sealings from the Gupta and Pala periods provides strong evidence of this being a Buddhist university. Besides seals of the chakra flanked by two deers, other seals have inscription of Buddhist mantras. Seals of Gaj-Lakshmi and flying birds were also found. Some inscriptions that have not yet been deciphered would be sent to Mysore for deciphering.

PLATFORM, TEMPLES

Just above the ashen layer — said to be proof of Turkish general Bakhtiyar Khilji having destroyed the monastery — is the sanctum sanctorum of three Buddhist shrines, each measuring 3.15 square metres. A big platform, found just below this ashen layer, is said to have accommodated over 1,000 monks.

Telhara University - Older than Nalanda, Vikramshila Universities

CELLS FOR TEACHERS

The excavation has so far revealed 11 cells of 4 square meters each. It is believed that these were faculty quarters. There is evidence of bricks from the Gupta and Pala periods.

COPPER BELL CHIMES

The excavation revealed several broken pieces of small bells. Parts of molten copper also suggest that the monastery was well-decorated.

CAUTION INSCRIPTION

A stone inscription in Sanskrit (early Nagari script), probably written just before the destruction of the Tiladhak mahavihara, says, “He who tries to destroy this monastery is either a donkey or a bull”. Below the stone inscription are images of the two animals.

FASTING BUDDHA AND VOTIVE STUPA

A miniature terracotta image of a fasting Buddha from the Pala period is a rare find. A six-foot-tall votive stupa from the Pala period suggests the prevalence of Buddhism.

MAURYAN PERIOD

Bone tools and pottery shards of Northern Black Polished Ware points to this being a settlement in the Mauryan period.

STONE SCULPTURES

Among the over 15 stone sculptures found at the site are a red sandstone sculpture of Bodhisatva, Avlokiteshwar, Manjusri and the Buddha in his ‘earth witness’ mudra. A black stone statue of Buddha in abhay mudra (fearless mode) from the Pala period has been found. The red sandstone Bodhisatva sculpture is believed to be from the Gupta period. Some sculptures of Hindu deities such as Uma Maheshwar and Ganesh and Vishnu from the later Pala period were also found. The presence of a Yamantaka sculpture is evidence of Tantric Buddhism at the monastery.

 

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History

India’s first Islamic Mausoleum Was Built on Top of Ancient Hindu Temple

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India’s first Islamic Mausoleum was an ancient Hindu Temple

About 6 km west of Qutab Minar in Delhi, there lies a tomb called Sultan Ghari which is believed to be the final resting place of Prince Nasir’ud-Din Mahmud, the uncrowned eldest son of Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish of the Slave Dynasty built in 1231 AD.  It was the first Islamic Mausoleum built in India.

However, engraved symbols of animals, Shiva Linga and the Sanskrit inscriptions on ceiling tell a different tale altogether.  The beams of the octagonal crypt bear figures of Kamadhenu, the celestial cow and Varaha, the wild boar reincarnation of Lord Vishnu.  These two animals were a royal Hindu insignia and considering the ideology of Islam against idols and the immense hatred towards pigs, it is very unlikely that such statues would adorn the inside of a Muslim tomb.

About 6 km west of Qutab Minar in Delhi, there lies a tomb called Sultan Ghari which is believed to be the final resting place of Prince Nasir’ud-Din Mahmud, the uncrowned eldest son of Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish of the Slave Dynasty built in 1231 AD.  It was the first Islamic Mausoleum built in India.  

Iltutmish invaded eastern part of India in 1225 AD which resulted in signing of a treaty between him and Iwaz Khalji, the ruler of Eastern India.  After a few successive battles, Prince Nasiru’d-Din Mahmud was appointed governor of Lakhnauti province who later merged the province of Oudh with Bengal and Bihar, gaining him the title of “Malik-us-Sharq” (King of the East) by his father.

The Prince was killed in 1229 AD after a very short rule of 18 months.  Grieved by the death of his favourite son, Iltutmish commissioned the Sultan Ghari Tomb.  After Iltutmish’s death in 1236, his daughter, Razia Sultana ruled the kingdom until her defeat and death in 1240 AD.

