Aurangazed and Islamic compassion-III

Tuesday, 11 March, 2008 , 02:54 PM

Unfortunately, we the citizens of Hindustan have had to suffer a continuous history of
conquests and foreign rule for over seven centuries. It will take long time for the Hindu mindset to be raised from servitude to mastery.


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Gobind Dev temple whose top half was beheaded by urangzeb and the rest converted into a mosque.  (Photo graph: March, 2001)

Hindus can move faster if they have an understanding of their history. It would then be feasible to diagnose the slavery complex of the helpless Hindus of India and more particularly that haunts the upper fringes of Hindu society.  Among the intelligentsia, there are many anti-Hindu Hindus. That is why Shri. Prafull Goradia in his great work HINDU MASJIDS asks this sharp question: ‘If the upper echelon of society is embarrassed about its collective identity, namely Hindu, how can the society regain its pride and self-confidence?


Islamic iconoclasm has been the major misfortune of Hindustan from 800 AD to 1800 AD.  Hindu Temples, by the hundred, if not by the thousand, were desecrated and then converted into Mosques and dargahs. Or, they were destroyed and their rubble was used to build Mosques. In all cases, the Hindu Deities were buried under Mosque entrances so that they could easily be trampled upon by those who came to offer prayers. How the Islamic iconoclasts deliberately wounded Hindu sentiments for centuries and how much they traumatized the indigenous Hindu Civilization can only be a matter of conjecture. But the large scale destruction of Hindu Temples by Muslim Rulers as a matter of high State Policy is a solid fact.  According to our Islam-embracing, Christianity-coveting and Hindu-hating, pseudo-secular anti-National Politicians and disgraceful Members of Parliament belonging to the Congress, Communist, RJD, DMK and other Political Parties, this act of temple destruction indeed brought out Islamic culture and human compassion at its noblest. 

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Aurangaze bofficers destroying the Keshavarai Temple at Mathura in 1669-1970. In its place a lofty Mosque erected.

Prafull Goradia gives this interesting account of how The Gobind Dev Temple in Mathura was beheaded in order to assuage the ego of that most compassionate of Mughal Rulers called Aurangazeb. The temple today is 55 feet tall. Before its upper part was destroyed on Aurangazeb’s orders in anticipation of his visit to Vrindavan in 1670 AD, the Mandir (temple) was reputed to be twice that height. On its roof, after the destruction, a Mehrab or Prayer Hall was erected and the iconoclastic Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb offered namazz. About two centuries later, FS Growse, who belonged to the Bengal Civil Service and was Collector and District Magistrate of Mathura District, had the Mehrab removed. Prafull Goradia describes this act of FS Growse as ‘SHUDDHI BY British’.  Growse had two reasons for ordering the removal of Mehrab.  First, because it was an eyesore, and second, it was a public-spirited endeavour to redeem whatever original character was left of the temple two centuries after Aurangazeb’s savage act of its destruction. Although the original idol remained at Jaipur, another set of deities was installed by the pujaris or priests. Since then, the temple has had a flat roof.  Probably, no other desecrated temple had been the subject of so much repair and refurbishment by British Rulers.  Of supreme importance was the fact of the temple (Mandir) being resituated to Hindu devotees by FS Growse.  As Prafull Goradia   puts it: ‘It was the greatest act of Shuddhi or purification performed much before Swamy Dayananda Saraswathi re-introduced Vedic procedures.  Growse therefore deserves a place in the Hall of Hindutva’.  

The Gobind Dev Temple at Vrindavan, Mathura, is indeed massive.  Its plinth is 105 feet by 117 feet.  It is estimated that the original height was about 110 feet without which it would not have been possible to see the mashaal or torch either from Agra or from Delhi.  This temple was built in 1590 AD by Maharaja Maan Singh of Jaipur.  Fortunately, the idol of Sri Krishna or Gobind had been removed to Jaipur by the Pujarist in anticipation of Aurangazeb’s proposed visit for destroying that temple in 1670 AD.  The roof of this magnificent temple was destroyed by Aurangazeb and in its place a Mehrab (Prayer Hall) was constructed as illustrated in the photograph in History of Indian and Eastern Architechture by James Fergusson.  Aurangazeb himself inaugurated this Mehrab by offering Prayers. 


