Friday, June 25, 2021
Home Variety Culture and History Notre Dame deserves to be mourned, but spare a thought for India's own temples...

Notre Dame deserves to be mourned, but spare a thought for India’s own temples that bore the onslaught of invaders

A country is what its history, art and culture depict and cultivates; and in the events of monumental destructions, the future generations run a risk of forgetting its roots and the vast source of knowledge its ancestors possessed

The world is abuzz with viral pictures, videos and articles on the devastating fire that engulfed and destroyed Notre Dame in Paris. Although, it is claimed by the authorities that the main structures have been preserved, yet it has been a severe blow to the history of France, as the structure stood witness to 850 years of all what happened to France. When a historical monument is harmed, it is not just the damage to the structure, but a massive blow to the culture, heritage and sometimes to even the civilization.

India is no exception to many of historical monuments loss, by accident or for wars. Below are listed a few of the structures within present India which have undergone massive destructions. While Notre Dame is being mourned by the world, these structures and the travesty heaped upon them has been conveniently forgotten by most:

  • Somnath Temple in Gujarat has been desecrated and rebuilt multiple times in history, most notably by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1024 AD who looted and plundered the wealth, killing thousands of people. After reconstruction by Kumarapala, it was ransacked again by Alauddin Khilji’s army led by Ulugh Khan. Zafar Khan during Delhi Sultanate in 1395, Portuguese in 1546 and Aurangzeb in 1665 destroyed the temple and was finally reconstructed in its present state in independent India under the orders of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
  • Martand Temple in Kashmir with its beautiful Kashmiri architecture was built in the 8th century and was completely destroyed on the orders of Sikandar Butshikan in the early 15th century. The invasion not only destroyed the structure but also paved way for the cultural and demographical obliteration of Hindus there. The present day ruins were the background sets of the song ‘Bismil’ in the Bollywood movie ‘Haider’.
  • Shaniwar Wada in Pune which was the seat of the Maratha power in India in the 17th century caught fire in 1828 under British rule. The conflagration destroyed all the rich cultural heritage of the Peshwas rule that included Juna Arsa Mahal, Mastani Mahal and a thousand jet fountain in the shape of Lotus. What now remains is just the plinth structure and the main gate known as Dilli Darwaza.
  • Warangal Fort in present Telanganain its days of glory stood witness to the prosperity of Kakatiya dynasty but was raided by Malik Kafur, and subsequently by Muhammad bin Tughluq. There is nothing left now but ruins. The seized Koh-i-Noor passed on to rulers and is now the most magnificent jewel on the crown of the British Queen.
  • Nalanda University in Bihar attracted scholars from as a far as China and Korea during Magadha dynasty rule. But the whole university was raided and millions of books were burnt by Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193. The ruined university which produced legends as Aryabhatta, Dharmapala and Nagarjuna were later excavated during British rule. But with the University gone, we lost vast reserves of knowledge and wisdom accumulated in centuries. One can never predict the scientific advancement India would have achieved had this University allowed to function.
  • Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi was demolished several times by various rulers and raiders in the history notably by Qutub-ud-din Aibak in 1194, Sikandar Lodhi and by Aurangzeb in 1669 who replaced it with Gyanvapi Mosque which still stands and is a testimony to the brutal assault to the holy religious site. It was in 1780 that Ahilyabai Holkar from Indore constructed the present day temple at land adjacent to the mosque.
  • Gauda in Bengalis now a ruined city on India Bangladesh boundary which stood out for its unique architectural design and rich cultural heritage of Pala and Sena dynasty. Being sacked by Sher Shah in 1539 and Akbar in 1575 subsequently led to the complete devastation of the city. Since then it has been an almost overgrown jungle and the rich cultural heritage was lost.

These are just some of the structures that have been desecrated in Indian history and there have been many more. A country is what its history, art and culture depict and cultivates; and in the events of monumental destructions, the future generations run a risk of forgetting its roots and the vast source of knowledge its ancestors possessed. Nations and citizens must therefore take great care in the preserving these historic monuments, for they are not just places of tourism but channels of wisdom for our future.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Anand Walunjkar
After taking the CAT exam 3 times without success, Anand turned on the IT industry and now resides in Toronto. His aim is to write a 300 page novel, but for now he just about manages to churn out 3 page articles

Related Articles

Trending now

Delhi govt exaggerated its oxygen demand by 4 times while other states were suffering: SC appointed audit panel finds

The Supreme Court-appointed oxygen audit team has exposed the Delhi government's claims of Oxygen shortage in the national capital, saying that the Delhi government had exaggerated the oxygen requirement in Delhi by more than four times during the second wave of the pandemic even as many states were facing a supply constraint.

FIR filed against ‘The Wire’ in Barabanki mosque demolition case, had spread fake news about police throwing Quran and Hadiths in the drain

Uttar Pradesh police have registered an FIR against the far-left propaganda portal - The Wire - for spreading fake news and creating hate

‘Badly Photoshopped?’ Photographs of Captain Amarinder Singh meeting officers of Sikh Regiment raise questions

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh shared photos of him meeting Sikh Regiment officers, however the photos show signs of digital editing

Want to remove ‘Dilli ki Duri’ and ‘Dil Ki Duri’, delimitation must be completed before assembly polls: Says PM Modi in meeting with Kashmir...

PM Narendra Modi conducted the first ever meeting with Jammu and Kashmir leaders since the scrapping of Article 370 in 2019

Fatehpur: Teacher says conversion racket leaders regularly visit her school to convert Hindus, made the school teach Namaz to non-Muslim toddlers

Fatehpur Teacher says kindergarten students are being taught Urdu, Arabic and Namaz on instructions of conversation racket leader

Despite all the ‘Virat Hindu’ noises Subramanian Swamy has been making, here is why I can’t trust him

Subramanian Swamy, who has been masquerading as a 'Virat Hindu', left several political dead bodies in his path while reaching the top

Recently Popular

Despite all the ‘Virat Hindu’ noises Subramanian Swamy has been making, here is why I can’t trust him

Subramanian Swamy, who has been masquerading as a 'Virat Hindu', left several political dead bodies in his path while reaching the top

‘Is your father a mali or chowkidar? I will cancel your license, H*r*m*zade’: Maneka Gandhi threatens vets in viral audios

The Indian Veterinary Association in a letter have condemned the unruly behavior and unparliamentary language used by Maneka Gandhi against animal doctors.

Karnataka: Muslim family kills their own daughter and her Hindu lover in front of the boy’s mother

The 19-year-old Basavaraj Madivalapaa Badiger, an autorickshaw driver at Saladahalli village, and his 18-year-old lover Davalbi Bandagisab Tambad, a resident of the neighbouring Khanapur, were allegedly murdered by the father and other family members of the girl.

Subramanian Swamy gets desperate as rumours of cabinet reshuffle gain ground: Hubris and delusions

With rumours gaining ground that there might be a cabinet shuffle on the cards, Subramanian Swamy has now started hankering

‘We have to clap like hijras?’ AAP leader’s video insulting Brahmins and Hindu rituals goes viral

An old video where AAP leader Gopal Italia insults Satyanarayan, Bhagwad Kathas as 'useless things' has now gone viral.

Former IFS officer Lakshmi M Puri sends legal notice to Congress supporter Saket Gokhale for misleading allegations against her

Alleged activist and Congress mouthpiece Saket Gokhale made baseless allegations against Lakshmi M Puri, wife of Hardeep Singh Puri
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

255,564FansLike
555,679FollowersFollow
24,400SubscribersSubscribe