#SomnathSeries : The last destruction of Somnath temple and Gujarat under Aurangzeb

Somnath Series by Japan K Pathak

Japan-PathakIn this series, I intend to cater various articles on Somnath temple, covering the period between its last destruction and final reconstruction. The first article of this series covers the last destruction of Somnath temple under the rule of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Those interested in further reading can also go through the latter half of the article which is about Gujarat under Aurangzeb. References  are checked and rechecked before putting in this article.  Primarily I have just connected all relevant authentic facts already present in various chronicles and books, in order. To clear any doubts or to obtain more details, you can reach me at my email address japanpathak [at] deshgujarat [dot] com.

Article – one

The Somnath temple, formerly of wood, was built of stone by Bhimadeva, and fully restored by Kumarpala. It was often sacked by the Muhammadans, particularly in 1297 and 1394 – the last attack being very destructive. Even though the Muslim regime was very much in place, the Somnath temple, demolished earlier by invaders had lately started witnessing worship activities since 1568 AD, but that all only till Aurangzeb came to power.

Prince Aurangzeb as Governor of Gujarat

Born in small town Dahod in eastern Gujarat, prince Aurangzeb – the son of then ruler Shah Jahan was appointed Governor of Gujarat province (in 1645-46 AD) at the age of  27. Aurangzeb stayed on this post for a period of less than or around two years.

Any ruler in history is remembered for some highlighting point of his rule. If we go through the details of Aurangzeb’s short tenure as Governor of Gujarat, the only highlighting point we are able to find is  a  demolition of Jain temple in Ahmedabad by him.

According to the French traveler Jean de Thévenot (1666) and Mirat-i-Ahmadi, Aurangzeb (in 1645) caused a slaughter of cow in Chintamani Parshwanath Jain temple in Ahmedabad and demolished it. The temple was located close to Saraspur area of city. It was built in 1625 by  a prominent Jain businessman Shantidas Jhaveri. Aurangzeb replaced this temple with a new mosque which was named  as  ‘Quwwat-ul-Islam’ which means ‘might of Islam’ or ‘glory of Islam’. Somnath-Temple-Destruction copy

It is interesting to note here that around 450 years ago in 1193 AD, Turkish invader Qutabuddin Aibak had demolished 27 Hindu and Jain temples and built the first mosque of Delhi which was also named as ‘Quwwat-ul-Islam’.  This mosque exists even today at Qutub Minar fame Qutb complex in Delhi(Qutub minar – the tourist attraction was by-the-way built as a tower of victory, celebrating the Muslim conquest of India). Aurangzeb had been a student of history. Did Qutb-ud-din Aibak’s  450-year old action in Delhi inspire Aurangzeb to do the same in Ahmedabad?  After all in both cases, Jain temples were sacrificed, mosques were built as replacement using ruins of Jain temples and same name was given to both new mosques!

In any case, Chintamani Parshwanath was not the only temple that was demolished by Aurangzeb in Gujarat in those years.  In 1665 as emperor of Mughal Sultanate in Delhi, Aurangzeb in his farman mentioned, ‘In Ahmadabad and other parganas of Gujarat in the days before my accession(as a ruler of Mughal sultanate in Delhi) (many) temples were destroyed by my order…’

Historian Jadunath Sarkar believed the temples demolished by Aurangzeb during his Gujarat tenure were probably new constructions. Jadunath noted this in reference to  a charter granted to a priest of Benaras by Aurangzeb in the first year of his reign as emperor in which Aurangzeb avowed that his religion forbade him to allow the building of new temples, but did not enjoin the destruction of old ones. Also in an order issued early in his reign , local officers in every town and village of Orissa from Katak to Medinapur were called upon by Aurangzeb to pull down all temples including even clay huts, built during the last 10 or 12 years, and to allow no old temple to be repaired.

So Aurangzeb’s early approach was such that only new or recently built temples should be demolished and old temples should not be allowed to undergo repair.

Late historian Shambhuprasad Harprasad Desai however notes that ‘as Governor of Gujarat, Prince Aurangzeb had issued an order to stop worship at Somnath temple. In AD 1646 Shahjahan called him to Delhi (September 1646 to say precisely) and therefore Aurangzeb’s order could not be fully executed. Due to wish of local officials or for any other reason, worship at Somnath mandir continued’. Desai has not mentioned a source of this particular detail related to Somnath. This detail is not found in any chronicle.

