Tuesday, December 1, 2020
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

After Barkha Dutt failed to whitewash Khalistan supporter Deep Sidhu, Shekhar Gupta’s The Print picks up the pieces

Actor Deep Sidhu continues to refuse to call Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale a terrorist while he keeps participating in farmer protests

Father of Shehla Rashid files complaint against her saying she’s threatening him with life, accuses her of being involved in ‘notorious activities’

The father of the career-protestor-turned-politician Shehla Rashid claims the latter being involved in 'notorious activities'

Farmer group bats for ‘middlemen’, hails them as ‘service providers’ while scare-mongering about reforms in agriculture sector

Protesting farmers say that they are happy to pay commission to middlemen, claims new farm laws are not needed for their protection

What they never told you when they said India was the worst performing emerging economy

India’s economy contracted by 23.9%. For comparison, Brazil’s GDP contracted by 11.9% and Russia’s GDP by 8%. So, did they really do better than India?

Assam closes down temporary Covid-19 care centres, gears up to reopen elementary schools as pandemic gets under control

Assam has been witnessing reduced cases of Covid-19 with recovery rate of 98 per cent and the death rate of 0.46 per cent

Shiv Sena to organise Azaan recitation competition, party leader calls it as important as ‘Maha Aarti’

Shiv Sena is to bear the cost of the event and will also reward the contest winners.

Recently Popular

SFJ ads appear on YouTube offering $10m support for farmers, in return, wants Sikhs to join ‘Khalistan movement’: Details

Amid ongoing farmers’ protests in Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi, it is evident that Khalistani supporters have hijacked the protests and now, they are running ads on YouTube

Wife of late Wajid Khan writes on her sufferings in an inter-faith marriage, says anti-conversion law should be nationalised

Wife of late music composer Wajid Khan wrote how her husband and his family had been forcing her to convert to Islam after their marriage

Shiv Sena to organise Azaan recitation competition, party leader calls it as important as ‘Maha Aarti’

Shiv Sena is to bear the cost of the event and will also reward the contest winners.

Indian Idol contestant reveals how she faced opposition from conservative Muslim society as singing is ‘not allowed’

The Indian Idol contestant revealed how women in her society are looked down upon if they try to excel in any field.

Indian man proposes to his Australian girlfriend during Ind vs Aus cricket match, here is what happened next

While India's performance has been below par, netizens found happiness in the unusual proposal that became the highlight of the match.

His family called our children ‘illegitimate’ because I didn’t convert to Islam’: Late music composer Wajid Khan’s wife reveals

Wajid Khan's wife has stated to Times of India that the late music composer's family never accepted her wedding under the Special Marriages Act because she had refused to convert to Islam.

After Barkha Dutt failed to whitewash Khalistan supporter Deep Sidhu, Shekhar Gupta’s The Print picks up the pieces

Actor Deep Sidhu continues to refuse to call Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale a terrorist while he keeps participating in farmer protests

Pilibhit: 12-year-old boy escapes from madrassa alleging he was chained and tortured by his teacher

A 12-year-old boy was beaten by head of the Al-Jamiatul Razvia Madinatul Islam madrassa in Pilibhit after he tried to go home

Father of Shehla Rashid files complaint against her saying she’s threatening him with life, accuses her of being involved in ‘notorious activities’

The father of the career-protestor-turned-politician Shehla Rashid claims the latter being involved in 'notorious activities'

Private procurements from Adnai group helped eliminate middlemen and generate more income, reveals apple farmers from Himachal Pradesh

Apple Orchard manager Manjeet Singh Dhillon informed that Adani group had been purchasing apples from farmers since 2006.

Eight months after cutting water supply of migrants to drive them away in middle of pandemic, Arvind Kejriwal govt offers free water to protesting...

Delhi Jal Board VP and AAP MLA Raghav Chadha himself went to Burari to ensure water tankers are available for protesting farmers

‘Shaheen Bagh returns’: Netizens react as protesting ‘farmers’ served biryani at Ghazipur in New Delhi

Biryani at the ongoing farmers' protest brings back memories of the 'organic' Shaheen Bagh protests

Farmer group bats for ‘middlemen’, hails them as ‘service providers’ while scare-mongering about reforms in agriculture sector

Protesting farmers say that they are happy to pay commission to middlemen, claims new farm laws are not needed for their protection

Protests against farm laws are based on rumours and misinformation: PM Modi punctures holes in the propaganda surrounding farm laws

PM Modi noted, "The government is consistently addressing the fears and queries of farmers who are anxious about the government's decision."

Not ‘just a municipal election’, a defeat of TRS in the Hyderabad Municipal Elections will alter the political discourse of the state

Not just top BJP leaders, top TRS leaders are also campaigning hard for the GHMC elections, making it more than just a municipal election

Former PMO official from UPA era gets excited at ‘New Zealand MP supporting farmers,’ except that no MP from New Zealand supported

The former advisor to Manmohan Singh shared a Tweet by Canadian politician to claim that a 'New Zealand' MP is supporting the Punjab farmers' protest

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
491,416FollowersFollow
20,200SubscribersSubscribe