Islamic literary sources provide far more extensive evidence of temple destruction by the Muslim invaders of India in medieval times. They also cover a larger area, from Sinkiang and Transoxiana in the North to Tamil Nadu in the South, and from the Seistan province of present-day Iran in the West to Assam in the East. As we wade through this evidence, we can visualise how this vast area, which was for long the cradle of Hindu culture, came to be literally littered with the ruins of temples and monasteries belonging to all schools of Sanãtana Dharma-Bauddha, Jaina, Šaiva, Šãkta, VaishNava and the rest. Archaeological explorations and excavations in modern times have proved unmistakably that most of the mosques, mazãrs, ziãrats and dargãhs which were built in this area in medieval times, stood on the sites of and were made from the materials of deliberately demolished Hindu monuments.

Hundreds of medieval Muslim historians who flourished in India and elsewhere in the world of Islam, have written detailed accounts of what their heroes did in various parts of the extensive Hindu homeland as they were invaded one after another. We have had access only to a few of these histories on account of our limitations in terms of language and resources. Most of the histories pertaining to what are known as provincial Muslim dynasties, have remained beyond our reach. One thing, however, becomes quite clear from the evidence we have been able to compile, namely, that almost all Muslim rulers destroyed or desecrated Hindu temples whenever and wherever they could. Archaeological evidence from various Muslim monuments, particularly mosques and dargãhs, not only confirms the literary evidence but also adds the names of some Muslim rulers whom Muslim historians have failed to credit with this pious performance.

We are citing the literary evidence also in a chronological order, that is, with reference to the time at which a particular work was written and not with reference to the period with which it deals. Appendix 1 Provides the names and dates of dynasties and kings described in these histories in the context of India. Most of these histories start with the creation of Adam and Eve or the rise of the Prophet of Islam, and come down to the time when the authors lived. Glorification of Islam, as its armies invaded various countries and laid them waste with slaughter and rapine, is their common theme. The writers have exhausted their imagination in describing g the holocaust that was caused everywhere and in coining names for those whom they look down upon as infidels and idolaters.1

The apologists of Islam are likely to point out that quite often the instances of iconoclasm have been copied by succeeding historians from the writings of their predecessors and that this repetition should be kept in mind while assessing the extent of temple destruction. There is no substance in this argument. Firstly, there are many instances of temple destruction which are not reported in the histories but which archaeological evidence proves. Secondly, what is relevant in this context is that the historians regard some instances as significant enough to bear repetition. It is obvious that no account of some reigns was considered complete unless the concerned ruler was credited with the destruction of Hindu temples. Had it not been an important pious performance from the point of view of Islam, it is inconceivable that historians who wrote in times when the dust of war had settled down, would have cared to mention it. The repetitions are valuable from another point of view as well. In quite a few cases, succeeding historians add details which are not found in the preceding accounts. It is immaterial whether the details were missed by the earlier historians or are the products of the succeeding historians’ imagination. What matters is that the historians thought them fit for the glorification of Islam.


The author, Ahmad bin Yahya bin Jãbir, is known as al-Bilãdhurî. He lived at the court of Khalîfa Al-Mutawakkal (AD 847-861) and died in AD 893. His history is one of the earliest and major Arab chronicles. It gives an account of Arab conquests in Syria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Iran, Armenia, Transoxiana, Africa, Spain and Sindh. The account is brought down to Khalîfa Mu’tasim’s reign in AD 842. We have had no access to a translation of the full text in a language we know, and have depended on extracts.

Ibn Samûrah (AD 653)

His full name was ‘Abd ar-Rahmãn bin Samûrah bin Habîb bin ‘Abd ash-Shams. He was appointed governor of Seistan after the first Arab invasion of that province in AD 650 was defeated and dispersed. Ibn Samûrah reached the capital of Seistan in AD 653.

Seistan (Iran)

“On reaching Dãwar, he surrounded the enemy in the mountain of Zûr, where there was a famous Hindu temple.”2

“…Their idol of Zûr was of gold, and its eyes were two rubies. The zealous Musalmãns cut off its hands and plucked out its eyes, and then remarked to the Marzabãn how powerless was his idol to do either good or evil…”3

Qutaibah bin Muslim al-Bãhilî (AD 705-715)

He was a general of Al-Hajjãj bin Yûsuf Saqafî, the notorious Governor of Iraq under Caliph Al-Walîd I (AD 705-715). He was made Governor of Khurasan in AD 705 and is renowned in the history of Islam as the conqueror of Central Asia right upto Kashghar.

Samarqand (Farghana)

“Other authorities say that Kutaibah granted peace for 700,000 dirhams and entertainment for the Moslems for three days. The terms of surrender included also the houses of the idols and the fire temples. The idols were thrown out, plundered of their ornaments and burned, although the Persians used to say that among them was an idol with which whoever trifled would perish. But when Kutaibah set fire to it with his own hand, many of them accepted Islãm.”4

Muhammad bin Qãsim (AD 712-715)

He was the nephew as well as son-in-law of Al-Hajjãj, who sent him to Sindh after more than a dozen invasions of that province had been defeated by the Hindus.

Debal (Sindh)

“…The town was thus taken by assault, and the carnage endured for three days. The governor of the town, appointed by Dãhir, fled and the priests of the temple were massacred. Muhammad marked a place for the Musalmans to dwell in, built a mosque, and left four thousand Musalmans to garrison the place…

“…‘Ambissa son of Ishãk Az Zabbî, the governor of Sindh, in the Khilafat of Mu’tasim billah knocked down the upper part of the minaret of the temple and converted it into a prison. At the same time he began to repair the ruined town with the stones of the minaret…”5

Multan (Punjab)

“…He then crossed the Biyãs, and went towards Multãn… Muhammad destroyed the water-course; upon which the inhabitants, oppressed with thirst, surrendered at discretion. He massacred the men capable of bearing arms, but the children were taken captive, as well as the ministers of the temple, to the number of six thousand. The Muslamãns found there much gold in a chamber ten cubits long by eight broad, and there was an aperture above, through which the gold was poured into the chamber…”6

Hashãm bin ‘Amrû al-Taghlabî

He was appointed Governor of Sindh by Khalîfa Al-Mansûr (AD 754-775) of the Abbãsid dynasty. He led many raids towards different parts of India, both by land and sea.

Kandahar (Maharashtra)

“He then went to Kandahãr in boats and conquered it. He destroyed the Budd there, and built in its place a mosque.”7


The author, Abu Ja‘far Muhammad bin Jarîr at-Tabarî, is considered to be the foremost historian of Islam. His Tãrîkh is regarded as Umdatu’l-Kutab, mother of histories. He was born at Amil in Tabaristan in the year AD 839. He was educated at Baghdad and lived in Basra and Kufa as well. He travelled to Egypt and Damascus in order to perfect his knowledge of Traditions. He spent the last days of his life in Baghdad where he died in AD 922. We have had no access to his work in a translation we could follow. The citations below are only summaries made by modern historians.

Qutaibah bin Muslim al-Bãhilî (AD 705-715)

Beykund (Khurasan)

“The ultimate capture of Beykund (in AD 706) rewarded him with an incalculable booty; even more than had hitherto fallen into the hands of the Mahommedans by the conquest of the entire province of Khorassaun; and the unfortunate merchants of the town, having been absent on a trading excursion while their country was assailed by the enemy, and finding their habitations desolate on their return contributed further to enrich the invaders, by the ransom which they paid for the recovery of their wives and children. The ornaments alone, of which these women had been plundered, being melted down, produced, in gold, one hundred and fifty thousand meskals; of a dram and a half each. Among the articles of the booty, is also described an image of gold, of fifty thousand meskals, of which the eyes were two pearls, the exquisite beauty and magnitude of which excited the surprise and admiration of Kateibah. They were transmitted by him, with a fifth of the spoil to Hejauje, together with a request that he might be permitted to distribute, to the troops, the arms which had been found in the place in great profusion.”8

Samarqand (Farghana)

“A breach was, however, at last effected in the walls of the city in AD 712 by the warlike machines of Kateibah; and some of the most daring of its defenders having fallen by the skill of his archers, the besieged demanded a cessation of arms to the following day, when they promised to capitulate. The request was acceded to by Kateibah; and a treaty was the next day accordingly concluded between him and the prince of Samarkand, by which the latter engaged for the annual payment of ten millions of dirhems, and a supply of three thousand slaves; of whom it was particularly stipulated, that none should either be in a state of infancy, or ineffective from old age and debility. He further contracted that the ministers of his religion should be expelled from their temples and their idols destroyed and burnt; that Kateibah should be allowed to establish a mosque in the place of the principal temple, in which, to discharge the duties of his faith… To all this, Ghurek, with whatever reluctance, was compelled to subscribe, and he proceeded accordingly to prepare for the reception of Kateibah; who at the period agreed upon, entered Samarkand with a retinue of four hundred persons, selected from his own relatives, and the principal commanders of his army. He was met by Ghurek, with a respect bordering on adoration, and conducted to the gate of the principal temple, which he immediately entered; and after performing two rekkauts of the ritual of his faith, directed the images of pagan worship to be brought before him, for the purpose of being committed to the flames. From this some of the Turks or Tartars of Samarkand, endeavouring to dissuade him, by a declaration, that among the images, there was one, which if any person ventured to consume, that person should certainly perish; Kateibah informed them, that he should not shrink from the experiment, and accordingly set fire to the whole collection with his own hands; it was soon consumed to ashes, and fifty thousand meskals of gold and silver, collected from the nails which has been used in the workmanship of the images.”9

Yã’qûb bin Laith (AD 870-871)

He was a highway robber who succeeded in seizing Khurasan from the Tãhirid governors of the Abbãsid Caliphate. He founded the short-lived Saffãrid dynasty.

Balkh and Kabul (Afghanistan)

“He first took Bãmiãn, which he probably reached by way of Herãt, and then marched on Balkh where he ruined (the temple) Naushãd. On his way back from Balkh he attacked Kãbul…10

“Starting from Panjhîr, the place he is known to have visited, he must have passed through the capital city of the Hindu Šãhîs to rob the sacred temple - the reputed place of coronation of the Šãhî rulers-of its sculptural wealth…11

“The exact details of the spoil collected from the Kãbul valley are lacking. The Tãrîkh [-i-Sistãn] records 50 idols of gold and silver and Mas’udî mentions elephants. The wonder excited in Baghdãd by elephants and pagan idols forwarded to the Caliph by Ya’qûb also speaks for their high value.

“The best of our authorities put the date of this event in 257 (870-71). Tabarî is more precise and says that the idols sent by Ya’qûb reached Baghdãd in Rabî’ al-Ãkhar, 257 (Feb.-March, 871). Thus the date of the actual invasion may be placed at the end of AD 870.”12


“The author, Abû Rîhan Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Bîrûnî al-Khwãrizmî, was born in about AD 970-71. He was an astronomer, geometrician, historian and logician. He was sent to Ghazni in an embassy from the Sultãn of Khwãrizm. On invitation from Sultãn Mahmûd of Ghazni (AD 997-1030) he entered his service, travelled to India and spent forty years in the country, chiefly in the Punjab. He learnt Sanskrit and translated some works from that language into Arabic. His history treats of the literature and learning of the Hindus at the commencement of the eleventh century.

Jalam ibn Shaiban (Ninth century AD)

Multan (Punjab)

The Sun Temple at Multan has been described by early Arab geographers like Sulaimãn, Mas‘ûdî, Istakhrî and Ibn Hauqal who travelled in India during the ninth and tenth centuries of the Christian era. The Arab invaders did not destroy it because besides being a rich source of revenue, it provided protection against Hindu counter-attack. “Mûltan,” wrote Mas‘ûdî, “is one of the strongest frontier places of the Musalmãns… In it is the idol also known by the name of Mûltãn.13 The inhabitants of Sind and India perform pilgrimages to it from the most distant places; they carry money, precious stones, aloe wood and all sorts of perfumes there to fulfil their vows. The greatest part of the revenue of the king of Mûltãn is derived from the rich presents brought to the idol… When the unbelievers14 march against Mûltãn and the faithful 15 do not feel themselves strong enough to oppose them, they threaten to break their idol, and their enemies immediately withdraw.”16

Al-Bîrûnî records: “A famous idol of theirs was that of Multan, dedicated to the sun, and therefore called Aditya. It was of wood and covered with red Cordovan leather; in its two eyes were two red rubies. It is said to have been made in the last Kritayuga… When Muhammad Ibn Alkasim Ibn Almunabih conquered Multan, he inquired how the town had become so very flourishing and so many treasures had there been accumulated, and then he found out that this idol was the cause, for there came pilgrims from all sides to visit it. Therefore he thought it best to have the idol where it was, but he hung a piece of cow’s flesh on its neck by way of mockery. On the same place a mosque was built. When the Karmatians17 occupied Multan, Jalam Ibn Shaiban, the usurper, broke the idol into pieces and killed its priests…”18

Sultãn Mahmûd of Ghazni (AD 997-1030)

Thanesar (Haryana)

“The city of Taneshar is highly venerated by Hindus. The idol of that place is called Cakrasvamin, i.e. the owner of the cakra, a weapon which we have already described. It is of bronze, and is nearly the size of a man. It is now lying in the hippodrome in Ghazna, together with the Lord of Somanath, which is a representation of the penis of Mahadeva, called Linga.”19

Somnath (Gujarat)

“The linga he raised was the stone of Somnath, for soma means the moon and natha means master, so that the whole word means master of the moon. The image was destroyed by the Prince Mahmud, may God be merciful to him! - AH 416. He ordered the upper part to be broken and the remainder to be transported to his residence, Ghaznin, with all its coverings and trappings of gold, jewels, and embroidered garments. Part of it has been thrown into the hippodrome of the town, together with the Cakrasvamin, an idol of bronze, that had been brought from Taneshar. Another part of the idol from Somanath lies before the door of the mosque of Ghaznin, on which people rub their feet to clean them from dirt and wet.”20


The author of this history in Arabic was Abû Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad al Jabbãru’l-‘Utbî. The family from Utba had held important offices under the Sãmãnîs of Bukhara. ‘Utbi himself became Secretary to Sultãn Mahmûd of Ghazni (AD 997-1030). His work comprises the whole of the reign of Subuktigîn and that of Sultãn Mahmûd down to the year AD 1020. He lived a few years longer. Persian translations of this history are known as Tarjuma-i-Yamînî or Tãrîkh-i-Yamînî.

Amîr Subuktigîn of Ghazni (AD 977-997)

Lamghan (Afghanistan)

“The Amîr marched out towards Lamghãn, which is a city celebrated for its great strength and abounding wealth. He conquered it and set fire to the places in its vicinity which were inhabited by infidels, and demolishing idol temples, he established Islãm in them. He marched and captured other cities and killed the polluted wretches, destroying the idolaters and gratifying the Musalmãns.”21

Sultãn Mahmûd of Ghazni (AD 997-1030)

Narain (Rajasthan)

“The Sultãn again resolved on an expedition to Hind, and marched towards Nãrãîn, urging his horses and moving over ground, hard and soft, until he came to the middle of Hind, where he reduced chiefs, who, up to that time obeyed no master, overturned their idols, put to the sword the vagabonds22 of that country, and with delay and circumspection proceeded to accomplish his design…”23

Nardin (Punjab)

“After the Sultãn had purified Hind from idolatry, and raised mosques therein, he determined to invade the capital of Hind to punish those who kept idols and would not acknowledge the unity of God… He marched with a large army in the year AH 404 (AD 1013) during a dark night…24

“A stone was found there in the temple of the great Budda on which an inscription was written purporting that the temple had been founded fifty thousand years ago. The Sultãn was surprised at the ignorance of these people, because those who believe in the true faith represent that only seven thousand years have elapsed since the creation of the world, and the signs of resurrection are even now approaching. The Sultãn asked his wise men the meaning of this inscription and they all concurred in saying that it was false, and no faith was to be put in the evidence of a stone.”25

Thanesar (Haryana)

“The chief of Tãnesar was… obstinate in his infidelity and denial of God. So the Sultãn marched against him with his valiant warriors, for the purpose of planting the standards of Islãm and extirpating idolatry…26

“The blood of the infidels flowed so copiously, that the stream was discoloured, not withstanding its purity, and people were unable to drink it… The victory was gained by God’s grace, who has established Islãm for ever as the best of religions, notwithstanding that idolaters revolt against it… Praise be to God, the protector of the world, for the honour he bestows upon Islãm and Musulmãns.”27

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

“The Sultãn then departed from the environs of the city, in which was a temple of the Hindûs. The name of this place was Maharatul Hind… On both sides of the city there were a thousand houses, to which idol temples were attached, all strengthened from top to bottom by rivets of iron, and all made of masonry work…28

“In the middle of the city there was a temple larger and firmer than the rest, which can neither be described nor painted. The Sultãn thus wrote respecting it: - ‘If any should wish to construct a building equal to this, he would not be able to do it without expending an hundred thousand, thousand red dînãrs, and it would occupy two hundred years even though the most experienced and able workmen were employed’… The Sultãn gave orders that all the temples should be burnt with naptha and fire, and levelled with the ground.”29

Kanauj (Uttar Pradesh)

“In Kanauj there were nearly ten thousand temples, which the idolaters falsely and absurdly represented to have been founded by their ancestors two or three hundred thousand years ago… Many of the inhabitants of the place fled and were scattered abroad like so many wretched widows and orphans, from the fear which oppressed them, in consequence of witnessing the fate of their deaf and dumb idols. Many of them thus effected their escape, and those who did not fly were put to death,”30


The author, Khwãjah Mas‘ûd bin Sa‘d bin Salmãn, was a poet. He wrote poems in praise of the Ghaznavid Sultãns – Mas‘ûd, Ibrãhîm and Bahrãm Shãh. He died sometime between AD 1126 and 1131.