About 6 km west of Qutab Minar in Delhi, there lies a tomb called Sultan Ghari which is believed to be the final resting place of Prince Nasir’ud-Din Mahmud, the uncrowned eldest son of Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish of the Slave Dynasty built in 1231 AD.  It was the first Islamic Mausoleum built in India.  

While ASI is pretty much silent on this matter, historians and archaeologists justify these carvings as new buildings being fashioned out of the debris of some Hindu buildings or that the workmen may have been Hindus and would have built the tomb in Hindu style.  Their arguments in favor of the tomb fail here because no building worth its name can be build out of old debris and no workman would even dare to fashion a building for which he is hired according to his taste rather than that of the owner’s.

The building is also of an octagonal shape which is another Hindu specialty.

Due to indifference or perhaps purposeful negligence by the government and ASI, we may never know the reality and history of this ancient Hindu temple.

About 6 km west of Qutab Minar in Delhi, there lies a tomb called Sultan Ghari which is believed to be the final resting place of Prince Nasir’ud-Din Mahmud, the uncrowned eldest son of Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish of the Slave Dynasty built in 1231 AD.  It was the first Islamic Mausoleum built in India.  

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Significance of Baisakhi / Vaisakhi

Views: 299 Baiskhi is also spelled ‘Vaisakhi’, and is a vibrant Festival considered to be an extremely important festival in...

Navaratri The Nine Divine Nights of Maa Durga! Navaratri The Nine Divine Nights of Maa Durga!
Fesitvals4 months ago

Navaratri: The Nine Divine Nights of Maa Durga!

Views: 395 – Shri Gyan Rajhans Navratri or the nine holy days are auspicious days of the lunar calendar according...

History of Vastu Shastra History of Vastu Shastra
Vaastu Shastra5 months ago

History of Vastu Shastra

Views: 474 Vastu Shastra (or short just Vastu) is the Indian science of space and architecture and how we may...

Significance of Bilva Leaf - Why is it dear to Lord shiva? Significance of Bilva Leaf - Why is it dear to Lord shiva?
Hinduism5 months ago

Significance of Bilva Leaf – Why is it dear to Lord shiva?

Views: 517 – Arun Gopinath  Hindus believe that the knowledge of medicinal plants is older than history itself, that it...

Concept of Time and Creation (‘Brahma Srishti’) in Padma Purana Concept of Time and Creation (‘Brahma Srishti’) in Padma Purana
Hinduism5 months ago

Concept of Time and Creation (‘Brahma Srishti’) in Padma Purana

Views: 608 Pulastya Maha Muni affirmed to Bhishma that Brahma was Narayana Himself and that in reality he was Eternal....

Karma Yoga - Yog Through Selfless Actions Karma Yoga - Yog Through Selfless Actions
Hinduism5 months ago

Karma Yoga – Yog Through Selfless Actions

Views: 683  Karma Yoga is Meditation in Action: “Karma” means action and “yoga” means loving unity of our mind with...

Four Sacrifices in Hinduism Four Sacrifices in Hinduism
Hinduism5 months ago

Four Sacrifices in Hinduism according to Bhagavad Gita

Views: 445 By Swami A Parthasarathy In the Bhagavad Gita, IV Chapter 28th Verse talks about four yajnas – the yajnas (yajna means sacrifice) of wealth, austerity,...

solar eclipse in rig veda solar eclipse in rig veda
Vedic Science6 months ago

Description of Solar Eclipse in the Rig Veda

Views: 725 India is rich not only in its culture and traditional values but also in the vast knowledge ancient...

Buddhist Concept of Heaven and Hell Buddhist Concept of Heaven and Hell
Buddhism6 months ago

Buddhist Concept of Heaven and Hell

Views: 553 The wise man makes his own heaven while the foolish man creates his own hell here and hereafter....

Vastu for Pooja Room in Home for Positive Energy Vastu for Pooja Room in Home for Positive Energy
Vaastu Shastra6 months ago

Vastu for Pooja Room in Home for Positive Energy

Views: 500 In the present times, Vastu Shastra is the most commonly used term, especially when it comes to purchasing...

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