(By Sir Jadu Nath
temple of Chintaman, situated close to Sarashpur, and built by Sitadas
jeweller, was converted into a mosque named 'Quwat-ul-Islam' by order of
the Prince Aurangzib, in 1645," (Mirat-i-Ahmadi, 232.) The 'Bombay Gazetteer',
vol. 1. pt. 1. p. 280, adds that he slaughtered a cow in the temple, but
Shah Jahan ordered the building to be restored to the Hindus.
and other 'parganas' of Gujrat in the days before my accession (many) temples
were destroyed by my order. They have been repaired and idol worship has
been resumed. Carry out the former order." 'Farman' dated 20 Nov., 1665.
of Satara near Aurangabad was my huntingground. Here on the top of the
hill stood a temple with an image of Khande Rail By God's grace I demolished
it, and forbade the temple dancers ('murlis') to ply their shameful trade,"--Aurangzib
to Bidar Bakht in 'Kalimat-i-Tayyibat, 7b'.
"It has been
decided according to our Canon Law that long standing temples should not
be demolished, but no new temple allowed to be built... Information has
reached our... Court that certain persons have harassed the Hindus resident
in Benares and its environs and certain Brahmans who have the right of
holding charge of the ancient temples there, and that they further desire
to remove these Brahmans from their ancient office. Therefore, our royal
command is that you should direct that in future no person shall in unlawful
ways interfere with or disturb the Brahmans and other Hindus resident in
those places."--Aurangzib's "Benares farman'' addressed to Abul Hasan,
dated 28th Feb., 1659, granted through the mediation of Prince Muhammad
Sultan. J. A. S. B. 1911, p. 689, with many mistakes notably about the
date, which I have corrected from a photograph of the 'farman'.
of Somnath was demolished early in my reign and idol worship (there) put
down. It is not known what the state of things there is at present. If
the idolaters have again taken to the worship of images at the place, then
destroy the temple in such a way that no trace of the building may be left,
and also expel them (the worshippers) from the place."--Letter of Aurangzib
in the last decade of his reign. Inayetullah's 'Ahkam', 10a; Mirat 372.
19 Dec., 1661.
Mir Jumia entered the city of Kuch Bihar, which had been evacuated by its
king and people, and "appointed Sayyid Md. Sadiq to be chief judge, with
directions to destroy all the Hindu temples and to erect mosques in their
stead. The general himself with a battle-axe broke the image of Narayan."--Stewart's
learning that in the temple of Keshav Rai at Mathura there was a stone
railing presented by Dara Shukoh, remarked, 'In the Muslim faith it is
a sin even to look at a temple, and this Dara had restored a railing in
a temple! This fact is not creditable to the Muhammadans. Remove the railing.'
By his order Abdun Nabi Khan (the faujdar of Mathura) removed it."--'Akhbarat',
9th year, sheet 7, (14 Oct., 1666).
20th Nov. 1665.
"As it has come to His Majesty's knowledge that some inhabitants of the
'mahals' appertaining to the province of Gujrat have (again) built the
temples which had been demolished by imperial order before his accession,...therefore
His Majesty orders that...the formerly demolished and recently restored
temples should be pulled down."--'Farman' given in 'Mirat', 273.
1669. "The Emperor ordered the governors of all the provinces to demolish
the schools and temples of the infidels and strongly put down their teaching
and religious practices."--'Masir-i-Alamgiri', 81. (De Graaf, when at Hughli
in 1670, heard of the order. Orme's'Frag'., 250.)
"Salih Bahadur, mace-bearer, was sent to pull down the temple of Malarna."--M.
2nd Sep. "News
came to Court that according to the Emperor's command, his officers had
demolished the temple of Vishwanath at Benares."--'lbid'., 88.
(This was "the
temple of Kirtti Visvesvara, at that time a modern shrine of Akbar's period."--Crooke's
"In this month of Ramzan, the religiousminded Emperor ordered the demolition
of the temple at Mathura known as the 'Dehra' of Keshav Rail His officers
accomplished it in a short time. A grand mosque was built on its site at
a vast expenditure. The temple had been built by Bir Singh Dev Bundela,
at a cost of 33 lakhs of Rupees. Praised be the God of the great faith
of Islam that in the auspicious reign of this destroyer of infidelity and
turbulence, such a marvellous and (seemingly) impossible feat was accomplished.
On seeing this (instance of the) strength of the Emperor's faith and the
grandeur of his devotion to God, the Rajahs felt suffocated and they stood
in amazement like statues facing the walls. The idols, large and small,
set with costly jewels, which had been set up in the temple, were brought
to Agra and buried under the steps of the mosque of Jahanara, to be trodden
upon continually."--'Ibid'., 95-96.
destroyed the Sitaramji temple at Soron; one of his officers slew the the
priests, broke the image, and defiled the sanctuary at Devi Patan in Gonda."--Crooke's
1670. "News came from Malwa that Wazir Khan had sent Gada Beg, a slave,
with 400 troopers, to destroy all temples around Ujjain. . .A Rawat of
the place resisted and slew Gada Beg with 121 of his men."--'Akhbarat',
13th year, sheet 17.
issued on all 'faujdars' of 'thanas', civil officers ('mutasaddis'), agents
of jagirdars, ~kroris', and tamias' from Katak to Medinipur on the frontier
of Orissa--The imperial paymaster Asad Khan has sent a letter written by
order of the Emperor, to say, that the Emperor learning from the newsletters
of the province of Orissa that at the village of Tilkuti in Medinipur a
temple has been (newly) built, has issued his august mandate for its destruction,
and the destruction of all temples built anywhere in this province by the
worthless infidels. Therefore, you are commanded with extreme urgency that
immediately on the receipt of this letter you should des troy the above-mentioned
temples. Every idol-house built during the last 10 or 12 years, whether
with brick or clay should be demolished without delay. Also, do not allow
the crushed Hindus and despicable infidels to repair their old temples.