Sultãn Abu’l Muzaffar Ibrãhîm (AD 1059-1099)

“As power and the strength of a lion was bestowed upon Ibrãhîm by the Almighty, he made over to him the well-populated country of Hindustãn and gave him 40,000 valiant horsemen to take the country, in which there were more than 1000 rãîs… Its length extends from Lahore to the Euphrates, and its breadth from Kashmîr to the borders of Sîstãn… The army of the king destroyed at one time a thousand temples of idols, which had each been built for more than a thousand years. How can I describe the victories of the king…”31

Jalandhar (Punjab)

“The narrative of thy battles eclipses the stories of Rustam and Isfandiyãr. Thou didst bring an army in one night from Dhangãn to Jãlandhar… Thou didst direct but one assault and by that alone brought destruction upon the country. By the morning meal not one soldier, not one Brãhman, remained unkilled or uncaptured. Their beads were severed by the carriers of swords. Their houses were levelled with the ground with flaming fire… Thou has secured victory to the country and to religion, for amongst the Hindus this achievement will be remembered till the day of resurrection.”32

Malwa (Madhya Pradesh)

“Thou didst depart with a thousand joyful anticipations on a holy expedition, and didst return having achieved a thousand victories… On this journey the army destroyed a thousand idol-temples and thy elephants trampled over more than a hundred strongholds. Thou didst march thy arm to Ujjain; Mãlwã trembled and fled from thee… On the way to Kãlinjãr thy pomp obscured the light of day. The lip of infidelity became dry through fear of thee, the eye of plural-worship became blind…”33


This Persian history was translated from Arabic by Muhammad ‘Alî bin Hamîd bin Abû Bakr Kûfî in the time of Nãsiru’d-Dîn Qabãcha, a slave of Muhammad Ghurî, who contested the throne of Delhi with Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236). The translator who lived at Uccha had gone to Alor and Bhakkar in search of accounts of the Arab conquest. He met a Maulãna who had inherited a history written in Arabic by one of his ancestors. The translation in Persian followed because Kûfî found that the Hijãjî Arabic of the original was little understood by people in those days while the work was “a mine of wisdom.” The Arabic original has been lost. The author remains unknown.

Muhammad bin Qãsim (AD 712-715)

Nirun (Sindh)

“Muhammad built at Nîrûn a mosque on the site of the temple of Budh, and ordered prayers to be proclaimed in the Muhammadan fashion and appointed an Imãm.”34

Siwistan and Sisam (Sindh)

Muhammad bin Qãsim wrote to al-Hajjãj, the governor of Iraq: “The forts of Siwistãn and Sîsam have been already taken. The nephew of Dãhir, his warriors, and principal officers have been despatched, and infidels converted to Islãm or destroyed. Instead of idol temples, mosques and other places of worship have been built, pulpits have been erected, the Khutba is read, the call to prayers is raised so that devotions are performed at the stated hours. The takbîr and praise to the Almighty God are offered every morning and evening.”35

Alor (Sindh)

“Muhammad Kãsim then entered and all the town people came to the temple of Nobhãr, and prostrated themselves before an idol. Muhammad Kãsim enquired: ‘Whose house is this, in which all the people high and low are respectfully kneeling and bowing down.’ They replied: ‘This is an idol-house called Nobhãr.’ Then, by Muhammad Kãsim’s order, the temple was opened. Entering it with his officers he saw an equestrian statue. The body of the idol was made of marble or alabaster, and it had on its arms golden bracelets, set with jewels and rubies. Muhammad Kãsim stretched his hand and took off a bracelet from one of the idol’s arms. Then he asked the keeper of the Budh temple Nobhãr: ‘Is this your idol?’ ‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘but it had two bracelets on, and one is missing.’ ‘Well’ said Muhammad Kãsim, ‘cannot your god know who has taken away his bracelet?’ The keeper bent his head down. Muhammad Kãsim laughed and returned the bracelet to him, and he fixed it again on the idol’s arm.”36

Multan (Punjab)

“Then all the great and principal inhabitants of the city assembled together, and silver to the weight of sixty thousand dirams was distributed and every horseman got a share of four hundred dirams weight. After this, Muhammad Kãsim said that some plan should be devised for realizing the money to be sent to the Khalîfa. He was pondering over this, when suddenly a Brahman came and said, ‘Heathenism is now at an end, the temples are thrown down, the world has received the light of Islãm, and mosques are built instead of idol temples. I have heard from the elders of Multãn that in ancient times there was a chief in this city whose name was Jîbawîn, and who was a descendent of the Rãî of Kashmîr. He was a Brahman and a monk, he strictly followed his religion, and always occupied his time in worshipping idols. When his treasures exceeded all limits and computation, he made a reservoir on the eastern side of Multãn, which was hundred yards square.  In the middle of it he built a temple fifty yards square, and he made a chamber in which he concealed forty copper jars each of which was filled with African gold dust. A treasure of three hundred and thirty mans of gold was buried there. Over it there is an idol made of red gold, and trees are planted round the reservoir.’ It is related by historians, on the authority of ‘Ali bin Muhammad who had heard it from Abû Muhammad Hinduî37 that Muhammad Kãsim arose and with his counsellors, guards and attendants, went to the temple. He saw there an idol made of gold, and its two eye were bright red rubies.

“……Muhammad Kãsim ordered the idol to be taken up. Two hundred and thirty mans of gold were obtained, and forty jars filled with gold dust… This gold and the image were brought to treasury together with the gems and pearls and treasures which were obtained from the plunder of Multãn.”38

Jãnakî’s Evidence

Jãnakî was one of the daughters of King Dãhir of Sindh. She was captured along with her sister and sent to the Khalîfa at Baghdad. When the Khalîfa invited Jãnakî to share his bed, she lied to him that she had already been violated by Muhammad bin Qãsim. Her sister supported her statement. The Khalîfa ordered that Muhammad be sewed up in raw hide and sent to his court. Muhammad was already dead when the chest containing him arrived in Baghdad. Jãnakî accused the Khalîfa of having killed one of his great generals without making proper enquiry. She said:

“The king has committed a very grievous mistake, for he ought not, on account of two slave girls, to have destroyed a person who had taken captive a hundred thousand modest women like us… and who instead of temples had erected mosques, pulpits and minarets…”39


The author of this collection of stories was Maulãna Nûru’d-Dîn Muhammad ‘Ufî. He was born in or near the city of Bukhara in Transoxiana. He came to India and lived in Delhi for some time in the reign of Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236). He travelled to several other places in India.

‘Amrû bin Laith (AD 879-900)

Sakawand (Afghanistan)

“It is related that Amrû Lais conferred the governorship of Zãbulistãn on Fardaghãn and sent him there at the head of four thousand horse. There was a large Hindu place of worship in that country, which was called Sakãwand, and people used to come on pilgrimage from the most remote parts of Hindustãn to the idols of that place. When Fardaghãn arrived in Zãbulistãn he led his army against it, took the temple, broke the idols in pieces and overthrew the idolaters…”40


The author, Sadru’d-Dîn Muhammad Hasan Nizãmî, was born at Nishapur in Khurasan. He had to leave his ancestral place because of the Mongol invasion. He came to India and started writing his history in AD 1205. The history opens with the year 1191 and comes down to AD 1217.

Sultãn Muhammad Ghûrî (AD 1175-1206)

Ajmer (Rajasthan)

“He destroyed the pillars and foundations of the idol temples and built in their stead mosques and colleges, and the precepts of Islãm, and the customs of the law were divulged and established…”41

Kuhram and Samana (Punjab)

“The Government of the fort of Kohrãm and of Sãmãna were made over by the Sultãn to Kutbu-d dîn… He purged by his sword the land of Hind from the filth of infidelity and vice, and freed it from the thorn of God-plurality, and the impurity of idol-worship, and by his royal vigour and intrepidity, left not one temple standing…”42

Meerut (Uttar Pradesh)

“Kutbu-d dîn marched from Kohrãm ‘and when he arrived at Mirãt -which is one of the celebrated forts of the country of Hind, for the strength of its foundations and superstructure, and its ditch, which was as broad as the ocean and fathomless-an army joined him, sent by the dependent chiefs of the country’. The fort was captured, and a Kotwal appointed to take up his station in the fort, and all the idol temples were converted into mosques.”43


“He then marched and encamped under the fort of Delhi… The city and its vicinity were freed from idols and idols-worship, and in the sanctuaries of the images of the Gods, mosques were raised by the worshippers of one God.”44

“Kutbu-d dîn built the Jãmi‘ Masjid at Delhi, and adorned it with stones and gold obtained from the temples which had been demolished by elephants, and covered it with inscriptions in Toghra, containing the divine commands.”45

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)

“From that place [Asni] the royal army proceeded towards Benares ‘which is the centre of the country of Hind’ and here they destroyed nearly one thousand temples, and raised mosques on their foundations; and the knowledge of the law became promulgated, and the foundations of religion were established…”46

Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh)

“There was a certain tribe in the neighbourhood of Kol which had… occasioned much trouble… ‘Three bastions were raised as high as heaven with their beads, and their carcases became the food of beasts of prey.  That tract was freed from idols and idol-worship and the foundations of infidelity were destroyed’…”47

Bayana (Rajasthan)

“When Kutbu-d dîn beard of the Sultãn’s march from Ghazna, he was much rejoiced and advanced as far as Hãnsî to meet him… In the year AH 592 (AD 1196), they marched towards Thangar, and the centre of idolatry and perdition became the abode of glory and splendour…”48

Kalinjar (Uttar Pradesh)

“In the year AH 599 (AD 1202), Kutbu-d dîn proceeded to the investment Kãlinjar, on which expedition he was accompanied by the Sãhib-Kirãn, Shamsu-d dîn Altamsh… The temples were converted into mosques and abodes of goodness, and the ejaculations of bead-counters and voices of summoners to prayer ascended to high heaven, and the very name of idolatry was annihilated…”49

Sultãn Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236)


“The Sultãn then returned [from Jalor] to Delhi… and after his arrival ‘not a vestige or name remained of idol temples which had raised their heads on high; and the light of faith shone out from the darkness of infidelity… and the moon of religion and the state became resplendent from the heaven of prosperity and glory.”50


Also known as Tãrîkh-i-Kãmil, it was written by Shykh ‘Abu’l Hasan ‘Alî ibn ‘Abu’l Karam Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Karîm ibn ‘Abdul Wãhid as-Shaibãnî, commonly known as Ibn Asîr. He was born in AD 1160 in the Jazîrat ibn ‘Umar, an island on the Tigris above Mosul. The book embraces the history of the world from the earliest period to the year AD 1230. It enjoys a very high reputation.

Khalîfa Al-Mahdî (AD 775-785)

Barada (Gujarat)

“In the year 159 (AD 776) Al Mahdî sent an army by sea under ‘Abdul Malik bin Shahãbu’l Musamma’î to India… They proceeded on their way and at length disembarked at Barada. When they reached the place they laid siege to it… The town was reduced to extremities, and God prevailed over it in the same year. The people were forbidden to worship the Budd, which the Muhammadans burned.”51

Sultãn Mahmûd of Ghazni (AD 997-1030)

Unidentified Places (Rajasthan and Gujarat)

“So he prayed to the Almighty for aid, and left Ghaznî on the 10th of Sha’bãn AH 414… with 30,000 horse besides volunteers, and took the road to Multãn. After he had crossed the desert he perceived on one side a fort full of people, in which there were wells. People came down to conciliate him, but he invested the place, and God gave him victory… So he brought the place under the sway of Islãm, killed the inhabitants, and broke in pieces their images…52

“The chief of Anhilwãra called Bhîm, fled hastily… Yamînu-d daula again started for Somnãt, and on his march he came to several forts in which were many images serving as chamberlains or heralds of Somnãt, and accordingly he (Mahmûd) called them Shaitãn. He killed the people who were in these places, destroyed the fortifications, broke in pieces the idols and continued his march to Somnãt…”53

Somnath (Gujarat)

“This temple of Somnãt was built upon fifty-six pillars of teak wood covered with lead. The idol itself was in a chamber… Yamînu’d daula seized it, part of it he burnt, and part of it he carried away with him to Ghaznî, where he made it a step at the entrance of the Jãmi‘ masjid…”54


“The author, ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Malik ibn Bahãu’d-Dîn Muhammad Juwainî, was a native of Juwain in Khurasan near Nishapur. His father who died in AD 1253 was one of the principal revenue officers under the Mongol ruler of Persia. ‘Alau’d-Dîn followed in his father’s office. He was with Halãkû during the Mongol campaign against the Ismãi’lians and was later on appointed the governor of Baghdad. He fell from grace and was imprisoned at Hamadan. He was, however, exonerated and restored to his office which he retained till his death in AH 681 (AD 1282). His history comes down to the year AD 1255.

Sultãn Jalãlu’d-Dîn Mankbarnî (AD 1222-1231)

Debal (Sindh)

“The Sultãn then went towards Dewal and Darbela and Jaisî… The Sultãn raised a Jãmi‘ Masjid at Dewal, on the spot where an idol temple stood.”55


The author, Maulãna ‘Abû Umr ‘Usmãn Minhãju’d-Dîn bin Sirãju’d-Dîn al-Juzjãnî, was born in AD 1193. In 1227 he arrived in Uccha where he was placed in charge of Madrasa-i-Fîrûzî. He presented himself to Sultãn Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish when the latter came to Uccha in 1228. The same year he accompanied Iltutmish to Delhi and joined the expedition to Gwalior, which city was placed in his charge. He returned to Delhi in 1238 and took charge of Madrasa-i-Nãsiriya. His fortune brightened after Nãsiru’d-Dîn became the Sultãn in 1246; he was appointed Qãzi-i-mamãlik in 1251. His history starts with Adam and comes down the year 1260.

Sultãn Mahmûd of Ghazni (AD 997-1030)

Somnath (Gujarat)

“When Sultãn Mahmûd ascended the throne of sovereignty, his illustrious deeds became manifest unto all mankind within the pale of Islãm when he converted so many thousands of idol temples into masjids… He led an army to Nahrwãlah of Gujarãt, and brought away Manãt, the idol, from Somnãth, and had it broken into four parts, one of which was cast before the entrance of the great Masjid at Ghaznîn, the second before the gateway of the Sultãn’s palace, and the third and fourth were sent to Makkah and Madînah respectively.”56

The translator comments in a footnote: “Among die different coins struck in Mahmûd’s reign one bore the following inscription: ‘The right hand of the empire, Mahmûd Sultãn, son of Nãsir-ud-Dîn Subuk-Tigîn, Breaker of Idols.’ This coin appears to have been struck at Lãhor, in the seventh year of his reign.”57

Sultãn Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236)

Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh)

“After he returned to the capital in the year AH 632 (AD 1234) the Sultãn led the hosts of Islãm toward Mãlwah, and took the fortress and town of Bhîlsãn, and demolished the idol-temple which took three hundred years in building and which, in altitude, was about one hundred ells.”58

Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh)

“From thence he advanced to Ujjain-Nagarî and destroyed the idol-temple of Mahãkãl Dîw. The effigy of Bikramjît who was sovereign of Ujjain-Nagarî, and from whose reign to the present time one thousand, three hundred, and sixteen years have elapsed, and from whose reign they date the Hindûî era, together with other effigies besides his, which were formed of molten brass, together with the stone (idol) of Mahãkãl were carried away to Delhî, the capital.”59

Among his “Victories and Conquests” is counted the “bringing away of the idol of Mahãkãl, which they have planted before the gateway of the Jãmi’ Masjid at the capital city of Delhi in order that all true believers might tread upon it.”60


The author, Zakarîya bin Muhammad, was born in the town of Kazwin in Iran and became known as al-Kazwînî. His work is a compilation from the writings of travellers like Istakhrî and Ibn Hauqal. It was written between AD 1263 and 1275.

Sultãn Muhmûd of Ghazni (AD 997-1030)

Somnath (Gujarat)

“SOMNÃT-A celebrated city of India, is situated on the shores of the sea, and washed by its waves. Among the wonders of that place was the temple in which was placed the idol called Somnãt… When the Sultãn Yamînu-d Daula Mahmûd bin Subuktigîn went to wage religious war against India, he made great efforts to capture and destroy Somnãt, in the hope that Hindus would become Muhammadans. He arrived there in the middle of Zîl K’ada AH 416 (December AD 1025). The Indians made a desperate resistance… The number of slain exceeded 50,000…”61

Muhammad bin Qãsim (AD 712-715)

Multan (Punjab)

“Muhammad Kãsim, ascertaining that large offerings were made to the idol, and wishing to add to his resources by those means, left it uninjured, but in order to show his horror of Indian superstition, he attached a piece of cow’s flesh to its neck, by which he was able to gratify his avarice and malignity at the same time.”62


The author, ‘Abû Sa‘îd ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abû’l Hasan ‘Alî Baizãwî, was born at Baiza, a town near Shiraz in Iran. He became a Qãzî, first at Shiraz and then at Tabriz, where he died in AD 1286. His history starts from the earliest period and comes down to the Mongol invasions.

Sultãn Mahmûd of Ghaznî (AD 997-1030)

“Nãsiru-d dîn [Subuktigîn] died in the year AH 387 (AD 997) and the command of his troops descended to Mahmûd by inheritance, and by confirmation of Nûh, son of Mansûr… He demolished the Hindû temples and gave prevalence to the Muhammadan faith…”63


The author, Amîr Khusrû, was born at Delhi in 1253. His father occupied high positions in the reigns of Sultãn Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236) and his successors. His mother was the daughter of another dignitary under Sultãn Ghiyãsu’d-Dîn Balban (AD 1266-1286). He himself became a companion of Balban’s son, Prince Muhammad, and stayed at Multãn till the prince was killed in a battle with the Mongols. Reputed to be the dearest disciple of Shykh Nizãmu’d-Dîn Auliyã‘, he became the lick-spittle of whoever came out victorious in the contest for the throne at Delhi. He became a court poet of Balban’s successor, Sultãn Kaiqubãd (AD 1288-1290) and wrote his Qirãnu’s S‘ãdaîn in the Sultãn’s praise in AD 1289. Next, he joined Sultãn Jalãlu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1290-1296) as a court poet after the latter murdered Kaiqubãd. He wrote in 1291 the Miftãhu‘l-Futûh which describes Jalãlu’d-Dîn’s victories.

Sultãn Jalãlu’d -Dîn Khaljî (AD 1290-1296)

Jhain (Rajasthan)

“The Sultãn reached Jhãin in the afternoon of the third day and stayed in the palace of the Rãya… He greatly enjoyed his stay for some time. Coming out, he took a round of the gardens and temples. The idols he saw amazed him… Next day he got those idols of gold smashed with stones. The pillars of wood were burnt down by his order… A cry rose from the temples as if a second Mahmûd had taken birth. Two idols were made of brass, one of which weighed nearly a thousand mans. He got both of them broken, and the pieces were distributed among his people so that they may throw them at the door of the Masjid on their return [to Delhi]…”64

Another version of the same text is available in the translation by Elliot edited by Dowson:

“Three days after this, the king entered Jhãin at midday and occupied the private apartment of the rãi… He then visited the temples, which were ornamented with elaborate work in gold and silver. Next day he went again to the temples, and ordered their destruction, as well as of the fort, and set fire to the palace, and ‘thus made hell of paradise’… While the soldiers sought every opportunity of plundering, the Shãh was engaged in burning the temples, and destroying the idols. There were two bronze idols of Brahma each of which weighed more than a thousand mans. These were broken into pieces and the fragments distributed amongst the officers, with orders to throw them down at the gates of the Masjid on their return.”65

Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1296-1316)

Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh)

“When he advanced from the capital of Karra, the Hindûs, in alarm, descended into the earth like ants. He departed towards the garden of Behãr to dye that soil with blood as red as tulip. He cleared the road to Ujjain of vile wretches, and created consternation in Bhîlsãn. When he effected his conquests in that country, he drew out of the river the idols which had been concealed in it.”66

Devagiri (Maharashtra)

“But see the mercy with which he regarded the brokenhearted, for, after seizing the rãî, he set him free again. He destroyed the temples of the idolaters, and erected pulpits and arches for mosques.”67


This work is also by Amîr Khusrû who wrote it in praise of ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî when the latter became the Sultãn after murdering his uncle and father-in-law, Sultãn Jalãlu’d-Dîn Khaljî. Khusrû was among the foremost notables who welcomed ‘Alãu’d-Dîn when the latter reached Delhi with the head of the late king held aloft on the point of a spear. He completed this history in AD 1311. It is famous for its flowery language and figures of speech.

Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1296-1316)


“He started his building programme with the Jãmi‘ Hazrat mosque… Thereafter he decided to build a second mînãr opposite to the lofty mînãr of the Jãmi‘ Masjid, which mînãr is unparalleled in the world…68 He ordered the circumference of the new mînãr to be double that of the old one. People were sent out in all directions in search of stones. Some of them broke the hills into pieces. Some others proved sharper than steel in breaking the temples of the infidels. Wherever these temples were bent in prayers, they were made to do prostration.”69

Somnath (Gujarat)

“On Wednesday, the 20th of Jamãdî-ul Awwal in AH 698 (23 February, 1299), the Sultãn sent an order to the manager of the armed forces for despatching the army of Islãm to Gujarãt so that the temple of Somnãt on its shore could be destroyed. Ulugh Khãn was put in charge of the expedition. When the royal army reached that province, it won a victory after great slaughter. Thereafter the Khãn-i-‘Ãzam went with his army to the sea-shore and besieged Somnãt which was a place of worship for the Hindûs. The army of Islãm broke the idols and the biggest idol was sent to the court of the Sultãn.”70

Professor Mohammed Habib’s translation provides a fuller version. It reads: “So the temple of Somnath was made to bow towards the Holy Mecca; and as the temple lowered its head and jumped into the sea, you may say that the building first said its prayers and then had a bath… It seemed as if the tongue of the Imperial sword explained the meaning of the text: ‘So he (Abraham) broke them (the idols) into pieces except the chief of them, that haply they may return to it.’ Such a pagan country, the Mecca of the infidels, now became the Medina of Islam. The followers of Abraham now acted as guides in place of the Brahman leaders. The robust-hearted true believers rigorously broke all idols and temples wherever they found them. Owing to the war, ‘takbir,’ and ‘shahadat’ was heard on every side; even the idols by their breaking affirmed the existence of God. In this ancient land of infidelity the call to prayers rose so high that it was heard in Baghdad and Madain (Ctesiphon) while the ‘Ala’ proclamation (Khutba) resounded in the dome of Abraham and over the water of Zamzam… The sword of Islam purified the land as the Sun purifies the earth.”71

Jhain (Rajasthan)

“On Tuesday, the 3rd of Ziqãd in AH 700 (10 July, 1301), the strong fort [of Ranthambhor] was conquered. Jhãin which was the abode of the infidels, became a new city for Musalmãns. The temple of Bãhirdev was the first to be destroyed. Subsequently, all other abodes of idolatry were destroyed. Many strong temples which would have remained unshaken even by the trumpet blown on the Day of Judgment, were levelled with the ground when swept by the wind of Islãm.”72

Warangal (Andhra Pradesh)

“When the blessed canopy had been fixed about a mile from the gate of Arangal, the tents around the fort were pitched together so closely that the head of a needle could not go between them… Orders were issued that every man should erect behind his own tent a kathgar, that is wooden defence. The trees were cut with axes and felled, notwithstanding their groans; and the Hindus, who worship trees, could not at that time come to the rescue of their idols, so that every cursed tree which was in that capital of idolatry was cut down to the roots…73

“During the attack, the catapults were busily plied on both sides… ‘Praise be to God for his exaltation of the religion of Muhammad. It is not to be doubted that stones are worshipped by Gabrs,74 but as the stones did no service to them, they only bore to heaven the futility of that worship, and at the same time prostrated their devotees upon earth’…”75

Deccan and South India

“The tongue of the sword of the Khalîfa of the time, which is the tongue of the flame of Islãm, has imparted light to the entire darkness of Hindustãn by the illumination of its guidance… and on the right hand and on the left hand the army has conquered from sea to sea, and several capitals of the gods of the Hindûs in which Satanism had prevailed since the time of the Jinns, have been demolished. All these impurities of infidelity have been cleansed by the Sultãn’s destruction of idol temples, beginning with his first expedition against Deogîr, so that the flames of the light of the law illumine all these unholy countries, and places for the criers to prayers are exalted on high, and prayers are read in mosques. God be praised!”76

Chidambaram (Tamil Nadu)

“After returning to Bîrdhûl, he again pursued the Rãjã to Kandûr… The Rãî again escaped him, and he ordered a general massacre at Kandûr. It was then ascertained that he had fled to Jãlkota… There the Malik closely pursued him, but he had again escaped to the jungles, which the Malik found himself unable to penetrate, and he therefore returned to Kandûr… Here he heard that in Brahmastpûrî there was a golden idol, round which many elephants wore stabled. The Malik started on a night expedition against this place, and in the morning seized no less then two hundred and fifty elephants. He then determined on razing the beautiful temple to the ground – ‘you might say that it was the Paradise of Shaddãd which, after being lost, those hellites had found, and that it was the golden Lanka of Rãm,’ – ‘the roof was covered with rubies and emeralds’, - ‘in short, it was the holy place of the Hindûs, which the Malik dug up from its foundations with the greatest care… and heads of the Brahmans and idolaters danced from their necks and fell to the ground at their feet,’ and blood flowed in torrents. ‘The stone idol called Ling Mahãdeo which had been a long time established at that place and on which the women of the infidels rubbed their vaginas for [sexual] satisfaction, these, up to this time, the kick of the horse of Islãm had not attempted to break.’ The Musalmãns destroyed all the lings, ‘and Deo Narain fell down, and the other gods who had fixed their seats there raised their feet, and jumped so high, that at one leap they reached the fort of Lanka, and in that affright the lings themselves would have fled had they had any legs to stand on.’ Much gold and valuable jewels fell into the hands of the Musalmãns, who returned to the royal canopy, after executing their holy project, on the 13th of Zî-l Ka’da, AH 710 (April 1311 AD). They destroyed an the temples at Bîrdhûl, and placed the plunder in the public treasury.”77

Madura (Tamil Nadu)

“After five days, the royal canopy moved from Bîrdhûl on Thursday, the 17th of Zî-l Ka’da, and arrived at Kham, and five days afterwards they arrived at the city of Mathra (Madura), the dwelling place of the brother of the Rãî Sundar Pãndyã. They found the city empty, for the Rãî had fled with the Rãnîs, but had left two or three elephants in the temple of Jagnãr (Jagganãth). The elephants were captured and the temple burnt.”78

Dawal Rãnî-Khizr Khãnî

Amîr Khusrû wrote this epic in AD 1315. It is popularly known as ‘Ãshîqa, love-story. Its main theme is love between Dawal Rãnî, the captured daughter of the last Hindu King of Gujarat, and Khizr Khãn, the eldest son of ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî. It also describes Muslim history in India upto the reign of ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî, including Malik Kãfûr’s expedition to South India in AD 1310.

Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1296-1316)

Pattan (Tamil Nadu)

“There was another rãî in those parts, whose rule extended over sea and land, a Brahmin named Pandyã Gurû. He had many cities in his possession, and his capital was Fatan, where there was a temple with an idol in it laden with jewels… The rãî, when the army of the Sultãn arrived at Fatan, fled away, and what can an army do without its leader?  The Musalmãns in his service sought protection from the king’s army, and they were made happy with the kind of reception they met. 500 elephants were taken. They then struck the idol with an iron hatchet, and opened its head. Although it was the very Kibla of the accursed gabrs, it kissed the earth and filled the holy treasury.”79

Nuh Siphir

It is the fourth historical mathnavî which Amîr Khusrû wrote when he was 67 years old. It celebrates the reign of Sultãn Mubãrak Shãh Khaljî. It consists of nine(nuh) siphirs (parts). In Siphir III, he says that the Hindus “worship...stones, beasts, plants and the sun, but they recognize that these things are creations of God and adore them simply because their forefathers did so.”80

Sultãn Mubãrak Shãh Khaljî (AD 1316-1320)

Warrangal (Andhra Pradesh)

“They pursued die enemy to the gates and set everything on fire. They burnt down all those gardens and groves. That paradise of idol-worshippers became like hell. The fire-worshippers of Bud were in alarm and flocked round their idols…”81


It was written by Sayyid Muhammad bin Mubãrak bin Muhammad ‘Alwî Kirmãnî known as Amîr or Mîr Khwurd. He was the grandson of an Iranian merchant who traded between Kirman in Iran and Lahore, and who became a disciple of Shykh Farîdu’d-Dîn Ganj-i-Shakar, the Sufi luminary of Ajodhan near Multan. His father was also a disciple of the same Sufi. The family travelled to Delhi after Shykh Farîd’s death and became devoted to Shykh Nizãmu’d-Dîn Auliyã‘. Mîr Khwurd was forced to migrate to Daulatabad by Sultãn Muhammad bin Tughlaq but allowed to return to Delhi after some time. It was then that he wrote this detailed biography of the Auliyã‘ and his disciples.

Shykh Mu‘în al-Dîn Chistî of Ajmer (d.  AD 1236)

Ajmer (Rajasthan)

“The other miracle is that before his arrival the whole of Hindustan was submerged by unbelief and idol-worship. Every haughty man in Hind pronounced himself to be Almighty God and considered himself as the partner of God. All the people of India used to prostrate themselves before stones, idols, trees, animals, cows and cow-dung. Because of the darkness of unbelief over this land their hearts were locked and hardened.

“All India was ignorant of orders of religion and law. All were ignorant of Allãh and His Prophet. None had seen the Ka‘ba. None had heard of the Greatness of Allãh.

“Because of his coming, the, Sun of real believers, the helper of religion, Mu‘în al-dîn, the darkness of unbelief in this land was illumined by the light of Islam.

“Because of his Sword, instead of idols and temples in the land of unbelief now there are mosques, mihrãb and mimbar. In the land where there were the sayings of the idol-worshippers, there is the sound of ‘Allãhu Akbar’.

“The descendants of those who were converted to Islam in this land will live until the Day of Judgement; so too will those who bring others into the fold of Islam by the sword of Islam. Until the Day of Judgement these converts will be in the debt of Shaykh al-Islãm Mu‘în al-dîn Hasan Sijzã and these people will be drawing closer to Almighty Allãh because of the auspicious devotion of Mu‘în al-dîn.”82


The author, ‘Abdu’llãh ibn Fazlu’llãh of Shiraz, is known by his literary name which was Wassãf, the panegyrist. The history he wrote is titled Tazjiyatu’l Amsãr Wa Tajriyatu’l Ãsãr. But it is popularly known as Tãrîkh-i-Wassãf. The first four volumes of the work were published in AD 1300. Later on, the author added a fifth volume, bringing the history down to AD 1328. The work was dedicated to Sultãn Uljãîtû, the Mongol ruler of Iran.

Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1296-1316)

Somnath (Gujarat)

“…In short, the Muhammadan army brought the country to utter ruin, and destroyed the lives of the inhabitants, and plundered the cities, and captured their offspring, so that many temples were deserted and the idols were broken and trodden under foot, the largest of which was one called Somnãt, fixed upon stone, polished like a mirror of charming shape and admirable workmanship… Its head was adorned with a crown set with gold and rubies and pearls and other precious stones… and a necklace of large shining pearls, like the belt of Orion, depended from the shoulder towards the side of the body.

“The Muhammadan soldiers plundered all these jewels and rapidly set themselves to demolish the idol. The surviving infidels were deeply affected with grief, and they engaged ‘to pay a thousand pieces of gold’ as ransom for the idol, but they were indignantly rejected, and the idol was destroyed, and ‘its limbs, which were anointed with ambergris and perfumed, were cut off. The fragments were conveyed to Delhi, and the entrance of the Jãmi‘ Masjid was paved with them, that people might remember and talk of this brilliant victory.’ Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds. Amen!”83


The author, Hamdu’llãh bin ‘Abû Bakr bin Hamd bin Nasr Mustaufî of Kazwin in Iran, composed this work in AD 1329. He was secretary to Ghiyãsu’d-Dîn as well as his father Rashîdu’d-Dîn, the ministers of Sultãn Uljãîtû. His work contains matter not found elsewhere.

Sultãn Mahmûd of Ghazni (AD 997-1030)

Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)

“…He now attacked the fort of Bhîm, where was a temple of the Hindus. He was victorious, and obtained much wealth, including about a hundred idols of gold and silver. One of the golden images, which weighed a million mishkãls, the Sultãn appropriated to the decoration of the Mosque of Ghaznî, so that the ornaments of the doors were of gold instead of iron.”84

Masãlik’ul Absãr fi Mamãlik’ul Amsãr

The author, Shihãbu’d-Dîn ‘Abu’l Abbãs Ahmad bin Yahya bin Fazlu’llãh al-‘Umrî, was born in AD 1301. He was educated at Damascus and Cairo. He is considered to be a great scholar of his time and author of many books. He occupied high positions in Syria and Egypt. This book of his is a large collection of history, geography and biographies. He himself never visited India about which he based his account on sources available to him. He died at Damascus in AD 1348.

Sultãn Muhammad bin Tughlaq (AD 1325-1351)

“The Sultãn is not slack in jihãd. He never lets go of his spear or bridle in pursuing jihãd by land and sea routes. This is his main occupation which engages his eyes and ears. He has spent vast sums for the establishment of the faith and the spread of Islãm in these lands, as a result of which the light of Islãm has reached the inhabitants and the flash of the true faith brightened among them. Fire temples85 have been destroyed and the images and idols of Budd have been broken, and the lands have been freed from those who were not included in the dãru’l Islãm, that is, those who had refused to become zimmîs. Islãm has been spread by him in the far east and has reached the point of sunrise. In the words of ‘Abû Nasr al-Ãinî, he has carried the flags of the followers of Islãm where they had never reached before and where no chapter or verse (of the Qur’ãn) had ever been recited. Thereafter he got mosques and places of worship erected, and music replaced by call to prayers (azãn), and the incantations of fire-worshippers stopped by recitations of the Qur’ãn. He directed the people of Islãm towards the citadels of the infidels and, by the grace of Allãh, made them (the believers) inheritors of wealth and land and that country which they (the believers) had never trodden upon…86

“The Sultãn who is ruling at present has achieved that which had not been achieved so far by any king. He has achieved victory, supremacy, conquest of countries, destruction of the forts of the infidels, and exposure of magicians. He has destroyed idols by which the people of Hindustãn were deceived in vain…”87


The author whose full name is not known is famous by his surname of Isãmî. His forefathers had served the Sultãns of Delhi since the days of Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236). He was born in AD 1311-12 and lived at Daulatabad (Devagiri) till 1351 when he finished this work at the age of forty. It covers the period from Mahamûd of Ghazni (AD 997-1030) to Muhammad bin Tughlaq (AD 1325-1351).

Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1296-1316)

Devagiri (Maharashtra)

“Malik Nãîb [Kãfûr] reached there expeditiously and occupied the fort… He built mosques in places occupied by temples.”88

Rehalã of Ibn Battûta

The full name of this book is Tuhfãtu’n-nuzzãr fi Gharãibu’l-amsãr wa Ajãibu’l-afsãr. The author was Shykh ‘Abû ‘Abdu’llãh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdu’llãh ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrãhim al-Lawãtî at-Tanjî al- Ma’ruf be Ibn Battûta. He belonged to an Arab family which was settled in Spain since AD 1312. His grandfather and father enjoyed the reputation of scholars and theologians. He himself was a great scholar who travelled extensively and over many lands. He came to India in 1325 and visited many places - east, west, north and south - till he left in 1346. India during this period was ruled by Muhammad bin Tughlaq with whom Ibn Battûta came in close contact. He was very fond of sampling Hindu girls from different parts of India. They were presented to him by the Sultãn and other Muslim big-wigs during his sojourn in various places. He also married Muslim women wherever he stayed, and divorced them before his departure. He finished his book in 1355 after reaching Fez in Morocco where his family lived after migration from Spain.

Lahari Bandar (Sindh)

“One day I rode in company with ‘Alã-ul-mulk and arrived at a plain called Tarna at a distance of seven miles from the city. There I saw innumerable stone images and animals, many of which had undergone a change, the original shape being obliterated.89 Some were reduced to a head, others to a foot and so on. Some of the stones were shaped like grain, wheat, peas, beans and lentils. And there were traces of a house which contained a chamber built of hewn stone, the whole of which looked like one solid mass. Upon it was a statue in the form of a man, the only difference being that its head was long, its mouth was towards a side of its face and its hands at its back like a captive’s. There were pools of water from which an extremely bad smell came. Some of the walls bore Hindî inscriptions. ‘Alã-ul-mulk told me that the historians assume that on this site there was a big city, most of the inhabitants of which were notorious. They were changed into stone. The petrified human form on the platform in the house mentioned above was that of their king. The house still goes by the name of ‘the king’s house’. It is presumed that the Hindî inscriptions, which some of the walls bear, give the history of the destruction of the inhabitants of this city. The destruction took place about a thousand years ago…”90


“Near the eastern gate of the mosque lie two very big idols of copper connected together by stones. Every one who comes in and goes out of the mosque treads over them. On the site of this mosque was a bud khãnã that is an idol-house. After the conquest of Delhi it was turned into a mosque…”91

Maldive Islands

“Reliable men among the inhabitants of the islands, like the jurist (faqîh) and teacher (mu‘allim) ‘Alî, the judge ‘Abdullãh - and others besides them - told me that the inhabitants of these islands were infidels… Subsequently a westerner named Abul Barakãt the Berbar who knew the great Qur’ãn came to them… He stayed amongst them and God opened the heart of the king to Islãm and he accepted it before the end of the month; and his wives, children and courtiers followed suit… They broke to pieces the idols and razed the idol-house to the ground. On this the islanders embraced Islãm and sent missionaries to the rest of the islands, the inhabitants of which also became Muslims. The westerner stood in high regard with them, and they accepted his cult which was that of Imãm Mãlik. May God be pleased with him!  And on account of him they honour the westerners up to this time. He built a mosque which is known after his name…”92

Tãrîkh-i-Fîrûz Shãhî

The author, Ziau’d-Dîn Baranî was born in AH 684 (AD 1285-86) at Baran, now known as Bulandshahar, in Uttar Pradesh. His ancestors, paternal as well as maternal, had occupied important positions in the reigns of Sultãn Ghiyãsu’d-Dîn Balban (AD 1266-1286) and the Khaljîs. His uncle was a confidant of ‘Alau’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1296-1316). Barani became a friend of Amîr Khusrû and a disciple of Nizãmu’d-Dîn Auliyã‘, the renowned Chishtî saint of Delhi. His prosperity continued in the reign of Sultãn Ghiyãsu’d-Dîn Tughlaq (AD 1320-1325) and he became a favourite of Sultãn Muhammad bin Tughlaq (AD 1325-1351). But he fell from favour with the rise of Sultãn Fîrûz Tughlaq (AD 1351-1388) and was imprisoned for five months for some offence. He completed this history in AD 1357. It covers a period of 82 years, from AD 1265 onwards. He wrote several other books among which Fatwa-i-Jahãndãrî is famous for its tenets regarding how an Islamic state should be run. Baranî’s ideal ruler was Sultãn Mahmûd of Ghazni. He exhorted Muslim rulers to follow Mahmûd’s example in their treatment of Hindus, for whom he often uses very foul language.