Aurangzeb as Emperor of Mughal Sultanate

After imprisoning his  father Shah Jahan, Prince Aurangzeb became Padshah(emperor) of Mughal empire in Delhi in AD 1658 and killed his brothers.

An order issued by Aurangzeb  dated 20th November 1665 which as per Desai triggered an attack on Somnath temple reads, ‘as it has come to His Majesty (Aurangzeb)’s knowledge that some inhabitants of the mahal pertaining to the province of Gujarat have (again) built the temples which had been demolished by imperial order before his accession(his coming to power in Delhi),… therefore His Majesty(Aurangzeb) orders that … the formerly demolished and recently restored temples should be pulled down.’

Somnath temple was not mentioned in this order in specific, but there was no exception for Somnath too.

In the 12th year of his reign (9th April 1669) Aurangzeb issued another general order  ‘to demolish all the schools(run by infidels) and temples of the infidels and to put down their religious teaching and practices.’

Jadunath Sarkar notes: Aurangzeb destroying hand now fell on the great shrines that commanded the veneration of the Hindus all over India, – such as the second temple of Somnath built by the pious zeal of Bhimdeva soon after the destruction of the older and more famous one at the hands of Mahmud of Ghazni, the Vishwanath temple of Benaras, and the Keshav Rai temple of Mathrua.

last destruction of SomnathDesai in his books ‘Prabhas anne Somnath’ and ‘Pitrutarpan’ describes what happened next to Somnath temple following Aurangzeb’s order: “Local Muslims when came to know about Aurangzeb’s order directing vandalization of idols and closure of temples, tried to implement it with the help of a (local) official named Muhammad Afzal. One day, Muhammad’s troupes and local Muslims together attacked Somnath temple and started dismantling it. As soon as this news spread among Hindus, Desais, Brahmins, Mahajans etc rushed to the spot and asked Muslims not to do this. One Muslim official named Malek Zia insulted Hindus and slaughtered a cow in response. He killed a Brahmin and one priest too. Agitated Desai Ganpat Sarangdhar killed Malek Zia followed by attack on Muslims by Hindus. A clash erupted in Somnath Mandir itself. As the Muslims realized they had fewer armed soldiers, and entire town had stood up against them, they left the place. Hindus conducted cremation of dead bodies at Triveni( a ghaat nearby). Hindus were very well aware of the fact that this incident would result into even bigger attack. Then arrived Fauzdar Sardarkhan who brought an end to turmoil but destroyed the dome and vandalized the Somnath temple.”

This episode above narrated by Desai (I have translated it from Gujarati) in his two books published in the last century doesn’t appear to have basis in any chronicle. Desai was from Prabhas Pattan (Somnath) and Junagadh. He also worked as government official in  Somnath. His father Harprasad Desai was very prominent person locally. Desai might have sourced the details of  the last destruction of Somnath temple described above locally.


Specific order to destroy the Somnath temple

In AD 1704, Aurangzeb when in the last phase of his life issued second order and said, “The temple 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 idolators 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 worshipers) from the place.”

In reference to this order Jadunath Sarkar writes: ‘Neither age nor experience of life softened Aurangzeb’s bigotry. When an old man of over eighty, we find him inquiring whether the Hindu worship, which he had put down at Somnath early in his reign, had been revived through the slackness of the local governor, and, again telling one of his generals to take his own time in destroying a certain famous temple in the Deccan, as ‘it had no legs to wak away on’.’

Aurangzeb-SomnathGoing through the last order of Aurangzeb, it appears that Aurangzeb had no information regarding whether worship in Somnath was actually going on or not.

Desai believed, this order was not worth implementing. Aurangzeb’s wish to destroy Somnath Mandir – in such a way that no sign is left – didn’t materialize. Aurangzeb died in AD 1707.

Kanaiyalal Munshi in his assumption slightly defers to Desai. Munshi in his book ‘Somanatha – the shrine eternal’ writes: ‘In 1701, Prince Mohammad Azam, the 39th Viceroy of Gujarat, was ordered by Emperor Aurangzeb to destroy the temple of Somanatha ‘beyond possibility of repairs.’ This dispatch refers to a similar order issued at the beginning of Aurangzeb’s reign. Evidently the earlier Farman of 1669 had not been carried out, or if carried out, had led to an immediate restoration of the temple.’