Reports of the destruction of temples should be sent to the Court under
the seal of the 'qazis' and attested by pious Shaikhs."--'Muraqat-i-Abul
Hasan', (completed in 1670 A.D.) p. 202.
"In every 'pargana'
officers have come from the 'thanas' with orders from the Presence for
the destruction of idols."--A letter preserved in the Yasho-Madhav temple
of Dhamrai in the Dacca district, dated 27 June, 1672, and printed in J.
M. Ray's Bengali 'History of Dacca', i. 389.
was sent with a strong force to punish the Rajputs of Khandela and demolish
the great temple of that place." (M. A. 171.) "He attacked the place on
8th March 1679, and pulled down the temples of Khandela and Sanula and
all other temples in the neighbourhood." (M. A. 173.)
25 May 1679.
"Khan-i-Jahan Bahadur returned from Jodhpur after demolishing its temples,
and bringing with himself several cart-loads of idols. The Emperor ordered
that the idols,--which were mostly of gold, silver, brass, copper or stone
and adorned with jewels, should be cast in the quadrangle of the Court
and under the steps of the Jama Mosque for being trodden upon."--M. A.
"The grand temple in front of the Maharana's mansion (at Udaipur)--one
of the wonderful buildings of the age, which had cost the infidels much
money~was destroyed and its images broken." (M. A. 168.) "On 24 Jan. the
Emperor went to view the lake Udaisagar and ordered all the three temples
on its banks to be pulled down" (p. 188.) "On 29 Jan. Hasan All Khan reported
that 172 other temples in the environs of Udaipur had been demolished"
(p 189.) "On 22nd Feb. the Emperor went to look at Chitor, and by his order
the 63 temples of the place were destroyed" (p. 189.)
10 Aug. 1680.
Abu Turab returned to Court and reported that he had pulled down 66 temples
in Amber" (p. 194). 2 Aug. 1680. Temple of Someshwar in western Mewar ordered
to be destroyed.--'Adab', 287 a and 290 a.
On the capture of Golkonda, the Emperor appointed Abdur Rahim Khan as Censor
of the city of Haidarabad with orders to put down infidel practices and
(heretical) innovations and destroy the temples and build mosques on their
sites.--Khafi Khan, ii. 358-359.
Instances of Aurangzib's temple destruction at Ellora, Trimbakeshwar, Narsinghpur
(foiled by snakes, scorpions and other poisonous insects), Pandharpur,
Jejuri (foiled by the deity!) and Yavat tBhuleshwar) are given by K. N.
Sane in'Varshik Itibritta' for Shaka 1838, pp. 133-135.
1693. The Emperor
ordered the destruction of the Hateshwar temple at Vadnagar, the special
guardian of the Nagar Brahmans.--'Mirat', 346.
3rd April 1694.
"The Emperor learnt from a secret news-writer of Delhi that in Jaisinghpura
Bairagis used to worship idols, and that the Censor on hearing of it had
gone there, arrested Sri Krishna Bairagi and taken him with 15 idols away
to his house; then the Rajputs had assembled, flocked to the Censor's house,
wounded three footmen of the Censor and tried to seize the Censor himself;
so that the latter siet the Bairagi free and sent the copper idols to the
local subahdar."-Akhbarat, year 37, sheet 57.
Middle of 1698.
"Hamid-ud-din Khan Bahadur who had been deputed to destroy the temple of
Bijapur and build a mosque (there), returned to Court after carrying the
order out and was praised by the Emperor."--M. A. 396.
of a temple is possible at any time, as it cannot walk away from its place."--Aurangzib
to Zulfiqar Khan and Mughal Khan in K. T., 39a.
of this country (Maharashtra) are exceedingly strong and built solely of
stone and iron. The hatchetmen of the Government in the course of my marching
do not get sufficient strength and power (i.e., time) to destroy and raze
the temples of the infidels that meet the eye on the way. You should appoint
an orthodox inspector ('darogha') who may af terwards destroy them at leisure
and dig up their f oundations,"--Aurangzib to Ruhullah Khan in 'Kalimat-i-Aurangzib',
p. 34 of Rampur MS, and f.35a of I. O. L. MS. 3301.
1 Jan. 1705.
"The Emperor, summoning Muhammad Khalil and Khidmat Rai, the 'darogha'
of hatchet-men.... ordered them to demolish the temple of Pandharpur, and
to take the butchers of the camp there and slaughter cows in the temple
. . .It was done."--'Akhbarat', 49-7.