Let me now describe in some detail how this great temple was destroyed by Aurangazeb and his Officers. All except two statuettes were defaced, including the one at the door of what is now the temple, after crossing the foyer hall.  The destruction was not confined to the upper floors.  It extended to the hundreds of defaced statuettes that even today adorn the temple walls outside as well as inside, the ceilings or doors. The iconoclasts (Aurangazeb and his henchmen) overlooked two small statuettes, one of Lord Sri Krishna and the other of Radha, on the outside of the left wall as one faces the temple.


An American Historian of Indian Architecture, George Mitchell, has concluded that the original sanctum sanctorum was destroyed.  To quote his exact words: ‘Once the garbhagriha has been turned down, there was little point in further wreckage….It seems to me that only those with some understanding of the ritual significance of the garbhagriha would have been capable of desecrating a temple in this careful manner.’

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 The beheaded Gobind Dev Temple in Mathura turned Mosque with a Mehrab (Prayer Hall) on top built for humanist Aurangazeb to pray.  Reproduced from History of Indian and Eastern Architecture by James Fergusson, John Murray, London, 1899.  The above Mehrab was removed by F.S. Growse, District Collector and Magistrate, Mathura District after 1870.

Prof  R Nath in his History of Mughal Architecture (1985) introduces the subject of the Gobind Dev Temple by quoting Aurangazeb’s Decree of April 1669 which said “Eager to establish Islam (Aurangazeb) issued orders to the Governors of all the Provinces to demolish the Schools and Temples of the Hindu infidels and with the utmost urgency put down the teaching and the public practice of these disbelievers. The great Temple of GOBIND DEV FELL A VICTIM TO ICONOCLASTIC VANDILSM WITHIN A YEAR OF THE DECREE.  ITS INNER SANCTUM AND ITS SUPERSTRUCTURE WERE ALMOST ENTIRELY DESTROYED.  THE MAIN HALL WAS ALSO DAMAGED. SCULPTED FIGURES ON THE DVARASAKHA WERE LITERALLY DEFACED’.

 What made Aurangazeb and his Islamic marauders destroy this beautiful Temple in Vrindavan in Mathura? FS Growse gave an answer in his article in Calcutta Review in 1882: ‘Aurangazeb had often remarked about a very bright light shining in the far distant south east horizon and in reply to his enquiries regarding it, was told that it was a light burning in a temple of great wealth and magnificence at Vrindavan.  He accordingly resolved that it should be put out and soon after some troops were sent to  the place who plundered and threw down as much of the temple as they could and then erected on the top of the ruins a Mosque wall where, in order to complete the desecration, the Emperor is said to have offered up his Prayers.’

  Aurangazeb’s Islamic ego was thus gratified. According to James Fergusson, very unfortunately for the Hindus of India and the artistic heritage of al civilized mankind, this act of wanton destruction of Gobind Dev Temple at Mathura took along with it one of the most elegant Temples in India. What did Growse have to say about this?  He said ‘I should myself have thought that solemn are imposing was a more appropriate term than elegance for so massive a building and that the suggestions that might be derived from its study were many rather than few.’

According to Prafull Goradia a number of motives have been attributed to the Islamic Invaders who desecrated or destroyed Hindu Temples, looting its treasures, subduing the populace by arousing dread, informing the area that an Islamic Sultan had replaced the Hindu Raja. There is, however, no other instance of a temple being desecrated because it defied the ego of an Emperor.

About janamejayan

A Viraat Hindu dedicated to spread the message of Paramacharya of Kanchi
This entry was posted in appeasing the Muslims, corruption India, Indian Mullahs on rampage, Islamic Terrorism, Tamilnadu, The farce of Indian Secularism. Bookmark the permalink.

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