Professor(JNU) Romila Thapar’s guess in her controversial book matches with that of Munshi. She notes: In the mid-seventeenth century, Aurangzeb ordered his army to destroy the temple. The order appears not to have been carried out as he issues a further and later order for its destruction and its conversion into a mosque in 1706 just before he died.

Whether the last demolition of Somnath temple took place in 1660s as per Desai or in early 1700s as assumed by Munshi but chronicles and historians  agree to a conclusion that Somnath temple was lastly demolished during the rule of Aurangzeb through order issued by him and converted into a mosque.

And that was the beginning of decline of Aurangzeb and Mughal sultanate. As Munshi mentions in his book: ‘Aurangzeb, the fanatic, was the last ruler in whose reign this temple saw the worship of Somanatha. In 1706 Somnath temple was converted into a mosque. Mirat-i-Ahmedi attests to this conversion. In the same year the Marathas entered Saurashtra.The Hindu power in the South which Shivaji had founded was forcing its way into Gujarat, then ruled by the Moghul Emperors. As if it was a predestined coincidence, Aurangzeb’s destruction of Somanatha in 1706 coincided with the rise of its avengers. In 1705 Dhanaji Jadhava defeated the Muslim army at the battle of Ratanpur; the hold of the Moghuls was broken and the Hindu power was knocking at the doors of Saurashtra. As soon as Aurangzeb silenced the temple-bells of Somanatha, the Victorious shouts of ‘Har Har Mahadeva’ rent the skies of Saurashtra. Damaji Gaikwad soon began to raid Saurashtra almost annually.’

Further reading on Gujarat under Aurangzeb

Aurangzeb believed that ‘In the Muslim faith it is a sin even to look at a temple’. There are mentions in chronicles where Aurangzeb had ordered complete demolition of all temples and even schools run by infidels.

In Gujarat, Aaurangzeb had also ordered the destruction of the Hatkeshwar temple at Vadnagar, the special guardian of the Nagar Brahmans. In 1706, a year before his death, Aurangzeb ordered  demolition of the temple at Dwarka but we don’t know if this order was carried out.

Aurangzeb decreed that Hindus other than Rajput should not carry arms or ride elephants, palkhis, or Arab and Iraqi horses. A royal order in Gujarat by Aurangzeb was issued to Diwanis in the empire that the Hindus should not employ Muslims in service.

Hindus used to close their shops on days of pancham, last day of the month and eleventh day. An order was issued by Aurangzeb that they should be enjoined to keep open their shops always and enter into transactions of sale and purchase.

In his order to Subahdar of Gujarat on 20th November 1665, Aurangzeb termed custom of lighting lamps in the night of Diwali as superstitious and ordered that in bazars there should be no illumination at Diwali.

In 1674, Aurangzeb confiscated all the lands held by Hindus as religious grants(wazifa) in Gujarat.

Jizya Tax


Aurangzeb encouraged religion during his regime.

In Islam, jizya is a tax which is levied by Muslim rulers upon subjects who are of a different faith but claim protection. Military service, females, children, monks, hermits, paupers, slaves were exempted from Jizya net.

He who paid this tax and obtained protection from the Muslim was called a Zimmi. Jizya tax was levied on zimmi(non-Muslims) of the book, a fire worshiper, an idol-worshiper. However an idol-worshiper of a warring-region, an apostate, minor, woman, helpless slave, amputated of hand and foot, blind, mad, eccentric and inactive poor man were excluded from Jizya tax net.

In Gujarat, Jizya was to be collected annually in amount of:

-Twelve dirham from a poor man(one whose property was worth less than two hundred dirhams)

-Twenty-four dirhams from a middle-class man(one whose property was worth two hundred dirhams or more)

-Forty-eight dirhams from a rich man(one whose property was worth ten thousands dirhams or more)

If poor man owns nothing, jizya was to be collected from him when his earnings were more than sustenance of himself and his wife. If his earnings were less than sustenance of himself and his wife, he was to be exempted.