Sultãn Jalãlu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1290-1296)

Jhain (Rajasthan)

“In the year AH 689 (AD 1290), the Sultãn led an army to Rantambhor… He took… Jhãin, destroyed the idol temples, and broke and burned the idols…”93

Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh)

“ ’Alãu’d-dîn at this time held the territory of Karra, and with the permission of the Sultãn he marched to Bhailsãn (Bhîlsa).  He captured some bronze idols which the Hindus worshipped and sent them on carts with a variety of rich booty as presents to the Sultãn. The idols were laid before the Badãûn gate for true believers to tread upon…”94

Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1296-1316)

Somnath (Gujarat)

“At the beginning of the third year of the reign, Ulugh Khãn and Nusrat Khãn, with their amîrs and generals, and a large army marched against Gujarat… All Gujarãt became a prey to the invaders, and the idol, which after the victory of Sultãn Mahmûd and his destruction of (the idol) of Manãt, the Brahmans had set up under the name of Somanãt, for the worship of the Hindus, was carried to Delhi where it was laid for the people to tread upon…”95

Ma‘bar (Tamil Nadu)

“……Malik Nãîb Kãfûr marched on to Ma’bar, which he also took. He destroyed the golden idol temple (but-khãnah i-zarîn) of Ma’bar, and the golden idols which for ages had been worshipped by the Hindus of that country. The fragments of the golden temple, and of the broken idols of gold and gilt became the rich spoil of the army…”96

Tãrîkh-i-Fîrûz Shãhî

The author, Shams Sirãj Afîf or Shamsu’d-Dîn bin Siraju’d-Dîn, became a courtier of Sultãn Fîrûz Shãh Tughlaq and undertook to complete the aforementioned history of Baranî who had stopped at the sixth year of Fîrûz Shãh’s reign.

Sultãn Fîrûz Shãh Tughlaq (AD 1351-1388)

Puri (Orissa)

“The Sultãn left Banãrasî with the intention of pursuing the Rãî of Jãjnagar, who had fled to an island in the river… News was then brought that in the jangal were seven elephants, and one old she-elephant, which was very fierce. The Sultãn resolved upon endeavouring to capture these elephants before continuing the pursuit of the Rãî... 97

“After the hunt was over, the Sultãn directed his attention to the Rãî of Jãjnagar, and entering the palace where he dwelt he found many fine buildings. It is reported that inside the Rãî’s fort, there was a stone idol which the infidels called Jagannãth, and to which they paid their devotions. Sultãn Fîroz, in emulation of Mahmûd Subuktigîn, having rooted up the idol, carried it away to Delhi where he placed it in an ignominious position…”98

Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)

“The idol, Jwãlãmukhî, much worshipped by the infidels, was situated on the road to Nagarkot… Some of the infidels have reported that Sultãn Fîroz went specially to see this idol and held a golden umbrella over it. But the author was informed by his respected father, who was in the Sultãn’s retinue, that the infidels slandered the Sultãn, who was a religious, God-fearing man, who, during the whole forty years of his reign, paid strict obedience to the law, and that such an action was impossible. The fact is, that when he went to see the idol, all the rãîs, rãnas and zamîndãrs who accompanied him were summoned into his presence, when he addressed them, saying, ‘O fools and weak-minded, how can ye pray to and worship this stone, for our holy law tells us that those who oppose the decrees of our religion, will go to hell?’ The Sultãn held the idol in the deepest detestation, but the infidels, in the blindness of their delusion, have made this false statement against him. Other infidels have said that Sultãn Muhammad Shãh bin Tughlik Shãh held an umbrella over the same idol, but this is also a lie; and good Muhammadans should pay no heed to such statements. These two Sultãns were sovereigns especially chosen by the Almighty from among the faithful, and in the whole course of their reigns, wherever they took an idol temple they broke and destroyed it; how, then, can such assertions be true? The infidels must certainly have lied!”99


“A report was brought to the Sultãn that there was in Delhi an old Brahman (zunãr dãr) who persisted in publicly performing the worship of idols in his house; and that people of the city, both Musulmãns and Hindus, used to resort to his house to worship the idol. The Brahman had constructed a wooden tablet (muhrak), which was covered within and without with paintings of demons and other objects… An order was accordingly given that the Brahman, with his tablet, should be brought into the presence of the Sultãn at Fîrozãbãd. The judges and doctors and elders and lawyers were summoned, and the case of the Brahman was submitted for their opinion. Their reply was that the provisions of the Law were clear: the Brahman must either become a Musulmãn or be burned. The true faith was declared to the Brahman, and the right course pointed out, but he refused to accept it. Orders were given for raising a pile of faggots before the door of the darbãr. The Brahman was tied hand and foot and cast into it; the tablet was thrown on top and the pile was lighted. The writer of this book was present at the darbãr and witnessed the execution. The tablet of the Brahman was lighted in two places, at his head and at his feet; the wood was dry, and the fire first reached his feet, and drew from him a cry, but the flames quickly enveloped his head and consumed him. Behold the Sultãn’s strict adherence to law and rectitude, how he would not deviate in the least from its decrees!”100


The author, Ãînu’d-Dîn Abdullãh bin Mãhrû, was a high official in the court of Sultãn Fîrûz Shãh Tughlaq. Inshã-i-Mãhrû is a collection of 133 letters related to various events.

Sultãn Fîrûz Shãh Tughlaq (AD 1351-1388)

Jajnagar (Orissa)

“The victorious standards set out from Jaunpur for the destruction of idols, slaughter of the enemies of Islãm and hunt for elephants near Padamtalãv… The Sultãn saw Jãjnagar which had been praised by all

“The troops which had been appointed for the destruction of places around Jãjnagar, ended the conceit of the infidels by means of the sword and the spear. Wherever there were temples and idols in that area, they were trampled under the hoofs of the horses of Musalmãns…102

“After obtaining victory and sailing on the sea and destroying the temple of Jagannãth and slaughtering the idolaters, the victorious standards started towards Delhi…”103

Futûhãt-i-Fîrûz Shãhî

This small history was written by Sultãn Fîrûz Shãh Tughlaq (AD 1351-1388) himself. The writer of Tabqãt-i-Akbarî, Nizãm’ud-Dîn Ahmad, a 16th century historian, says that the Sultãn had got the eight chapters of his work inscribed on eight slabs of stone which were fixed on eight sides of the octagonal dome of a building near the Jãmi‘ Masjid at Fîrûzãbãd.

Prayers for Temple-destroyers of the Past

“The next matter which by God’s help I accomplished, was the repetition of names and titles of former sovereigns which had been omitted from the prayers of Sabbaths and Feasts. The names of those sovereigns of Islãm, under whose happy fortune and favour infidel countries had been conquered, whose banners had waved over many a land, under whom idol-temples had been demolished, and mosques and pulpits built and exalted, the fragrant creed had been extended, and the people of Islãm had waxen strong and warlike, the names of these men had fallen into neglect and oblivion. So I decreed that according to established custom their names and titles should be rehearsed in the khutba and aspirations offered for the remission of their sins.”104

Delhi and Environs

“The Hindus and idol-worshippers had agreed to pay the money for toleration (zar-i zimmiya) and had consented to the poll-tax (jizya) in return for which they and their families enjoyed security. These people now erected new idol-temples in the city and the environs in opposition to the Law of the Prophet which declares that such temples are not to be tolerated. Under divine guidance I destroyed these edifices and I killed those leaders of infidelity who seduced others into error, and the lower orders I subjected to stripes and chastisement, until this abuse was entirely abolished. The following is an instance:- In the village of Malûh105 there is a tank which they call kund (tank). Here they had built idol-temples and on certain days the Hindus were accustomed to proceed thither on horseback, and wearing arms. Their women and children also went out in palankins and carts. There they assembled in thousands and performed idol-worship… When intelligence of this came to my ears my religious feelings prompted me at once to put a stop to this scandal and offence to the religion of Islãm. On the day of the assembly I went there in person and I ordered that the leaders of these people and the promoters of this abomination should be put to death. I forbade the infliction of any severe punishments on Hindus in general, but I destroyed their idol-temples, and instead thereof raised mosques. I founded two flourishing towns (kasba), one called Tughlikpûr, the other Sãlãrpûr. Where infidels and idolaters worshipped idols, Musulmãns now, by God’s mercy, perform their devotions to the true God. Praises of God and the summons to prayer are now heard there, and that place which was formerly the home of infidels has become the habitation of the faithful, who there repeat their creed and offer up their praises to God.

“Information was brought to me that some Hindus had erected a new idol temple in the village of Sãlihpûr, and were performing worship to their idols. I sent some persons there to destroy the idol temple, and put a stop to their pernicious incitements to error.”106

Gohana (Haryana)

“Some Hindûs had erected a new idol-temple in the village of Kohãna, and the idolaters used to assemble there and perform their idolatrous rites. These people were seized and brought before me. I ordered that the perverse conduct of the leaders of this wickedness should be publicly proclaimed, and that they should be put to death before the gate of the palace. I also ordered that the infidel books, the idols, and the vessels used in their worship, which had been taken with them, should all be publicly burnt. The others were restrained by threats and punishments, as a warning to all men, that no zimmî could follow such wicked practices in a Musulmãn country.”107

Sîrat-Fîrûz Shãhî

It is a text either written or dictated by Sultãn Fîrûz Shãh Tughlaq himself. According to this book, the objects of his expedition to Jajnagar were: “extirpating Rai Gajpat, massacring the unbelievers, demolishing their temples, hunting elephants, and getting a glimpse of their enchanting country.” ‘Ain-ul-Mulk also says, “The object of the expedition was to break the idols, to shed the blood of the enemies of Islãm (and) to hunt elephants.”108

Sultãn Fîrûz Shãh Tughlaq (AD 1351-1388)

Puri (Orissa)

“Allãh, who is the only true God and has no other emanation, endowed the king of Islãm with the strength to destroy this ancient shrine on the eastern sea-coast and to plunge it into the sea, and after its destruction, he ordered the nose of the image of Jagannãth to be perforated and disgraced it by casting it down on the ground. They dug out other idols, which were worshipped by the polytheists in the kingdom of Jãjnagar, and overthrew them as they did the image of Jagannãth, for being laid in front of the mosques along the path of the Sunnis and way of the musallis (the multitude who offer prayers) and stretched them in front of the portals of every mosque, so that the body and sides of the images may be trampled at the time of ascent and descent, entrance and exit, by the shoes on the feet of the Muslims.”109

Tãrîkh-i-Mubãrak Shãhî

The author, Yahya bin Ahmad bin Abdu’llãh Sirhindî, lived in the reign of Sultãn Muizu’d-Dîn Abu’l Fath Mubãrak Shãh (AD 1421-1434) of the Sayyid dynasty which ruled at Delhi from AD 1414 to 1451. This history starts from the time of Muhammad Ghûrî (AD 1175-1206) and closes with the year AD 1434.

Sultãn Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236)

Vidisha and Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh)

“In AH 631 he invaded Mãlwah, and after suppressing the rebels of that place, he destroyed that idol-temple which had existed there for the past three hundred years.

“Next he turned towards Ujjain and conquered it, and after demolishing the idol-temple of Mahãkãl, he uprooted the statue of Bikramãjît together with all other statues and images which were placed on pedestals, and brought them to the capital where they were laid before the Jãmi‘ Masjid for being trodden under foot by the people.”110

Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1296-1316)

Somnath (Gujarat)

“Ulugh Khãn invaded Gujarãt. He sacked the whole country… He pursued the Rãî upto Somnãth. He destroyed the temple of Somnãth which was the principal place of worship for the Hindûs and great Rãîs since ancient times. He constructed a mosque on the site and returned to Delhi…”111


The author, Muhammad Bihãmad Khãnî was the son of the governor of Irich in Bundelkhand. He was a soldier who participated in several wars. At last he became the disciple of a Sufi, Yûsuf Buddha, of Irich and spent the rest of his life in religious pursuits. His history covers a long period - from Prophet Muhammad to AD 1438-39.

Sultãn Ghiyãsu’d-Dîn Tughlaq Shãh II (AD 1388-89)

Kalpi (Uttar Pradesh)

“In the meanwhile Delhi received news of the defeat of the armies of Islãm which were with Malikzãdã Mahmûd bin Fîrûz Khãn… This Malikzãdã reached the bank of the Yamunã via Shãhpur and renamed Kãlpî, which was the abode and centre of the infidels and the wicked, as Muhammadãbãd, after the name of Prophet Muhammad. He got mosques erected for the worship of Allãh in places occupied by temples, and made that city his capital.”112

Sultãn Nasîru’d-Dîn Mahmûd Shãh Tughlaq (AD 1389-1412)

Kalpi (Uttar Pradesh)

“Historians have recorded that in the auspicious year AH 792 (AD 1389-90) Sultãn Nasîru’d-Dîn got founded a city named Muhammadãbãd, after the name of Prophet Muhammad, at a place known as Kãlpî which was a home of the accursed infidels, and he got mosques raised in place of temples for the worship of Allãh. He got palaces, tombs and schools constructed, and ended the wicked ways of the infidels, and promoted the Shariat of Prophet Muhammad…”113

Khandaut (Uttar Pradesh)

“He laid waste KhaNdaut which was the home of infidels and, having made it an abode of Islãm, founded Mahmûdãbãd after his own name. He got a splendid palace and fort constructed there and established all the customs of Islãm in that city and place.”114

Prayag and Kara (Uttar Pradesh)

“The Sultãn moved with the armies of Islãm towards Prayãg and Arail with the aim of destroying the infidels, and he laid waste both those places. The vast crowd which had collected at Prayãg for worshipping false gods was made captive. The inhabitants of Karã were freed from the mischief of rebels on account of this aid from the king and the name of this king of Islãm became famous by this reason.”115

Jawamiu’l Kilãm

The book contains the malfûzãt of Khwãjah Sayyid Muhammad bin Yãsuf al-Husainî Bandã Nawãz Gisû Darãz (AD 1321-1422), one of the leading disciples of Shykh Nasiru’d-Dîn Mahmûd Chirãgh-i-Dihlî. He settled down at Gulbarga, the capital of the Bahmanî Empire in the Deccan, and became the mentor of Sultãn Ahmad Shãh Bahmanî (AD 1422-1436).

Shykh Jalãlu’d-Dîn Tabrizî (AH 533-623)

Pandua (Bengal)

“An anecdote relating to Shaikh Jalalu’d-Din’s stay in Deva Mahal reads like other stock-in-trade stories and fairytales. It was related by such an authority as Gisu Daraz. According to him Shaikh Jalalu’d-Din stayed at Pandua in the house of a flower vendor. On the day of his arrival, he found each of the house members crying. On enquiry he was told there was a demon in the temple who daily ate a young man. It was the king’s duty to provide the demon with his daily food. On that day it was the turn of the young son in the family. The Shaikh requested them to send him in place of their son but they refused to accept the offer for fear of the king. The Shaikh, then followed the young man to the temple and killed the demon with a single blow from his staff. When the king accompanied by his retinue reached the temple to worship the demon they were amazed to find the demon killed and an old man dressed in black with his head covered with a blanket. The Shaikh invited them to see the fate with their god. The sight of their vanquished idol prompted them to accept Islam.”116


The author, Ghiyãsu’d-Dîn Muhammad bin Humãmu’d-Dîn, is known as Khondmîr. He was the son of Mîrkhond, the author of the famous Persian history, Rauzatu’s-Safa. Born at Herat in AD 1475 he reached Agra in 1528-29 when he was introduced to Bãbur. He accompanied Bãbur in his expedition to Bengal and Humãyûn in his expedition to Gujarat where he died in 1534-35. His Khulãstu’l-Akhbãr is a history of Asia brought down to AD 1471. The Habîbu’s-Siyar which he started writing in 1521 starts with the birth of the Prophet and comes down to AD 1534-35.

Sultãn Mahmûd of Ghazni (AD 997-1030)

Somnath (Gujarat)

“He several times waged war against the infidels of Hindustãn, and he brought under his subjection a large portion of their country, until, having made himself master of Somnãt, he destroyed all idol temples of that country…117

“…Sultãn Mahmûd, having entered into the idol temple, beheld an excessively long and broad room, in so much that fifty-six pillars had been made to support the roof. Somnãt was an idol cut out of stone, whose height was five yards, of which three yards were visible, and two yards were concealed in the ground. Yamînu-d daula having broken that idol with his own hand, ordered that they should pack up pieces of the stone, take them to Ghaznîn, and throw them on the threshold of the Jãma’ Masjid…”118

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

“From that place the Sultãn proceeded to a certain city, which was accounted holy by the people of the country. In that city the men of Ghaznîn saw so many strange and wonderful things, that to tell them or to write a description of them is not easy… In short, the Sultãn Mahmûd having possessed himself of the booty, burned their idol temples and proceeded towards Kanauj.”119

Kanauj (Uttar Pradesh)

“…The Ghaznivids found in these forts and their dependencies 10,000 idol temples, and they ascertained the vicious belief of the Hindus to be, that since the erection of these buildings no less than three or four hundred thousand years had elapsed. Sultãn Mahmûd during this expedition achieved many other conquests after he left Kanauj, and sent to hell many of the infidels with blows of the well tempered sword. Such a number of slaves were assembled in that great camp, that the price of a single one did not exceed ten dirhams.”120


It is an autobiography written in the form of a diary by Zahîru’d-Dîn Muhammad Bãbur, founder of the Mughal dynasty in India, who proclaimed himself a Pãdshãh after his victory in the First Battle of Panipat (AD 1526), and a Ghãzî (killer of kãfirs) after the defeat of RãNã Sãñgã in the Battle of Khanwa (AD 1528). While presenting himself as an indefatigable warrior and drug-addict he does not hide the cruelties he committed on the defeated people, particularly his fondness for building towers of the heads of those he captured as prisoners of war or killed in battle. He is very liberal in citing appropriate verses from the Qur’ãn on the eve of his battle with RãNã Sãñgã. In order to ensure his victory, he makes a covenant with Allãh by breaking the vessels containing wine as also the cups for drinking it, swearing at the same time that “he would break the idols of the idol-worshippers in a similar manner.”121 In the Fath-Nãma (prayer for victory) composed for him by Shykh Zain, Allah is described as “destroyer of idols from their foundations.”122 The language he uses for his Hindu adversaries is typically Islamic.

