The foreign Muslim invaders were fundamentalists. They did everything in their capacity to persecute the local population and best way was to destroy the cultural heritage. The temples were the shining armour of Hinduism and it was perceived that if they were brought down, the faith of the people will be shaken.
Each of the Muslim ruler had in-house historians to write an account of the things that were happening. These historians were writing the history as-it-happened. So the reliability of such writings is more authentic than someone writing after say 300 to 1000 years later.
Sultan Shamsud-Din Altutmish (1210-36) in Tarikh-i-Mubarak Shahi of Yahya bin Ahmed bin Abdullah Sirhindi: After he conquered Ujjain and after demolishing the idol-temple of Mahakal, he uprooted the statue of Bikramajit together with all other statues.
Sultan Alaud-Din Khalij (1296-1316), in Tarikh-i-Firuz Shahi: Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan, with their large army marched against Gujarat. And the idol, under the name of Somnath was carried to Delhi where it was laid for the people to tread upon.
Now look at what Aurangzeb did during his rule and which is well documented.
25th May 1679: Khan-i-Jahan Bahadur returned from Jodhpur after demolishing it’s temples. These idols were cast in the quadrangle of the court and under the steps of Jama Mosque to tread upon.
January-February 1680: ‘The Grand Temple in front of the Maharana’s mansion (at Udaipur) was destroyed and it’s images broken.’
10th August 1680: Abu Turab returned to Court and reported that he pulled pulled down 66 temples in Amber.
For the temples in Maharashtra, Aurangzeb to Ruhullah Khan in Kalimat-i-Aurangzib:- The houses are built of stone and iron. My hatchet men do not get sufficient time to destroy and raze the temples of infidels. You should appoint an orthodox inspector (darogha) who may afterwards destroy them at leisure.
1st January 1705: The Emperor summoning Muhammead Khalil and Khidmat Rai and ordered them to demolish the temple of Pandharpur, and to take the butchers of the camp there and slaughter cows in the temple.
This chapter also mentions about the destruction of ‘Kashi Vishwanath Temple’ as narrated by “Saqi Mustad Khan in Maasir-i-Alamgir”.
All the instances of Aurangzeb’s temple destruction at Ellora, Trimbakeshwar, Narsinghpur, Pandharpur, Jejuri are chronicled by K.N. Sane, in Varshik Itivritta (वार्षिक इतिवृत्त).
However it is shocking that in spite of such documented evidence, we have seen desperate attempts to cover-up such destruction by one way or the other and persecutors like Alauddin Khalji (Khilji) or Aurangzeb as secular.
#Aurangzeb #TempleDestruction #Pandharpur # KashiVishwanath