There were specific rules in Gujarat pertaining to collection of Jizya from Zimmis:

-A zimmi should himself come to pay it. He should come on foot.

-The collector should sit while the zimmi should stand.

-The collector should place his hand over the hand of the zimmi saying, “I take jizya, oh’ zimmi”.

-Jizya should not be accepted when sent indirectly through his deputy.

-The collector should not levy jizya without seeing the man.

-Jizya should be collected for one year from a rich man.

-A middle class man and a poor man should be given a choice to pay the lump sum at one time or a middle-class man should pay in two installments and a poor man in four installments.

-Jizya is discontinued at death.

-If a zimmi becomes a major a year before the levy of jizya or slave becomes free, or a harabi becomes a zimmi or a sick man recovers, it should be levied according to each one’s condition.

-If a minor zimmi becomes major or a slave becomes a freedman or a harabi accepts the status of a zimmi or a sick man becomes convalescent after its levy, that year’s jizya should not be collected from them.

-If a zimmi is rich for some years and poor in others or if he is poor in most of the years, it should be collected at the rate of a poor man.

-If he is rich for half a year and poor for the next half, jizya should be collected at the rate of a middle class man. If a zimmi is sick for half a year or more, jizya should not be collected from him.

-Jizya should not be collected from the imperial servants but it should be collected from all zimmis other than they in accordance with religious rules.

Nearly five lac of rupees were collected annually in the department of jizya from the zimmis of the Subah of Gujarat in a year, which amounted to 3.5 percent of its total gross revenue.(Mirat 314, the revenue of the province of Gujarat aout 1695 was 145 lakhs of Rupees). Jadunath Sarkar points out, ‘if we make allowance for the facts that Gujarat had a large Muhammadan population which contributed to the general revenue but not to the jaziya and that the custom duties of the busy ports of Surat, Broach and Cambay greatly swelled the total revenue collected in the province, we shall not be far wrong in holding that the jaziya meant for the Hindus an addition of fully one-third to every subject’s direct contribution to the State. To be a Muslim was to be free from this extra taxation.’

A royal order was issued to the Subah’s Diwan in respect of new Muslims that any one who converts himself to Islam in the city of Ahmedabad with permission with the seal of the Qazi ul Quzat Shaikh ul – Islam, males should be paid till they recover from circumcision and females till purification, two Alamgiri tankas per day from the Baitul-mal with concord of the Qazi of the place. Males and females should be paid, the former after recovery from circumcision and the latter after purification, a piece of cloth from the said treasury.

More tax burden on Hindus


While Muslims were completely out of the purview of jizya, they were offered benefits in other taxes too in Gujarat. Tax collected on gold and uncoined silver which the merchants etc brought for sale to mints of the empire was one in forty from Muslims while two in forty from Hindus. Duties to be collected from the cattle market, on cattle with condition of limit set by religion, reason, maturity, absence of possession was one-fortieth from a Muslim, two fortieth from a Hindu and four fortieth from a warrior once in a lunar year at one place. One fortieth tax was imposed on goods of merchandise of the Muslims which was later abandoned. A duty of two fortieth was exacted from goods of merchandise of Hindus and it was continued with instruction that ‘great care should be taken to see that these persons should not mix up their goods with those of the Muslims for evasion of duty’. If the produce was more than expense in gardens, a fifth part from Hindus and a sixth part from Muslims was taken in proportion to increase.

Aurangzeb and destruction of Hindu temple

Jadunath Sarkar’s book History of Aurangzib – Mainly based on Persoan Sources(first edition 1916, second 1921, third 1928), Volume III, page 280, Appendix V (Temple destruction by Aurangzib) has been reproduced here as it is:

Before accession:

“The 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 Aurangzeb, in 1645.” (Morat-i-Ahmadi, 232.) The Bombay Gazetteer, vol. I. 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.

“In Ahmadabad and other parganas of Gujarat in the days before my accession (many) temple 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. (Mirat, 275.)

” The village of Satara near Aurangabad was my hunting-ground. Here on the top of a hill stood a temple with an image of Khande Rai. By God’s grace I demolished it, and forbade the temple dancers (murlis) to play their shameful trade.” – Aurangzeb to Bidar Bakht in Kalimat-i-Tayyibar, 7b.