Zahîru’d-Dîn Muhammad Bãbur Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1526-1530)

Chanderi (Madhya Pradesh)

“In AH 934 (AD 1528), I attacked Chanderî and, by the grace of Allãh, captured it in a few hours… We got the infidels slaughtered and the place which had been a dãru’l-harb for years, was made into a dãru’l-Islãm.”123

Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)

“Next day, at the time of the noon prayer, we went out for seeing those places in Gwãlior which we had not yet seen… Going out of the Hãthîpole Gate of the fort, we arrived at a place called Urwã…

“Solid rocks surround Urwã on three sides… On these sides people have carved statues in stone. They are in all sizes, small and big. A very big statue, which is on the southern side, is perhaps 20 yards high. These statues are altogether naked and even their private parts are not covered…

“Urwã is not a bad place. It is an enclosed space. Its biggest blemish is its statues. I ordered that they should be destroyed.”124


The author, Hamîd bin Fazlullãh is also known as Dervish Jamãlî Kamboh Dihlawî. He was a Sufi of the Suhrawardiyya sect who died in AD 1536 while accompanying the Mughal Emperor Humãyun in the latter’s expedition to Gujarat. His son, Shykh Gadãî was with the Mughal army in the Second Battle of Panipat (AD 1556) and advised Akbar to kill the Hindu king, Hîmû, with his own hand. On Akbar’s refusal, according to Badãunî, Shykh Gadãî helped Bairam Khãn in doing the same deed. Siyaru’l-‘Ãrifîn, completed between AD 1530 and 1536, is an account of the Chishtî and Suhrawardî Sufis of the period.

Shykh Jalãlu’d-Dîn Tabrizî (AH 533-623)

He was the second most outstanding disciple of Shykh Shihabu’d-Dîn Suhrawardî (AD 1145-1235), founder of the Suhrawardiyya silsilã of Sufism. Having lived in Multan, Delhi and Badaun, he finally settled down in Lakhanauti, also known as Gaur, in Bengal.

Devatala (Bengal)

“Shaikh Jalalu’d-Dîn had many disciples in Bengal. He first lived at Lakhnauti, constructed a khanqah and attached a langar to it. He also bought some gardens and land to be attached to the monastery. He moved to Devatalla (Deva Mahal) near Pandua in northern Bengal. There a kafir (either a Hindu or a Buddhist) had erected a large temple and a well. The Shaikh demolished the temple and constructed a takiya (khanqah) and converted a large number of kafirs… Devatalla came to be known as Tabrizabad and attracted a large number of pilgrims.”125

Shykh ‘Abû Bakr Tûsî Haidarî (Thirteenth Century AD)

He was a qalandar (anchorite) of the Haidarî sect founded by a Turk named Haidar, who lived in Sawa in Kuhistan. His disciples migrated into India when the Mongols sacked their homeland.


“The most prominent Indian Haidari was Shaikh Abu Bakr Tusi Haidari, who settled in Delhi in the mid-thirteenth century. There he demolished a temple on a site on the banks of the Jamna where he built a khanqah and organized sama gathering. Shaikh Nizamu’d-Din Auliya’ was a frequent visitor of Abu Bakr as was Shaikh Jamalu’d-Din of Hansi when he was in Delhi. The latter gave Shaikh Abu Bakr the title Baz-i Safid (White Falcon) symbolizing his rare mystical achievements.”126


The author, Ahmad Yãdgãr, was an old servant of the Sûr sultãns. He started writing this history on order from Da‘ûd Shãh bin Sulaimãn Shãh. It is also known as Tãrîkh-i-Afãghana and Tãrîkh-i-Salãtin-I-Afãghana. It deals with the history of the Lodîs down to AD 1554. He completed it in AH 1001-02 (AD 1592-93). He calls the Hindu kings “rascally infidels”, “black-faced foes”, “evil-doers”, “dark-faced men”, etc. He extols the plunder and depopulation of entire regions by Bahlûl Lodî (AD 1451-1489). He reports how Bãbur presented to his sons, Humãyûn and Kãmrãn, two daughters of the Raja of Chanderi.

Sultãn Sikandar Lodî (AD 1489-1517)

Kurukshetra (Haryana)

“One day he ordered that ‘an expedition be sent to Thaneswar, (the tanks at) Kurkaksetra should be filled up with earth, and the land measured and allotted to pious people for their maintenance,’ …He was such a great partisan of Islãm in die days of his youth…”127

Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)

“Sultãn Sikandar led a very pious life… Islãm was regarded very highly in his reign. The infidels could not muster the courage to worship idols or bathe in the (sacred) streams. During his holy reign, idols were hidden underground. The stone (idol) of Nagarkot, which had misled the (whole) world, was brought and handed over to butchers so that they might weigh meat with it.”128

Sultãn Ibrãhim Lodî (AD 1517-1526)

Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)

“It so happened that Rãjã Mãn, the ruler of Gwãlior who had been warring with the Sultãns for years, went to hell. His son, Bikarmãjît, became his successor. The Sultãn captured the fort after a hard fight. There was a quadruped, made of copper, at the door of the fort. It used to speak. It was brought from there and placed in the fort at Agra. It remained there till the reign of Akbar Bãdshãh. It was melted and a cannon was made out of it at the order of the Bãdshãh.”129

Tãrîkh-i-Sher Shãhî

The author, Abbãs Sarwãnî, was connected with the family of Sher Shãh Sûr by marriage. He wrote this work by order of Akbar, the Mughal emperor, and named it Tuhfãt-i-Akbar Shãhî. But it became known as Tãrîkh-i-Sher Shãhî because of its main theme. He wrote it probably soon after AD 1579.

Sher Shãh Sûr (AD 1538-1545)

“…The nobles and chiefs said, ‘It seems expedient that the victorious standards should move towards the Dekhin’…Sher Shãh replied: ‘What you have said is most right and proper, but it has come into my mind that since the time of Sultãn Ibrãhîm, the infidel zamîndãrs have rendered the country of Islãm full of unbelievers, and having thrown down masjids and buildings of the believers, placed idol-shrines in them, and they are in possession of the country of Delhî and Mãlwã. Until I have cleansed the country from the existing contamination of the unbelievers, I will not go into any other country’…”130


The author, Shykh Rizqu’llãh Mushtãqî, was born in AD 1492 and died in 1581. He heard accounts of the past from the learned men of his times and compiled them in a book. He was a great story-teller who revelled in “marvels”. He was known for his study of Sufi doctrines and spiritual exercises.

Sultãn Sikandar Lodî (AD 1489-1517)

Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)

“Khawãs Khãn, who was the predecessor of Mîãn Bhûa, having been ordered by the Sultãn to march towards Nagarkot, in order to bring the hill country under subjection, succeeded in conquering it, and having sacked the infidels’ temple of Debi Shankar, brought away the stone which they worshipped, together with a copper umbrella, which was placed over it, and on which a date was engraved in Hindu characters, representing it to be two thousand years old. When the stone was sent to the King, it was given over to the butchers to make weights out of it for the purpose of weighing their meat. From the copper of the umbrella, several pots were made, in which water might be warmed, and which were placed in the masjids and the King’s own palace, so that everyone might wash his hands, feet and face in them and perform "131 his purifications before prayers…”131

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

“He got the temples of the infidels destroyed.  No trace of infidelity was left at the place in Mathurã where the infidels used to take bath. He got caravanserais constructed so that people could stay there, and also the shops of various professionals such as the butchers, bãwarchîs, nãnbãîs and sweetmeatsellers. If a Hindu went there for bathing even by mistake, he was made to lose his limbs and punished severely. No Hindu could get shaved at that place. No barber would go near a Hindu, whatever be the payment offered.”132

Sultãn Ghiyãsu’d-Dîn Khaljî of Malwa (AD 1469-1500)

Jodhpur (Rajasthan)

“Once upon a time a temple had been constructed in Jodhpur. The Sultãn sent the Qãzî of Mandû with orders that he should get the temple demolished. He had said to him, ‘If they do not demolish the temple on instructions from you, you stay there and let me know.’ When the Qãzî arrived there, the infidels refused to obey the order of the Sultãn and said, ‘Has Ghiyãsu’d-Dîn freed himself from lechery so that he has turned his attention to this side?’ The Qãzî informed the king accordingly. He climbed on his mount in Mandû and reached Jodhpur in a single night. He punished the infidels and laid waste the temple…”133


It was composed in AD 1585 by Mullã Ahmad ThaTãwî and Ãsaf Khãn. It covers a period of one thousand years from the death of the Prophet.

Sultãn Mahmûd of Ghazni (AD 997-1030)

Somnath (Gujarat)

“Mahmûd, as soon as his eyes fell on this idol, lifted up his battle-axe with much anger, and struck it with such force that the idol broke into pieces. The fragments of it were ordered to be taken to Ghaznîn, and were cast down at the threshold of the Jãmi’ Masjid where they are lying to this day…”134


The author, Sayyid ‘Alî bin ‘Azîzu’llãh Tabãtabã Hasanî, served Muhammad Qutb Shãh (AD 1580-1627) of Golconda at first and then Sultãn Burhãn Nizãm Shãh (AD 1591-1595) of Ahmadnagar. He wrote this history in AD 1592. It deals with the Bahmanî Sultãns of Gulbarga (AD 1347-1422) and Bidar (AD 1422-1538) and the Nizãm Shãhî Sultãns of Ahmadnagar upto AD 1596.

Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Hasan Bahman Shãh (AD 1347-1358)

Dankuri (Karnataka)

“The Sultãn sent Khwãja-i-Jahãn to Gulbargã, Sikandar Khãn to Bîdar, Qîr Khãn to Kûtar, Safdar Khãn to Sakar which is called Sãgar, and Husain Garshãsp to Kotgîr. He appointed other chiefs to invade the kingdom of the infidels. ‘Aitmãdul Mulk and Mubãrak Khãn led raids upon the river Tãwî and laid waste the Hindu Kingdom. After having invaded the province of Dankurî and cutting off the head of Manãt,135 they attacked Janjwãl…”136


The author, Khwãjah Nizãmu’d-Dîn Ahmad bin Muhammad Muqîm al-Harbî, was a Bakshî in the reign of Akbar, the Mughal emperor (AD 1556-1605). He wrote this history in AD 1592-93 and added to it, later on, events upto 1593-94. He died next year. The history starts with the times of the Ghaznivid Sultãns. The work was initially known as Tabqãt-i-Akbar Shãhî but became known as simply Tabqãt-i-Akbarî. It is also known as Tãrîkh-i-Nizãmî. It is the first Muslim history which confines itself to India and excludes matter relating to other countries.

Amîr Subuktigîn (AD 977-997)

“After this with kingly energy and determination, he girded up his loins for a war of religion, and invaded Hindustãn, and carried away many prisoners of war and other plunder; and in every country, which he conquered, he founded mosques, and he endeavoured to ruin and desolate the territories of Rãjã Jaipãl who, at that time, was the ruler of Hindustãn.”137

Sultãn Mahmûd of Ghazni (AD 997-1030)

Thanesar (Haryana)

“The Sultãn now received information that there was a city in Hindustãn called Thãnessar, and there was a great temple there in which there was an idol called Jagarsom, whom the people of Hindustãn worshipped. He collected a large force with the object of carrying on a religious war, and in the year AH 402 marched towards Thãnessar. The son of Jaipãl having received intelligence of this, sent an envoy and represented through him, that if the Sultãn would relinquish this enterprise, he would send fifty elephants as tribute. The Sultãn paid no heed to this offer, and when he reached Thãnessar he found the city empty. The soldiers ravaged and plundered whatever they could lay hands upon, broke the idols and carried Jagarsom to Ghaznîn. The Sultãn ordered that the idol should the placed in front of the place of prayer, so that people would trample upon it.”138

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

“From that place [Mahãwan] the Sultãn advanced to Mathurah, which is a large city containing many temples… and the Sultãn completely destroyed the city and burnt the temples… There was one golden idol which was broken up under the orders of the Sultãn…”139

Somnath (Gujarat)

“Then in accordance with his custom, he advanced with his army towards Hindustãn with the object of the conquest of Somnãth… there were many golden idols in the temple in the city, and the largest of these idols was called Manãt…

“…When he reached Somnãth, the inhabitants shut the gate on his face. After much fighting and great struggles the fort was taken, and vast multitudes were killed and taken prisoners. The temples were pulled down, and destroyed from their very foundations. The gold idol Somnãth was broken into pieces, and one piece was sent to Ghaznîn, and was placed at the gate of the Jãmi’ Masjid; and for years it remained there.”140

Sultãn ‘Abû-Sa‘îd Mas‘ûd of Ghazni (AD 1030-1042)

Sonipat (Haryana)

“…He marched with his army to the fort of Sonipat, and the commandant of that fort, Daniãl Har by name, becoming aware of his approach, fled… the army of Islam, having captured that fort, pulled down all the temples and obtained an enormous quantity of booty.”141

Ikhtiyãru’d-Dîn Muhammad Bakhtiyãr Khaljî (AD 1202-1206)


“In short, Muhammad Bakhtiyar assumed the canopy, and had prayers read, and coin struck in his own name and founded mosques and Khãnkahs and colleges, in place of the temples of the heathens.”142

Sultãn Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236)

Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh)

“…In the year AH 631, he invaded the country of Mãlwah and conquered the fort of Bhîlsã. He also took the city of Ujjain, and had the temple of Mahãkãl… completely demolished, destroying it from its foundations; and he carried away the effigy of Bikramãjît… and certain other statues which were fashioned in molten brass, and placed them in the ground in front of the Jãmi’ Masjid, so that they might he trampled upon by the people.”143

Sultãn Jalãu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1290-1296)

Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh)

“About the same time Malik Alãu’d-Dîn, the nephew of the Sultãn, begged that he might have permission to march against Bhîlsah and pillage those tracts. He received the necessary orders, and went and ravaged the country and brought much booty for the Sultãn’s service. He also brought two brass idols which had been the object of the worship of the Hindus of these parts; and cast them down in front of the Badãûn Gate to be trampled upon by the people…”144

Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1296-1316)

Somnath (Gujarat)

“In the third year after the accession, the Sultãn sent Ulugh Khãn and Nasrat Khãn, with large armies to invade Gujarãt. They ravaged and plundered Nahrwãlah, and all the cities of the province… Ulugh Khãn and Nasrat Khãn also brought the idol, which the Brãhmans of Somnãth had set up, and were worshipping, in place of the one which Sultãn Mahmûd had broken to pieces, to Delhi, and placed it where the people would trample upon it…”145

M‘abar (Tamil Nadu)

“Again in the year AH 716 Sultãn Alãuddîn sent Malik Nãib towards Dhor Samundar (Dvar Samudra) and M’abar… they then advanced with their troops to M’abar, and conquered it also, and having demolished the temples there, and broken the golden and jewelled idols, sent the gold into the treasury…”146

Sultãn Fîrûz Shãh Tughlaq (AD 1351-1388)

“Sultãn Fîrûz Shãh composed a book also in which he compiled an account of his reign and which he named Futuhãt-i-Fîrûz Shãhî147

“He writes in its second chapter… ‘Muslim and infidel women used to visit sepulchres and temples, which led to many evils. I stopped it. I got mosques built in place of temples’…”148

Sultãn Sikandar Lodî (AD 1489-1517)

Mandrail (Madhya Pradesh)

“After the rainy season was over, he marched in Ramzãn AH 910 (AD February-March, 1505) for the conquest of the fort of MunDrãil. He stayed for a month near Dholpur and sent out armies with orders that they should lay waste the environs of Gwãlior and MunDrãil. Thereafter he himself laid siege to the fort of MunDrãil. Those inside the fort surrendered the fort to him after signing a treaty. The Sultãn got the temples demolished and mosques erected in their stead…”149

Udit Nagar (Madhya Pradesh)

“After the rainy season was over, he led an expedition towards the fort of Udit Nagar in AH 912 (AD 1506-07)…150

“…Although those inside the fort tried their utmost to seek a pardon, but he did not listen to them, and the fort was breached at many points and conquered… The Sultãn thanked Allãh in die wake of his victory… He got the temples demolished and mosques constructed in their stead…”151

Narwar (Madhya Pradesh)

“After the rainy season was over, he made up his mind to take possession of the fort of Narwar which was in the domain of Mãlwã. He ordered Jalãl Khãn Lodî, the governor of Kãlpî, to go there and besiege the fort… The Sultãn himself reached Narwar after some time… He kept the fort under siege for an year… The soldiers went out to war everyday and got killed… 

“Thereafter the inhabitants of the fort were in plight due to scarcity of water and dearness of grains, and they asked for forgiveness. They went out with their wealth and property. The Sultãn laid waste the temples and raised mosques. Men of learning and students were made to reside there and given scholarships and grants. He stayed for six months under the walls of the fort.”152

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

“He was a stout partisan of Islãm and made great endeavours on this score. He got all temples of the infidels demolished, and did not allow even a trace of them to remain. In Mathurã, where the infidels used to get together for bathing, he got constructed caravanserais, markets, mosques and madrasas, and appointed there officers with instructions that they should allow no one to bathe; if any Hindû desired to get his beard or head shaved in the city of Mathurã, no barber was prepared to cut his hair.”153

Sultãn Ibrãhîm Lodî (AD 1517-1526)

Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)

“At the same time the Sultãn thought that though ‘Sultãn Sikandar had led several expeditions for conquering the fort of Gwãlior and the country attached to it but met with no success.’ Consequently he sent ‘Ãzam Humãyûn, the governor of Karã, with 300,000 horsemen and 300 elephants for the conquest of Gwãlior…  After some time the royal army laid a mine, filled it with gunpowder, and set fire to it. He entered the fort and took possession of it after the wall of the fort was breached. He saw there a bull made of brass, which the Hindûs had worshipped for years. In keeping with a royal order, the bull was brought to Delhî and placed at the Baghdãd Gate. It was still there till the reign of Akbar. The writer of this history saw it himself.”154

Sultãn Mahmûd bin Ibrãhîm Sharqî (AD 1440-1457)


“After some time he proceeded to Orissa with the intention of jihãd. He attacked places in the neighbourhood of that province and laid them waste, and destroyed the temples after demolishing them…”155

Sultãn Mahmûd Khaljî of Malwa (AD 1436-1469)

Chittaurgarh (Rajasthan)

“After he had crossed the river Bhîm, he started laying waste the country and capturing its people by sending expeditions towards Chittor everyday. He started constructing mosques after demolishing temples. He stayed 2-3 days at every halt.”156

Kumbhalgadh (Rajasthan)

“When he halted near Kumbhalmîr which was a very big fort of that province, and well-known for its strength all over Hindustãn, Devã the Vakîl of the Governor of Kumbhã took shelter in the fort and started fighting. It so happened that a magnificent temple had been erected in front of that fort and surrounded by ramparts on all sides. That temple had been filled with weapons of war and other stores. Sultãn Mahmûd planned to storm the ramparts and captured it [the temple] in a week. A large number of Rajpûts were made prisoners and slaughtered. About the edifices of the temple, he ordered that they should be stocked with wood and fired, and water and vinegar was sprinkled on the walls. That magnificent mansion which it had taken many years to raise, was destroyed in a few moments. He got the idols broken and they were handed over to the butchers for being used as weights while selling meat. The biggest idol which had the form of a ram was reduced to powder which was put in betel-leaves to be given to the Rajpûts so that they could eat their god.”157

Mandalgadh (Rajasthan)

“He started for the conquest of ManDalgaDh on 26 Muharram, AH 861 (AD 24 December, 1456) after making full preparation… Reaching there the Sultãn issued orders that ‘trees should be uprooted, houses demolished and no trace should be left of human habitation’… A great victory was achieved on 1 Zilhijjã, AH 861 (AD 20 October, 1457).  Sultãn Mahmûd offered thanks to Allãh in all humility. Next day, he entered the fort. He got the temples demolished and their materials used in the construction of a Jãmi‘ Masjid. He appointed there a qãzi, a muftî, a muhtasib, a khatîb and a mu‘zzin and established order in that place…”158

Kelwara and Delwara (Rajasthan)

“Sultãn Mahmûd started again in AH 863 (AD 1458-59) for punishing the Rajpûts. When he halted at ÃhãD, Prince Ghiyãsu’d-Dîn and Fidan Khãn were sent towards Kîlwãrã and Dîlwãrã in order to lay waste those lands. They destroyed those lands and attacked the environs of Kumbhalmîr.

