Reclaiming Hindu Masjids and Restoring National Pride

Arnold Toynbee, the distinguished British historian, associated a place of worship with national honour when in 1960 he had come to Delhi to deliver the Maulana Azad Memorial Lecture. He expressed great surprise that Aurangzeb’s mosque in Varanasi was still there. He felt that it should have been removed and illustrated the issue with a Polish example. In 1817, when the Russians conquered Warsaw, they converted the city’s main church from a Catholic to an Orthodox place of worship, merely to humiliate the Poles. When in 1918 Russia had lost in World War I and Poland became independent, the Poles retaliated by demolishing the Orthodox church and replacing it with a Roman Catholic one. That was for national honour, said Toynbee.

We need to treat reclaiming temples as a national pride and not religious issue. Although Ram Janmabhumi temple reclamation is now happening through Supreme Court judgement from a title suit approach, this is not the right way. The government of India need to take steps to take control and reclaim temples of most if not all the forty thousand temples currently under the term “Hindu Masjids”.

Some of the major such Hindu masjids that need to be converted back to temples are:

Gyanvapi Mosque over Old Kashi Viswanath Temple (Varanasi)

The earlier temple structure and the new mosque built on top by bigot Aurangazeb

Shahi Eidgah over Keshavdev Temple (Mathura)

The Idgah, Mathura. This has been built on the ruins of Keshav Deo temple destroyed by bigot Aurangazeb.

Bhojshala (Dhar, MP)

The mosque was built primarily from temple pillars and parts around 1390 CE, while the original tomb of Kamal al-Din Malawi (c. 1238-1330) is older.
The pillars and other architectural parts date to the 12th century, with the different designs showing they are re-cycled from a variety of buildings.

Juma Masjid over Rudra Mahalaya Temple (Patan, Gujarat)

Also known as Rudramal, is a destroyed/desecrated temple complex at Siddhpur in the Patan district of Gujarat, India. This Hindu temple was destroyed by the Sultan of Delhi, Alauddin Khalji, and later the Sultan of Gujarat, Ahmed Shah I (1410–44) desecrated and substantially demolished this temple, and also converted part of it into the congregational mosque (Jami Masjid) of the city.
Its construction was started in 943 AD by Mularaja and completed in 1140 AD by Jayasimha Siddharaja, the rulers of the Chaulukya dynasty.

Adina Mosque over Adinath Temple (Pandua, West Bengal)

It was built by Sikandar Shah in 1358-90 CE over a massive Shiva temple. The gateways and walls of the mosque show remnants of the temple. One stone slab displays Ganesha and another Nataraja.

Jama Masjid over Bhadrakali Temple (Ahmedabad)

The Jama Masjid was built over the Bhadrakali Temple by Ahmed Shah I in 1424 CE.
Intricate carvings of typical Hindu temples are all around for everyone to see. Carvings of flowers, creepers, mandalas, elephants, coiled serpents, apsaras, bells are found on the 100 odd surviving pillars.

Deval Masjid over Jain temple (Nizamabad)

Deval Masjid located in Buswatarag Nagar, Bodhan, Nizamabad was a Jain temple built during the 9th and 10th century by the Rashtrakuta king Indra III.
During the invasion by Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq in the Deccan, this temple was converted into a mosque.


  1. We don’t need to take examples of Europe or other regions around the world.
    Where a religious place is converted to another.

    Please share insights on indian culture and history of similar so said reclaiming that happened in India.

    And secondly we don’t need to take the routes of Aurengazab.

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