After accession:

“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 Benaes 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.” – Aurangzeb’s “Benares farman” addressed to Abdul Hassan, dated 28th Feb. 1659, granted through the mediation of Prince Muhammed Sultan. I.A.S.B 1911 p.689, with many mistakes, notably about the date, which I have corrected from a photograph of the farman.

“The temple of Somnath was demolished early in my reign and idol worship (there) put down. It is not known what the state of thing there is at present. If the idolators 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 worshipers) from the place.” – Letter of Aurangzeb in the last decade of his reign. Inayetullah’s Ahkam, 10a: Mirat 372.

19 Dec. 1661 Mir Jumla 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 stcad. The general himself with a battle axe broke the image of Narayan” – Stwart’s Bengal.

“The Emperor 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 Gujarat 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.

9th April, 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 Fra. 250.)

May, 1669. “Salih Bahadur, mace-bearer, was sent to pull down the temple of Malarna.” – M.A. 84.

2nd Sep. “News came to Court that according to the Emperor’s command, his officers had demolished the temple of Vishwanath at Benares.” – Ibid. 88.

(This was ‘the temple of Kirtti Visvesvara, at that time a modern shrine of Akbar’s period.” – Crooke’s N.W.P., 112.)

January, 1670. “In this month of Ramzan, the religious-minded Emperor ordered the demolition of the temple at Mathura known as the Dehra of Keshav Rai. 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 …… faith of Islam that in the auspicious reign of this destroyer of infidelity and turbulence, such a marvelous 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.

“he partially destroyed the Sitaramji temple at Soron; one of his officers slew the priests, broke the image, and defiled the sanctuary at Devi Patan in Gonda.” – Crooke’s N.W.P., 112.

7th April, 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.

“Order issued on all faujdars of thanas, civil officers (mutsaddis), agents of jagirdars, kroris, and amlas, 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 Emperors learning from the news-letters 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 destroy 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-Abdul 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 th 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.

“Darab Khan 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 neighborhood. ” (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 troddn upon.” – M.A. 175.

Jan. 1680. “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. 186.) “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 Ali 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, 187a and 290a.

Sep. 1687. On the capture of Golkonda, the Emperor appointed Abdur Rahim Khan as Censor of the city of Haidarabad with orderes to put down infidel practices and (heretical) innovations and destroy the temples and build mosques on their sites. – Khafi Khan, ii. 358-359.

Circa 1690. Instances of Aurangzeb’s temple destruction at Ellora, Trimbakeshwar, Narsinghpur (foiled by snakes, scorpions and other poisonous insects), Pandharpur, Jejuri (foiled by the deity!) and Yavat (Bhuleshwar) are given by K.N. Sane in Varshik Itibritta for Shaka1838, pp. 133-155.

1683. 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 Jaisingpura 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 set the Bairagi free and sent the copper idols to the local subahdar.” – Akhbarat, year 37, sheer 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 t o Court after carrying the order out and was praised by the Emperor.” – M.A. 396.

“The demolition of a temple is possible at any time, as it cannot walk away from its place.” – Aurangzeb to Zulfiqar Khan and Mughal Khan in K.T. 39a.

“The house of this country (Maharashtra) are exceedingly strong and built solely of stone and iron. The hatchet-men of the Government in the course of my marching do not get sufficient strength and power(i.e., time) to dstroy and raze the temples of the infidels that meet the eye on the way. You should appoint an orthodox inspector (darogha) who may afterwards destroy them at leisure and dig up their foundations.” – Aurangzeb to Ruhullah Khan in Kalimat-i-Aurangzeb, 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 daroga 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.

References and mentions

Prabhas anne Somnath by Shambhuprasad Harprasad Desai (Gujarati book)

Mirat-i-Ahmadi, A Persian history of Gujarat: English translation by M.F. Lokhandwala

Somanatha the Shrine Eternal by Kanaiyalal Munshi

Gujaratno Rajakiya anne Sanskrutik Itihas – Mughal kaal by BJ Vidyabhavan (Gujarati book)

History of Aurangzib – Volume III by Jadunath Sarkar

Indian Merchants and Entrepreneurs in Historical Perspective by Makrand Mehta

Bombay Gazetteer


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