“When they came to the presence of the Sultãn and praised the fort of Kumbhalmîr, the Sultãn started for Kumbhalmîr next day and went ahead destroying temples on the way. When he halted near that fort, he mounted his horse and went up a hill which was to the east of the fort in order to survey the city. He said, ‘It is not possible to capture this fort without a siege lasting for several years’…”159

Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1392-1410)

Idar (Gujarat)

“In AH 796 (AD 1393-94), it was reported that Sultãn Muhammad bin Fîrûz Shãh had died at Delhî and that the affairs of the kingdom were in disorder so that a majority of zamîndãrs were in revolt, particularly the Rãjã of Îdar. Zafar Khãn collected a large army and mountain-like elephants and proceeded to Îdar in order to punish the Rãjã… The Rãjã of Îdar had no time to prepare a defence and shut himself in the fort. The armies of Zafar Khãn occupied the Kingdom of Îdar and started plundering and destroying it. They levelled with the ground whatever temple they found… The Rãjã of Îdar showed extreme humility and pleaded for forgiveness through his representatives. Zafar Khãn took a tribute according to his own desire and made up his mind to attack Somnãt…160

“In AH 803 (AD 1399-1400) ‘Ãzam Humãyûn paid one year’s wages (in advance) to his army and after making great preparations, he attacked the fort of Îdar with a view to conquer it. After the armies of the Sultãn had besieged the fort from all sides and the battle continued non-stop for several days the Rãjã of Îdar evacuated the fort one night and ran away towards Bîjãnagar. In the morning Zafar Khãn entered the fort and, after expressing his gratefulness to Allãh, and destroying the temples, he appointed officers in the fort…”161

Somnath (Gujarat)

“In AH 797 (AD 1394-95)… he proceeded for the destruction of the temple of Somnãt. On the way he made Rajpûts food for his sword and demolished whatever temple he saw at any place. When he arrived at Somnãt, he got the temple burnt and the idol of Somnãt broken. He made a slaughter of the infidels and laid waste the city. He got a Jãmi‘ Masjid raised there and appointed officers of the Shari‘h…”162

“In AH 804 (AD 1401-02) reports were received by Zafar Khãn that the infidels and Hindûs of Somnãt had again started making efforts for promoting the ways of their religion. ‘Ãzam Humãyûn started for that place and sent an army in advance. When the residents of Somnãt learnt this, they advanced along the sea-shore and offered battle. ‘Ãzam Humãyûn reached that place speedily and he slaughtered that group. Those who survived took shelter in the fort of the port at Dîp (Diu). After some time, he conquered that place as well, slaughtered that group also and got their leaders trampled under the feet of elephants. He got the temples demolished and a Jãmi‘ Masjid constructed. Having appointed a qãzî, muftî and other guardians of Shari‘h… he returned to the capital at PaTan.”163

Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1411-1443)

Champaner (Gujarat)

“Sultãn Ahmad… encamped near Chãmpãner on 7 Rabî-us-Sãni, AH 822 (AD 3 May, 1419). He destroyed temples wherever he found them and returned to Ahmadãbãd.”164

Mewar (Rajasthan)

“In Rajab AH 836 (AD February-March, 1433) Sultãn Ahmad mounted an expedition for the conquest of MewãR and Nãgaur. When he reached the town of Nãgaur, he sent out armies for the destruction of towns and villages and levelled with the ground whatever temple was found at whichever place… Having laid waste the land of Kîlwãrã, the Sultãn entered the land of Dîlwãrã, and he ruined the lofty palaces of RãNã Mokal and destroyed the temples and idols…”165

Sultãn Qutbu’d-Dîn Ahmad Shãh II of Gujarat (AD 1451-1458)

Kumbhalgadh (Rajasthan)

“…Sultãn Qutbu’d-Dîn felt insulted and he attacked the fort of Kumbhalmîr in AH 860 (AD 1455-56)… When he reached near Sirohî, the Rãjã of that place offered battle but was defeated.

“From that place the Sultãn entered the kingdom of RãNã Kumbhã and he sent armies in all directions for invading the country and destroying the temples…”166

Sultãn Mahmûd BegDhã of Gujarat (AD 1458-1511)

Junagadh (Gujarat)

“In AH 871 (AD 1466-67) he started for the conquest of Karnãl [Girnãr] which is now known as JûnãgaDh. It is said that this country had been in the possession of the predecessors of Rãi Mandalîk for the past two thousand years… Sultãn Mahmûd relied on the help of Allãh and proceeded there; on the way he laid waste the land of SoraTh… From that place the Sultãn went towards the temple of those people. Many Rajpûts who were known as Parwhãn, decided to lay down their lives, and started fighting with swords and spears in (defence) of the temple… Sultãn Mahmûd postponed the conquest of the fort to the next year… and returned to Ahmadãbãd.”167

Dwarka (Gujarat)

“After some time the Sultãn started contemplating the conquest of the port of Jagat which is a place of worship for the BrahmaNas… With this resolve he started for the port of Jagat on 16 Zil-Hajjã, AH 877 (AD 14 July, 1473). He reached Jagat with great difficulty due to the narrowness of the road and the presence of forests… He destroyed the temple of Jagat…”168

Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh II of Gujarat (AD 1511-1526)

Idar (Gujarat)

“Sultãn Muzaffar… started for Îdar. When he arrived in the town of Mahrãsã, he sent armies for destroying Îdar. The Rãjã of Îdar evacuated the fort and took refuge in the mountain of Bîjãnagar. The Sultãn, when he reached Îdar, found there ten Rajpûts ready to lay down their lives. He heaped barbarities on them and killed them. He did not leave even a trace of palaces, temples, gardens and trees…”169

Sultãn Sikandar Butshikan of Kashmir (AD 1389-1413)


“On account of his extensive charities, scholars from Irãq, Khorãsãn and Mawãraun-Nahar started presenting themselves in his court and Islãm was spread.  He held in great regard Sayyid Muhammad who was a very great scholar of the time, and strived to destroy the idols and temples of the infidels. He got demolished the famous temple of Mahãdeva at Bahrãre. The temple was dug out from its foundations and the hole (that remained) reached the water level. Another temple at Jagdar was also demolished… Rãjã Alamãdat had got a big temple constructed at Sinpur. He had come to know from astrologers that after 11 hundred years a king by the name of Sikandar would get the temple destroyed and the idol of Utãrid, which was in it, broken. He got this [forecast] inscribed on a copper plate which was kept in a box and buried under the temple. The inscription came up when the temple was destroyed [by Sikandar]…170

“…The value of currency had come down, because Sultãn Sikandar had got idols of gold, silver and copper broken and turned into coins…”171

Sultãn Fath Shãh of Kashmir (AD 1489-1499 and 1505-1516)


“Fath Shãh ascended the throne in AH 894 (AD 1488-89)… In those days Mîr Shams, a disciple of Shãh Qãsim Anwar, reached Kashmir and people became his devotees. All endowments, imlãk, places of worship and temples were entrusted to his disciples. His Sûfîs used to destroy temples and no one could stop them…”172

Jalãlu’d-Dîn Muhammad Akbar Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1556-1605)

Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)

“On the 1st Rajab 990 [AD 1582] he (Husain Qulî Khãn) encamped by a field of maize near NagarkoT. The fortress (hissãr) of Bhîm, which is an idol temple of Mahãmãî, and in which none but her servants dwelt, was taken by the valour of the assailants at the first assault. A party of Rajpûts, who had resolved to die, fought most desperately till they were all cut down. A number of Brãhmans who for many years had served the temple, never gave one thought to flight, and were killed. Nearly 200 black cows belonging to Hindûs had, during the struggle, crowded together for shelter in the temple. Some savage Turks, while the arrows and bullets were falling like rain, killed those cows. They then took off their boots and filled them with the blood and cast it upon the roof and walls of the temple.”173


The author, Mullã ‘Abdul Qãdir Badãunî son of Mulûk Shãh, was born at Badaun in AD 1540 or 1542. He was a learned man who was introduced to the court of Akbar by Shykh Mubãrak, father of Abu’l Fazl and Faizî, two of the favourite courtiers of that king. He was employed by Akbar for translating Sanskrit classics into Persian, a work which he hated. He was a pious Muslim who acquired great aversion for Akbar due to the latter’s liberal policies via-a-vis the Hindus. His history, which is known as Tãrîkh-i-Badãunî also, is the general history of India from the time of the Ghaznivids to the fortieth year of Akbar’s reign.

Sultãn Muhmûd of Ghazni (AD 997-1030)

Somnath (Gujarat)

“…‘Asjadi composed the following qaSîda in honour of this expedition:

When the King of kings marched to Somnãt,
He made his own deeds the standard of miracles…174

“Once more he led his army against Somnãt, which is a large city on the coast of the ocean, a place of worship of the Brahmans who worship a large idol. There are many golden idols there. Although certain historians have called this idol Manãt, and say that it is the identical idol which Arab idolaters brought to the coast of Hindustãn in the time of the Lord of the Missive (may the blessings and peace of God be upon him), this story has no foundation because the Brahmans of India firmly believe that this idol has been in that place since the time of Kishan, that is to say four thousand years and a fraction… The reason for this mistake must surely be the resemblance in name, and nothing else… The fort was taken and Mahmûd broke the idol in fragments and sent it to Ghaznîn, where it was placed at the door of the Jãma‘ Masjid and trodden under foot.”175

Thanesar (Haryana)

“In the year AH 402 (AD 1011) he set out for Thãnesar and Jaipãl, the son of the former Jaipãl, offered him a present of fifty elephants and much treasure. The Sultãn, however, was not to be deterred from his purpose; so he refused to accept his present, and seeing Thãnesar empty he sacked it and destroyed its idol temples, and took away to Ghaznîn, the idol known as Chakarsum on account of which the Hindûs had been ruined; and having placed it in his court, caused it to be trampled under foot by the people…”176

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

“…From thence he went to Mathra which is a place of worship of the infidels and the birthplace of Kishan, the son of Basudev, whom the Hindûs Worship as a divinity -  where there are idol temples without number, and took it without any contest and razed it to the ground. Great wealth and booty fell into the hands of the Muslims, among the rest they broke up by the orders of the Sultãn, a golden idol…”177

Ikhtiyãru’d-Dîn Muhammad Bakhtiyãr Khaljî (AD 1202-1206)

Navadvipa (Bengal)

“…In the second year after this arrangement Muhammad Bakhtyãr brought an army from Behãr towards Lakhnautî and arrived at the town of Nûdiyã, with a small force; Nûdiyã is now in ruins. Rãi Lakhmia (Lakhminîa) the governor of that town… fled thence to Kãmrãn, and property and booty beyond computation fell into the hands of the Muslims, and Muhammad Bakhtyãr having destroyed the places of worship and idol temples of the infidels founded Mosques and Monasteries and schools and caused a metropolis to be built called by his own name, which now has the name of Gaur.

There where was heard before
The clamour and uproar of the heathen,
Now there is heard resounding
The shout of ‘Allãho Akbar’.”178

Sultãn Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish (AD 1210~1236)

Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh)

“…And in the year AH 631 (AD 1233) having made an incursion in the direction of the province of Mãlwah and taken Bhîlsã and also captured the city of Ujjain, and having destroyed the idol-temple of Ujjain which had been built six hundred years previously, and was called Mahãkãl, he levelled it to its foundations, and threw down the image of Rãi Vikrmãjît from whom the Hindûs reckon their era… and brought certain other images of cast molten brass and placed them on the ground in front of the door of the mosque of old Dihlî and ordered the people to trample them under foot…”179

Sultãn Jalãlu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1290-1296)

Ranthambhor (Rajasthan)

“…and in the same year the Sultan for the second time marched against Ranthambhor, and destroyed the country round it, and overthrew the idols and idol-temples, but returned without attempting to reduce the fort…”180

Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1296-1316)

Patan and Somnath (Gujarat)

“And in the year AH 698 (AD 1298) he appointed Ulugh Khãn to the command of a powerful army, to proceed into the country of Gujarat… Ulugh Khãn carried off an idol from Nahrwãla… and took it to Dihlî where he caused it to be trampled under foot by the populace; then he pursued Rãi Karan as far as Somnãt, and a second time laid waste the idol temple of Somnãt, and building a mosque there retraced his steps.”181

Sultãn Sikandar Lodî (AD 1489-1517)

Mandrail (Madhya Pradesh)

“…At the time of his return he restored the fort of Dholpur also to Binãyik Deo, and having spent the rainy season in Ãgra after the rising of the Canopus in the year AH 910 (AD 1504), marched to reduce the fortress of Mandrãyal, which lie took without fighting from the Rãjah of Mandrãyal, who sued for peace; he also destroyed all the idol-temples and churches of the place…”182

Udit Nagar (Madhya Pradesh)

“And in the year AH 912 (AD 1506), after the rising of the Canopus, he marched against the fortress of ÛntgaRh and laid siege to it, and many of his men joyfully embraced martyrdom, after that he took the fort and gave the infidels as food to the sword… He then cast down the idol-temples, and built there lofty mosques.”183

Sultãn Ibrãhîm Lodî (AD 1517-1526)

Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)

“…The fortress of Bãdalgarh, which lies below the fortress of Gwãliãr, a very lofty structure, was taken from Rãi Mãn Singh and fell into the hands of the Muslims, and a brazen animal which was worshipped by the Hindûs also fell into their hands, and was sent by them to Ãgra, whence it was sent by Sultãn Ibrãhîm to Dihlî, and was put over the city gate. The image was removed to Fathpûr in the year AH 992 (AD 1584), ten years before the composition of this history, where it was seen by the author of this work. It was converted into gongs, and bells, and implements of all kinds.”184

Jalãlu’d-Dîn Muhammad Akbar Pãdshãh Ghãzi (AD 1556-1605)

Siwalik (Uttar Pradesh)

“In this year on the dismissal of Husain Khãn the Emperor gave the pargana of Lak’hnou as jãgîr to Mahdî Qãsim Khãn… Husain Khãn was exceedingly indignant with Mahdî Qãsim Khãn on account of this… After a time he left her in helplessness, and the daughter of Mahdî Qãsim Bêg at Khairãbãd with her brothers, and set off from Lak’hnou with the intention of carrying on a religious war, and of breaking the idols and destroying the idol-temples. He had heard that the bricks of these were of silver and gold, and conceiving a desire for this and all the other abundant and unlimited treasures, of which he had heard a lying report, he set out by way of Oudh to the Siwãlik mountains…”185

Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)

“…The temple of Nagarkot, which is outside the city, was taken at the very outset… On this occasion many mountaineers became food for the flashing sword. And that golden umbrella, which was erected on the top of the cupola of the temple, they riddled with arrows… And black cows, to the number of 200, to which they pay boundless respect, and actually worship, and present to the temple, which they look upon as an asylum, and let loose there, were killed by the Musulmãns. And, while arrows and bullets were continually falling like drops of rain, through their zeal and excessive hatred of idolatry they filled their shoes full of blood and threw it on the doors and walls of the temple… the army of Husain Qulî Khãn was suffering great hardships.  For these reasons he concluded a treaty with them… and having put all things straight he built the cupola of a lofty mosque over the gateway of Rãjãh Jai Chand.”186

Sultãn Sulaimãn Karrãnî of Bengal (AD 1563-1573)

Puri (Orissa)

“In this year also Sulaiman Kirrãnî, ruler of Bengal, who gave himself the tide of Hazrati Ã’la, and had conquered die city of Katak-u-Banãras, that mine of heathenism, and having made the stronghold of Jagannãth into the home of Islãm, held sway from Kãmru to Orissa, attained the mercy of God…”187

Shash Fath-i-Kãñgrã

The author is unknown. It is supposed to have been written in the reign of Jahãngîr.

Nûru’d-Dîn Muhammad Jahãngîr Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1605-1628)

Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)

“The Emperor by the divine guidance, had always in view to extirpate all the rebels in his dominions, to destroy all infidels root and branch, and to raze all Pagan temples level to the ground. Endowed with a heavenly power, he devoted all his exertions to the promulgation of the Muhammadan religion; and through the aid of the Almighty God, and by the strength of his sword, he used all his endeavours to enlarge his dominions and promote the religion of Muhammad…”188


The author, ‘Abdu’llãh, says nothing about himself and does not give even his full name. As he mentions the name of Jahãngîr, it can be assumed that he wrote it at some time after AD 1605. He starts with the reign of Sultãn Bahlûl Lodî (AD 1451-1489) and ends with the reign of Da‘ûd Shãh who was beheaded in AD 1575 by the order of Bairam Khãn.

