Sunday, July 15, 2007

Aurangzeb -- As he was according to Mughal Records -- Part X -- Defence of Jagannath Rai Temple

The sketch portrays a famous incident in the history of Mewar which had come out in open support of the Rathors of Marwar, then fighting for the very survival of their state (Jodhpur) which Aurangzeb had resumed with darkes of intentions. Was was on and when the Maharan and his people evacuated Udaipur and withdrew to the mountains and valleys of Mewar.

In front of the Maharana's palace was the grand temple of Jagannath Rai, which was one of the rarest of buildings of the age. It was built by Maharana Jagat Singh at a cost of several lakhs of Rupees. The prastishtha ceremony of the temple was held on the 13th May 1652. It was a Vishnu Panchyatan temple in which the temples of Siva., Ganapath, Surya and Devi were in the four directions in the parikrama and the main temple of Vishnu in the centre. Ruhill Khan and Vakka Taz Khan were sent to demolish it. Saqi Mustaad Khan writes in Maasir-i-Alamgiri. Twenty marchator Rajputs were sitting in the temple vowed to give up their lives, first one them came out to fight killed some and was then himself slain. Then came out another and so on until every one of the twenty perished after killing a large number of the imperialists. After the last brave Rajput had fallen the Muslim troops entered the temple and the hewers broke the image

Aurangzeb orders cart loads of idos brought from Jodhpur to be cast under the steps of Jama Masjid (May 1679)

On Sunday the 24 Rabi TT / 25th May 1679, Khan Jahan Bahadur came from Jodhpur after demolishing the temples and bringing with himself some cart loads of idols, and had audience of the emperor who highly praised him and ordered that the idols which were mostly jewelled, golden, silvery, bronze, copper or stone should be cast in the yard (jilaukhanah) of the court and under the steps of Jama Masjid to be trodden on. They remained so for sometime and at last their very names were lost.

Note: There was no limit to the uncivilized conduct of the Muslim troops in Marwar during the war which started in 1679 following the resumption of Marwar. Aurangzeb's handling of the situation after the death of Maharaja Jaswant Singh in the Kabul Subah in 1679, rekindled in his heart the dormant fire of vengeance towards the Maharaja, and his whole plan was to eliminate the Rathors as a major power in Rajputana. The treatment of the idols brought from the temples of Marwar showed the level of degradation to which people can descend under the influence of religious rigour, but for an emperor whose majority of the subjects respected and worshipped these idols, it was an unpardonable act and reflected poorly on his religious beliefs.

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