Sultãn Sikandar Lodî (AD 1489-1517)

Kurukshetra (Haryana)

“It is also related of this prince, that before his accession, when a crowd of Hindûs had assembled in immense numbers at Kurkhet, he wished to go to Thãnesar for the purpose of putting them all to death…”189

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

“He was so zealous a Musalmãn that he utterly destroyed divers places of worship of the infidels, and left not a vestige remaining of them. He entirely ruined the shrines of Mathurã, the mine of heathenism, and turned other principal Hindu places of worship into caravansarais and colleges. Their stone images were given to the butchers to serve them as meat-weight, and all the Hindus in Mathurã were strictly prohibited from shaving their heads and beards, and performing their ablutions…”190

Dholpur (Madhya Pradesh)

“In that year the Sultãn sent Khawãs Khãn to take possession of the fort of Dhûlpûr. The Rãjã of that place advanced to give battle, and daily fighting took place. The instant His Majesty heard of the firm countenance shown by the rãî of Dhûlpûr in opposing the royal army, he went there in person; but on his arrival near Dhûlpûr, the rãî made up his mind to fly without fighting… He (Sikandar) offered up suitable thanksgivings for his success, and the royal troops spoiled and plundered in all directions, rooting up all the trees of the gardens which shaded Dhûlpûr to the distance of seven kos. Sultãn Sikandar stayed there during one month, erected a mosque on the site of an idol-temple, and then set off towards Ãgra…”191

Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)

“…Sultãn Sikandar passed the rainy season of that year at Ãgra. After the rising of the star Canopus, he assembled an army, and set forth to take possession of Gwãlior and territories belonging to it. In a short space of time he took most of the Gwãlior district, and after building mosques in the places of idol-temples returned towards Ãgra…”192

Narwar (Madhya Pradesh)

“Sultãn Sikandar, after the lapse of two years, in AH 913 (AD 1507) wrote a farmãn to Jalãl Khãn, the governor of Kãlpî, directing him to take possession of the fort of Narwar… Jalãl Khãn Lodî, by the Sultãn’s command, besieged Narwar, where Sultãn Sikandar also joined him with great expedition. The siege of the fort was protracted for one year… Men were slain on both sides. After the time above mentioned, the defenders of the place were compelled, by the want of water and scarcity of grain, to ask for mercy, and they were allowed to go forth with their property; but the Sultãn destroyed their idol-temples, and erected mosques on their sites. He then appointed stipends and pensions for the learned and the pious who dwelt at Narwar, and gave them dwellings there. He remained six months encamped below the fort.”193

Sher Shãh Sûr (AD 1538-1545)

Jodhpur (Rajasthan)

“His attack on Mãldev, Rãjã of Jodhpur, (was due) partly to his religious bigotry and a desire to convert the temples of the Hindus into mosques.”194

Zafaru’l-Wãlih Bi Muzaffar Wa Ãlîhi

The author, ‘Abdu’llãh Muhammad bin ‘Umar al-Maqqî al-Asafî Ulugh-Khãnî, is popular as Hãjjiu’d-Dabîr. He arrived in India with his father in AD 1555. After 1573 he started living in Ahmadabad where Akbar had put his father in charge of many endowments, die income from which was sent to Mecca and Medina. After the death of his father he entered the service of another Amîr, and finally went to Khandesh in 1595. He finished his history in 1605 but took some more years to revise it. The English translation we have is pretty bad.

Sultãn Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236)

Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh)

“…In 631 (1233), Shamsuddîn marched to Mãlwã and conquered the city of Bailsan and its fort and demolished its famous temple. The historians have narrated that its citizens built the temple by digging its foundation and raising its walls one hundred cubits from the ground in 300 years. All the images are fixed with lead. The temple is called Gawãjit (?) (Vikramajit) Sultãn of Ujjain Nagari. The history of the temple is a proof of what is said about its construction and demolition, that is, eleven hundred years. People of Hind are ignorant of history.”195

Sultãn Jalãlu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1290-1296)

Jhain (Rajasthan)

“He marched from it to Ranthanbhor. He first encamped at Jhãyan and conquered it. He demolished temples and broke idols. He killed, captured and pillaged…”196

Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh)

“He permitted ‘Alãuddîn for a religious war in Bhilastãn. Jalãluddîn had marched to Mandu. ‘Alãuddîn influenced his uncle by the booty of the religious war. It was immense. It contained a Nandi idol carved in yellow metal and equal in weight to an animal. Jalãluddîn ordered it to be placed at the entrance to the Gate of Delhi famous as Badãun Gate. He was pleased with ‘Alãuddîn and put the ‘Diwan-ul-‘Ard’ under his charge and added Oudh to Kara…”197

Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1296-1316)

Devagiri (Maharashtra)

“…He routed Rãmdev everywhere except the fort. The fort contained temples of gold and silver and images of the same metals. Besides, there were jewels of different varieties. He ordered them to be destroyed and collected its gold. Ruler of the fort was surprised at this action and his mind got confused. He sent an envoy for conclusion of peace on condition of sparing the temples from destruction which was agreed to…”198

Somnath (Gujarat)

“…MaHmud demolished Somnath in the year 416 (1122)… and carried its relics to Ghazni. After his death, unbelief returned to Naharwãla as its residents took an idol and buried it on a side. There was publicity of return of Somnãth. They took it out from its burial place. It was exhibited and fixed at a place where it was. Malek Ulugh Khãn took it along with all the spoils to Delhi. They made it the threshold at its gate. This victory took place on Wednesday, 20th Jamãdi I, 698 (1299)…199

“It was kept by a Brahmin after being mutilated by MaHamud. It was Lamnat. They named it Somnãth. They worshipped it out of misguidance from ancient times. They carried it to Delhi. It was placed at the entrance of the gate…”200

Ma‘bar (Tamil Nadu)

“…In 710 (1310) Kãfur conquered the region of Ma‘bar (Malabar) and Dahur Samand. Both these regions belonged to Bir Rãi. He marched further to Sarandip (Ceylon) and Kãfur broke the famous idol of Rãm Ling Mahãdev. It was wonderful that the swordsmen deserted the temple. The Brahmins assembled to fight with him at the time of his breaking the idol till they collected all broken parts and got displeased with swordsmen. Kãfur marched further to Sirã and demolished the temple of Jagannãth…201

“…Kãfur always gained one victory after another until he dominated over Jagannãth and consigned it to fire. He returned from it on 5th Zilhajj of the year 710 (1310) and arrived at Delhi on 4th Jamãdi II of the year 711 (1311). It was a day worth witnessing. No one had undertaken such campaigns before him and there would be none after him. A good omen was drawn from his arrival with that booty for his sultãn and for general Muslim public. They believed that all these victories were facilitated by the blessings of Quth-uz-Zamãn, Qiblat-ul-Asfiyã Mawlãnã Shaikh Nizãmuddîn Awliyã and Qutb-uz-Zamãn, Madãr ul-Jamkin Mawalãna Shaikh Nasiruddin and similarly the two Qutbs of people of the world and faith Mawlãnã Shaikh Ruknuddin and Mawlãnã Shaikh ‘Alãuddîn, may God benefit us through them. During their life time, whatever they desired from their Lord, became the sunna (rule and regulation of the Prophet, may peace and benediction of God be on him). Every member of the house of the ‘Alãiya Sultãn was a disciple and spiritual follower of Mawalãnã Shaikh Nizãmuddin Awliya including the wazirs and amirs and persons of rank. His blessings were upon them all…”202

Sultãn Mahmûd BegDhã of Gujarat (AD 1485-1511)

Junagadh (Gujarat)

“In AH 871 (AD 1466-67) the Sultãn led an expedition to Karnãl [Girnãr]… He spread the story that he was out for hunting. Thereafter he suddenly attacked and his army also arrived. He took possession of those treasuries which were beyond estimation. Many people living in those valleys lost their lives. They had a famous idol there. When Mahmûd decided to break it, many members of the Barãwãn clan gathered round it. All of them were slaughtered and the idol was broken…”203

Dwarka (Gujarat)

“In the same year of AH 877 (AD 1472-73) the Sultãn made up his mind to destroy Jagat… Jagat is a very famous abode of infidelity and idolatry. Its idol is regarded as higher than all other idols in India and it is because of this idol that the place is called Dwãrkã. It is a very big nest of BrãhmaNas too. The idolaters come here from far off places and the great hardships they undergo in order to reach here is regarded by them as earnest worship… There is a fort nearby known as Bait…204

“…The Sultãn mounted (his horse) in the morning. The people of Jagat also got this information. They shut themselves in the fort along with Rãi Bhîm. After a few days the Sultãn entered Jagat and got its idols broken. He got its canopies pulled down and established the way of Islãm there.”205


The author, Shaykh Nãru’l-Haqq al-Mashriqî al-Dihlivî al-Bukhãrî, was the son of ‘Abdul Haqq who wrote Tãrîkh-i Haqqî in AD 1596-97. Nûru’l-Haqq’s history is an enlarged edition of his father’s work. The history commences with the reign of Qutbu’d-Dîn Aibak and ends with the close of Akbar’s reign in AD 1605.

Sultãn Sikandar Lodî (AD 1489-1517)

“In his time Hindû temples were razed to the ground, and neither name nor vestige of them was allowed to remain…”206

Jalãlu’d-Dîn Muhammad Akbar Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1556-1605)

Mewar (Rajasthan)

“When Mewar was invaded [AD 1600] many temples were demolished by the invading Mughal army [led by Prince Salîm].”207


The author, Muhammad Qãsim Hindû Shãh Firishta, was born in Astrabad on the Caspian Sea and came to Bijapur in AD 1589. He lived under the patronage of Sultãn Ibrãhîm ‘Ãdil Shãh II of Bijapur where he died in 1611. He claims to have consulted most of the earlier histories in writing his Gulshan-i-Ibrãhîmî which became known as Tãrîkh-i-Firishta. He completed it in 1609. It contains sections on the independent sultanates of the Deccan, Gujarat, Malwa, Khandesh, Bengal, Multan, Sindh and Kashmir besides narrating the history of the kings of Ghazni, Lahore, Delhi and Agra. This is the most widely read Persian history at present.

Amîr Subuktigîn of Ghazni (AD 977-997)

NWFP and Punjab

“Even during the fifteen years of Alptigin’s reign Subuktigin is represented by Firishta in an untranslated passage to have made frequent attacks upon India, and even to have penetrated as far as Sodra on the Chinab, where he demolished idols in celebration of Mahmud’s birth, which, as it occurred on the date of the prophet’s birth, Subuktigin was anxious that it should be illustrated by an event similar to the destruction of idols in the palace of the Persian king by an earthquake, on the day of the prophet’s birth.”208

Sultãn Mahmûd of Ghazni (AD 997-1030)

Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)

“The king, in his zeal to propagate the faith, now marched against the Hindoos of Nagrakote, breaking down their idols and razing their temples. The fort, at that time denominated the Fort of Bheem, was closely invested by the Mahomedans, who had first laid waste the country around it with fire and sword.”209

Thanesar (Haryana)

“In the year AH 402 (AD 1011), Mahmood resolved on the conquest of Tahnesur, in the kingdom of Hindoostan. It had reached the ears of the king that Tahnesur was held in the same veneration by idolaters, as Mecca by the faithful; that they had there set up a number of idols, the principal of which they called Jugsom, pretending that it had existed ever since the creation. Mahmood having reached Punjab, required, according to the subsisting treaty with Anundpal, that his army should not be molested on its march through his country…”210

“The Raja’s brother, with two thousand horse was also sent to meet the army, and to deliver the following message:- ‘My brother is the subject and tributary of the King, but he begs permission to acquaint his Majesty, that Tahnesur is the principal place of worship of the inhabitants of the country: that if it is required by the religion of Mahmood to subvert the religion of others, he has already acquitted himself of that duty, in the destruction of the temple of Nagrakote. But if he should be pleased to alter his resolution regarding Tahnesur, Anundpal promises that the amount of the revenues of that country shall be annually paid to Mahmood; that a sum shall also be paid to reimburse him for the expense of his expedition, besides which, on his own part he will present him with fifty elephants, and jewels to a considerable amount.’ Mahmood replied, ‘The religion of the faithful inculcates the following tenet: That in proportion as the tenets of the prophet are diffused, and his followers exert themselves in the subversion of idolatry, so shall be their reward in heaven; that, therefore, it behoved him, with the assistance of God, to root out the worship of idols from the face of all India. How then should he spare Tahnesur?’

“This answer was communicated to the Raja of Dehly, who, resolving to oppose the invaders, sent messengers throughout Hindoostan to acquaint the other rajas that Mahmood, without provocation, was marching with a vast army to destroy Tahnesur, now under his immediate protection. He observed, that if a barrier was not expeditiously raised against this roaring torrent, the country of Hindoostan would be soon overwhelmed, and that it behoved them to unite their forces at Tahnesur, to avert the impending calamity. 

“Mahmood having reached Tahnesur before the Hindoos had time to take measures for its defence, the city was plundered, the idols broken, and the idol Jugsom was sent to Ghizny to be trodden under foot…”211

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

“Mahmood having refreshed his troops, and understanding that at some distance stood the rich city of Mutra, consecrated to Krishn-Vasdew, whom the Hindoos venerate as an emanation of God, directed his march thither and entering it with little opposition from the troops of the Raja of Delhy, to whom it belonged, gave it up to plunder. He broke down or burned all the idols, and amassed a vast quantity of gold and silver, of which the idols were mostly composed. He would have destroyed the temples also, but he found the labour would have been excessive; while some say that he was averted from his purpose by their admirable beauty. He certainly extravagantly extolled the magnificence of the buildings and city in a letter to the governor of Ghizny, in which the following passage occurs: ‘There are here a thousand edifices as firm as the faith of the faithful; most of them of marble, besides innumerable temples; nor is it likely that this city has attained its present condition but at the expense of many millions of deenars, nor could such another be constructed under a period of two centuries.’212

“The King tarried in Mutra 20 days; in which time the city suffered greatly from fire, beside the damage it sustained by being pillaged. At length he continued his march along the course of a stream on whose banks were seven strong fortifications, all of which fell in succession: there were also discovered some very ancient temples, which, according to the Hindoos, had existed for 4000 years. Having sacked these temples and forts, the troops were led against the fort of Munj…213

“The King, on his return, ordered a magnificent mosque to be built of marble and granite, of such beauty as struck every beholder with astonishment, and furnished it with rich carpets, and with candelabras and other ornaments of silver and gold. This mosque was universally known by the name of the Celestial Bride. In its neighbourhood the King founded an university, supplied with a vast collection of curious books in various languages. It contained also a museum of natural curiosities. For the maintenance of this establishment he appropriated a large sum of money, besides a sufficient fund for the maintenance of the students, and proper persons to instruct youth in the arts and sciences…214

“The King, in the year AH 410 (AD 1019), caused an account of his exploits to be written and sent to the Caliph, who ordered it to be read to the people of Bagdad, making a great festival upon the occasion, expressive of his joy at the propagation of the faith.”215

East of the Jumna (Uttar Pradesh)

“In this year, that is AH 412, Sultãn Mahmûd learnt that the people of Hindustãn had turned against the Rãjã of Qanauj… Nandã, the Rãjã of Kãlinjar attacked Qanauj because Rãjã Kuwar (of Qanauj) had surrendered to Sultãn Mahmûd. As a result of this attack Rãjã Kuwar was killed. When Sultãn Mahmûd learnt it, he collected a large army… and started towards Hindustãn with a view to take revenge upon Rãjã Nandã. As the army of Musalmãns reached the Jumnã, the son of Rãjã Ãnand Pãl… stood in the way of Mahmûd. The river of Jumnã was in spate at this time… and it became very difficult for the army to get across… But as chance would have it, eight royal guards of Mahmûd showed courage and crossed the river… they attacked the army of the Hindûs and dispersed it… the son of Ãnand Pãl ran away with his chiefs. All the eight royal guards… entered a city nearby and they plundered it to their heart’s content. They demolished the temples in that place…”216

Nardin (Punjab)

“About this time the King learned that the inhabitants of two hilly tracts, denominated Kuriat and Nardein, continued the worship of idols and had not embraced the faith of Islam… Mahmood resolved to carry the war against these infidels, and accordingly marched towards their country… The Ghiznevide general, Ameer Ally, the son of Arslan Jazib, was now sent with a division of the army to reduce Nardein, which he accomplished, pillaging the country, and carrying away many of the people captives. In Nardein was a temple, which Ameer Ally destroyed, bringing from thence a stone on which were curious inscriptions, and which according to the Hindoos, must have been 40,000 years old…”217

Somnath (Gujarat)

“The celebrated temple of Somnat, situated in the province of Guzerat, near the island of Dew, was in those times said to abound in riches, and was greatly frequented by devotees from all parts of Hindoostan… Mahmood marched from Ghizny in the month of Shaban AH 415 (AD Sept. 1024), with his army, accompanied by 30,000 of the youths of Toorkistan and the neighbouring countries, who followed him without pay, for the purpose of attacking this temple…218

“Some historians affirm that the idol was brought from Mecca, where it stood before the time of the Prophet, but the Brahmins deny it, and say that it stood near the harbour of Dew since the time of Krishn, who was concealed in that place about 4000 years ago… Mahmood, taking the same precautions as before, by rapid marches reached Somnat without opposition. Here he saw a fortification on a narrow peninsula, washed on three sides by the sea, on the battlements of which appeared a vast host of people in arms… In the morning the Mahomedan troops advancing to the walls, began the assault…”219

“The battle raged with great fury: victory was long doubtful, till two Indian princes, Brahman Dew and Dabishleem, with other reinforcements, joined their countrymen during the action, and inspired them with fresh courage. Mahmood at this moment perceiving his troops to waver, leaped from his horse, and, prostrating himself before God implored his assistance… At the same time he cheered his troops with such energy, that, ashamed to abandon their king, with whom they had so often fought and bled, they, with one accord, gave a loud shout and rushed forwards. In this charge the Moslems broke through the enemy’s line, and laid 5,000220 Hindus dead at their feet… On approaching the temple, he saw a superb edifice built of hewn stone. Its lofty roof was supported by fifty-six pillars curiously carved and set with precious stones. In the centre of the hall was Somnat, a stone idol five yards in height, two of which were sunk in the ground. The King, approaching the image, raised his mace and struck off its nose. He ordered two pieces of the idol to be broken off and sent to Ghizny, that one might be thrown at the threshold of the public mosque, and the other at the court door of his own palace. These identical fragments are to this day (now 600 years ago) to be seen at Ghizny. Two more fragments were reserved to be sent to Mecca and Medina. It is a well authenticated fact, that when Mahmood was thus employed in destroying this idol, a crowd of Brahmins petitioned his attendants and offered a quantity of gold if the King would desist from further mutilation. His officers endeavoured to persuade him to accept of the money; for they said that breaking one idol would not do away with idolatry altogether; that, therefore, it could serve no purpose to destroy the image entirely; but that such a sum of money given in charity among true believers would be a meritorious act. The King acknowledged that there might be reason in what they said, but replied, that if he should consent to such a measure, his name would be handed down to posterity as ‘Mahmood the idol-seller’, whereas he was desirous of being known as ‘Mahmood the destroyer’: he therefore directed the troops to proceed in their work…221

“The Caliph of Bagdad, being informed of the expedition of the King of Ghizny, wrote him a congratulatory letter, in which he styled him ‘The Guardian of the State, and of the Faith’; to his son, the Prince Ameer Musaood, he gave the title of ‘The Lustre of Empire, and the Ornament of Religion’; and to his second son, the Ameer Yoosoof, the appellation of ‘The Strength of the Arm of Fortune, and Establisher of Empires.’ He at the same time assured Mahmood, that to whomsoever he should bequeath the throne at his death, he himself would confirm and support the same.”222

Sultãn Mas‘ûd I of Ghazni (1030~1042)

Sonipat (Haryana)

“In the year AH 427 (AD 1036)… he himself marched with an army to India, to reduce the fort of Hansy… Herein he found immense treasure, and having put the fort under the charge of a trusty officer, he marched towards the fort of Sonput. Depal Hurry, the governor of Sonput, abandoned the place, and fled into the woods; but having no time to carry off his treasure, it fell into the conqueror’s hands. Musaood having ordered all the temples to be razed to the ground, and the idols to be broken proceeded in pursuit of Depal Hurry…”223

Sultãn Mas‘ûd III of Ghazni (AD 1099-1151)

Uttar Pradesh

“In his reign Hajib Toghantugeen, an officer of his government, proceeded in command of an army towards Hindoostan, and being appointed governor of Lahore, crossed the Ganges, and carried his conquests farther than any Mussulman had hitherto done, except the Emperor Mahmood. Like him he plundered many rich cities and temples of their wealth, and returned in triumph to Lahore, which now became in some measure the capital of the empire, for the Suljooks having deprived the house of Ghizny of most of its territory both in Eeran and Tooran, the royal family went to reside in India.”224

Sultãn Muhammad Ghûrî (AD 1175-1216)

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)

“Mahomed Ghoory, in the mean time returning from Ghizny, marched towards Kunowj, and engaged Jye-chund Ray, the Prince of Kunowj and Benares… This prince led his forces into the field, between Chundwar and Etawa, where he sustained a signal defeat from the vanguard of the Ghiznevide army, led by Kootbood-Deen Eibuk, and lost the whole of his baggage and elephants… He marched from thence to Benares, where, having broken the idols in above 1000 temples, he purified and consecrated the latter to the worship of the true God…”225


“Mahomed Ghoory, following with the body of the army into the city of Benares, took possession of the country as far as the boundaries of Bengal, without opposition, and having destroyed all the idols, loaded four thousand camels with spoils.”226

Sultãn Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236)

Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh)

“After the reduction of Gualiar, the King marched his army towards Malwa, reduced the fort of Bhilsa, and took the city of Oojein, where he destroyed a magnificent temple dedicated to Mahakaly, formed upon the same plan with that of Somnat. This temple is said to have occupied three hundred years in building, and was surrounded by a wall one hundred cubits in height. The image of Vikramaditya, who had been formerly prince of this country, and so renowned, that the Hindoos have taken an era from his death, as also the image of Mahakaly, both of stone, with many other figures of brass, were found in the temple. These images the King caused to be conveyed to Dehly, and broken at the door of the great mosque.”227

Sultãn Jalãlu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1290-1296)

Malwa (Madhya Pradesh)

“The King, after the decease of his son, marched his army towards Runtunbhore, to quell an insurrection in those parts, leaving his son Arkully Khan in Dehly, to manage affairs in his absence. The enemy retired into the fort of Runtunbhore, and the King reconnoitred the place, but, despairing of reducing it, marched towards Oojein, which he sacked. At the same time also, he broke down many of the temples of Malwa, and after plundering them of much wealth, returned to Runtunbhore.”228

Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh)

“In the year AH 692 (AD 1293), the King marched against the Hindoos in the neighbourhood of Mando, and having devastated the country in that vicinity, returned to Dehly. In the mean time, Mullik Allood-Deen, the King’s nephew, governor of Kurra, requested permission to attack the Hindoos of Bhilsa, who infested his province. Having obtained leave, he marched in the same year to that place, which he subdued; and having pillaged the country, returned with much spoil, part of which was sent to the King. Among other things, there were two brazen idols which were thrown down before the Budaoon gate of Dehly, to be trodden under foot.

“Julal-ood-Deen Feroze was much pleased with the success and conduct of his nephew on this expedition, for which he rewarded him with princely presents, and annexed the province of Oude to his former government of Kurra.”229

Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1296-1316)


“In the beginning of AH 697 ‘Alãu’d-Dîn sent Almãs Beg and Nasrat Khãn along with other chiefs of Dehlî and the army of Sindh, for the conquest of Gujarãt… Gujarãt had a very famous idol which was not only of the same name as Somnãt but was also equally prestigious. The Musalmans got hold of this idol and had it sent to Dehlî so that it could be trampled upon…”230

Dwarasamudra (Karnataka)

In the year AH 710 (AD 1310), the King again sent Mullik Kafoor and Khwaja Hajy with a great army, to reduce Dwara Sumoodra and Maabir in the Deccan, where he heard there were temples very rich in gold and jewels… They found in the temple prodigious spoils, such as idols of gold, adorned with precious stones, and other rich effects, consecrated to Hindoo worship. On the sea-coast the conqueror built a small mosque, and ordered prayers to be read according to the Mahomedan faith, and the Khootba to be pronounced in the name of Allaood-Deen Khiljy. This mosque remains entire in our days at Sett Bund Rameswur, for the infidels, esteeming it a house consecrated to God, would not destroy it.”231

Sultãn Fîrûz Shãh Tughlaq (AD 1351-1388)

Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)

“From thence the King marched towards the mountains of Nagrakote, where he was overtaken by a storm of hail and snow. The Raja of Nagrakote, after sustaining some loss, submitted, but was restored to his dominions. The name of Nagrakote was, on this occasion, changed to that of Mahomedabad, in honour of the late king… Some historians state, that Feroze, on this occasion, broke the idols of Nagrakote, and mixing the fragments with pieces of cow’s flesh, filled bags with them, and caused them to be tied round the necks of Bramins, who were then paraded through the camp. It is said, also, that he sent the image of Nowshaba to Mecca, to be thrown on the road, that it might be trodden under foot by the pilgrims, and that he also remitted the sum of 100,000 tunkas, to be distributed among the devotees and servants of the temple.”232

Sultãn Sikandar Lodî (AD 1489-1517)

Mandrail (Madhya Pradesh)

“Sikundur Lody, having returned to Dholpoor, reinstated the Raja Vinaik Dew, and then marching to Agra, he resolved to make that city his capital. He stayed in Agra during the rains, but in the year AH 910 (AD 1504), marched towards Mundril. Having taken that place, he destroyed the Hindoo temples, and caused mosques to be built in their stead.”233

Udit Nagar (Madhya Pradesh)

“Having returned to Agra, the King proceeded in the year AH 912 (AD 1506) towards the fort of Hunwuntgur, despairing of reducing Gualiar.  Hunwuntgur fell in a short time, and the Rajpoot garrison was put to the sword, the temples were destroyed, and mosques ordered to be built in their stead…”234

Narwar (Madhya Pradesh)

“…In the following year (AH 913, AD 1506), the king marched against Nurwur, a strong fort in the district of Malwa, then in possession of the Hindoos. The Prince Julal Khan governor of Kalpy, was directed to advance and invest the place; and should the Hindoos resist, he was required to inform the King… The King remained for the space of six months at Nurwur, breaking down temples, and building mosques. He also established a college there, and placed therein many holy and learned men.”235

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

“…He was firmly attached to the Mahomedan religion, and made a point of destroying all Hindoo temples. In the city of Mutra he caused musjids and bazars to be built opposite the bathing-stairs leading to the river and ordered that no Hindoos should be allowed to bathe there. He forbade the barbers to shave the beards and beads of the inhabitants, in order to prevent the Hindoos following their usual practices at such pilgrimages…”236

Sultãn Ibrãhîm Lodî (AD 1517-1526)

Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)

“…The Dehly army, arriving before Gualiar, invested the place… After the siege had been carried on for some months, the army of Ibrahim Lody at length got possession of an outwork at the foot of the hill, on which stood the fort of Badilgur. They found in that place a brazen bull, which had been for a long time an object of worship, and sent it to Agra, from whence it was afterwards conveyed to Dehly, and thrown down before the Bagdad gate (AH 924, AD 1518).”237

Sultãn Alãu’d-Dîn Mujãhid Shãh Bahmanî (AD 1375-1378)

Vijayanagar (Karnataka)

“Mujahid Shah, on this occasion, repaired mosques which had been built by the officers of Alla-ood-Deen Khiljy. He broke down many temples of the idolaters, and laid waste the country; after which he hastened to Beejanuggur… The King drove them before him, and gained the bank of a piece of water, which alone divided him from the citadel, where in the Ray resided. Near this spot was an eminence, on which stood a temple, covered with plates of gold and silver, set with jewels: it was much venerated by the Hindoos, and called, in the language of the country, Puttuk. The King, considering its destruction a religious obligation ascended the hill, and having razed the edifice, became possessed of the precious metals and jewels therein.”238

Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I Walî Bahmanî (AD 1422-1435)

Vijayanagar (Karnataka)

“Ahmud Shah, without waiting to besiege the Hindoo capital, overran the open country; and wherever he went put to death men, women, and children, without mercy, contrary to the compact made between his uncle and predecessor, Mahomed Shah, and the Rays of Beejanuggur. Whenever the number of slain amounted to twenty thousand, he halted three days, and made a festival celebration of the bloody event. He broke down, also, the idolatrous temples, and destroyed the colleges of the bramins. During these operations, a body of five thousand Hindoos, urged by desperation at the destruction of their religious buildings, and at the insults offered to their deities, united in taking an oath to sacrifice their lives in an attempt to kill the King, as the author of all their sufferings…”239

Kullum (Maharashtra)

“In the year AH 829 (AD 1425), Ahmud Shah marched to reduce a rebellious zemindar of Mahoor… During this campaign, the King obtained possession of a diamond mine at Kullum, a place dependent on Gondwana, in which territory he razed many idolatrous temples, and erecting mosques on their sites, appropriated to each some tracts of land to maintain holy men, and to supply lamps and oil for religious purposes…”240

Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Ahmad Shãh II Bahmanî (AD 1436-1458)

“…He was averse from shedding human blood, though he destroyed many idolatrous temples, and erected mosques in their stead. He held conversation neither with Nazarenes nor with bramins; nor would he permit them to hold civil offices under his government.”241

Sultãn Muhammad Shãh II Bahmanî (AD 1463-1482)

Kondapalli (Andhra Pradesh)

“Mahomed Shah now sat down before Condapilly and Bhim Raj, after six months, being much distressed, sued for pardon; which being granted, at the intercession of some of the nobility, he surrendered the fort and town to the royal troops. The King having gone to view the fort, broke down an idolatrous temple, and killed some bramins, who officiated at it, with his own hands, as a point of religion. He then gave orders for a mosque to be erected on the foundation of the temple, and ascending a pulpit, repeated a few prayers, distributed alms, and commanded the Khootba to be read in his name. Khwaja Mahmood Gawan now represented, that as his Majesty had slain some infidels with his own hands, he might fairly assume the title of Ghazy, an appellation of which he was very proud. Mahmood Shah was the first of his race who had slain a bramin…”242

Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu)

“…On his arrival at Condapilly, he was informed by the country people, that at the distance of ten days’ journey was the temple of Kunchy the walls and roof of which were covered with plates of gold, and ornamented with precious stones; but that no Mahomedan monarch had as yet seen it, or even heard of its name. Mahomed Shah, accordingly, selected six thousand of his best cavalry, and leaving the rest of his army at Condapilly, proceeded by forced marches to Kunchy… Swarms of people, like bees, now issued from within, and ranged themselves under the walls to defend it. At length, the rest of the King’s force coming up, the temple was attacked and carried by storm, with great slaughter. An immense booty fell to the share of the victors, who took away nothing but gold, jewels, and silver, which were abundant…”243

Sultãn ‘Alî ‘Ãdil Shãh I of Bijapur (AD 1557-1579)

Bankapur (Karnataka)

“…Ally Adil Shah, at the persuasions of his minister, carried his arms against Bunkapoor. This place was the principal residence of Velapa Ray, who had been originally a principal attendant of Ramraj; after whose death he assumed independence…244

“…Velapa Ray, despairing of relief, at length sent offers for surrendering the fort to the King, on condition of being allowed to march away with his family and effects, which Ally Adil Shah thought proper to grant, and the place was evacuated accordingly. The King ordered a superb temple within it to be destroyed, and he himself laid the first stone of a mosque, which was built on the foundation, offering up prayers for his victory. Moostufa Khan acquired great credit for his conduct, and was honoured with a royal dress, and had many towns and districts of the conquered country conferred upon him in jageer…245

Sultãn Qulî Qutb Shãh of Golconda (AD 1507-1543)

Dewarconda (Andhra Pradesh)

“After his return the King proceeded to reduce the fortress of Dewurconda, strongly situated on the top of a hill, which after a long siege was taken, and the Hindoo palaces and temples, by the King’s orders were consumed to ashes, and mosques built in their stead.”246

Sultãn Ibrãhîm Qutb Shãh of Golconda (AD 1550-1580)

Adoni (Karnataka)

“When the late king, Ibrahim Kootb Shah, had settled the countries of the Hindoos on his southern frontier, and despatched his commander, Ameer Shah Meer, to oppose the armies of his Mahomedan neighbours, he vested the management of the affairs of his government in the hands of one Moorhary Row, a Marratta bramin, to whom was attached a body of ten thousand infantry, under the command of Mahomedan officers of rank, with permission to beat the nobut. Moorhary Row was in every respect the second person in the state, not even excepting the princes of the blood-royal. In the latter end of the late king’s reign, this unprincipled infidel proceeded with a force towards a famous temple near Adony, where he attacked the inhabitants, laid waste the country, and sacked it of its idols, made of gold and silver, and studded with rubies. He levied also four lacks of hoons (160,000l.) from the inhabitants. At sight of the idols the King was taken seriously ill, and never recovered. He died on Thursday the 21st of Rubbeeoos-Sany, AH 988 (AD June 2, 1580) AD…”247

Sultãn Muhammad Qulî Qutb Shãh of Golconda (AD 1580-1612)

Cuddapah (Andhra Pradesh)

“The sudden swelling of the rivers, and the absence of the King with his army, gave Venkutputty leisure to muster the whole of his forces, which amounted to one hundred thousand men. The leaders were Yeltumraj, Goolrung Setty, and Munoopraj, who marched to recover Gundicota from the hands of Sunjur Khan. Here the enemy were daily opposed by sallies from the garrison, but they perservered in the siege; when they heard that Moortuza Khan, with the main army of the Mahomedans, had pentrated as far as the city of Krupa, the most famous city of that country, wherein was a large temple. This edifice the Mahomedans destroyed as far as practicable, broke the idol, and sacked the city…”248

Kalahasti (Tamil Nadu)

“The King determined to spare neither men nor money to carry on the war against the Hindoos: he accordingly directed Etibar Khan Yezdy, the Hawaldar of Condbeer (henceforth called Moortuza Nuggur), to collect all the troops under his command, with orders to march towards Beejanuggur, and to lay in ashes all the enemy’s towns in his route… Etibar Khan now proceeded to the town of Calistry, which he reached after a month’s march from Golconda. Here he destroyed the Hindoo idols, and ordered prayers to be read in the temples. These edifices may well he compared in magnificence with the buildings and paintings of China, with which they vie in beauty and workmanship. Having given a signal example of the Mahomedan power in that distant country, the Hindoos did not dare to interrupt his return…”249

Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1392-1410)

Somnath (Gujarat)

“…On the return of Moozuffur Khan to Guzerat, he learnt that in the western Puttun district the Ray of Jehrend, an idolater, refused allegiance to the Mahomedan authority. To this place Moozuffur Khan accordingly marched, and exacted tribute. He then proceeded to Somnat, where having destroyed all the Hindoo temples which he found standing, he built mosques in their stead; and leaving learned men for the propagation of the faith, and his own officers to govern the country, returned to Puttun in the year AH 798 (AD 1395).”250

Jhalawar (Rajasthan)

“…From Mundulgur Moozuffur Khan marched to Ajmeer, to pay his devotions at the shrine of Khwaja Moyin-ood-Deen Hussun Sunjury, from the whence he went towards Guzerat. On reaching Julwara, he destroyed the temples; and after exacting heavy contributions, and establishing his authority, he returned to Puttun…”251

Diu (Gujarat)

“…In the following year AH 804 (AD 1402), he marched to Somnat, and after a bloody action, in which the Mahomedans were victorious, the Ray fled to Diu. Moozuffur Shah having arrived before Diu laid siege to it, but it opened its gates without offering resistance. The garrison was, however, nearly all cut to pieces, while the Ray, with the rest of the members of his court, were trod to death by elephants. One large temple in the town was razed to the ground, and a mosque built on its site; after which, leaving his own troops in the place, Moozuffur Shah returned to Puttun.”252

Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I of Gujrat (AD 1411-1443)

Sompur (Gujrat)

“Ahmud Shah having a great curiosity to see the hill-fort of Girnal pursued the rebel in that direction… After a short time, the Raja, having consented to pay an annual tribute, made a large offering on the spot. Ahmud Shah left officers to collect the stipulated amount, and returned to Ahmadabad; on the road to which place he destroyed the temple of Somapoor, wherein were found many valuable jewels, and other property.”253

General order

“In the year AH 817 (AD 1414), Mullik Tohfa, one of the Officers of the King’s government was ennobled by the title of Taj-ool-Moolk, and received a special commission to destroy all idolatrous temples, and establish the Mahomedan authority throughout Guzerat; a duty which he executed with such diligence, that the names of Mawass and Girass were hereafter unheard of in the whole kingdom.”254

On way to Nagaur (Rajasthan)

“In the year AH 819 (AD 1416), Ahmud Shah marched against Nagoor, on the road to which place he plundered the country, and destroyed the temples…”255

Idar (Gujarat)

“…In the year 832 he marched again to Idur; and on the sixth of Suffur, AH 832 (AD Nov. 14, 1428) carried by storm one of the principal forts in that province, wherein he built a magnificent mosque…”256

Sultãn Mahmûd BegDhã of Gujarat (AD 1458-1511)

Girnar (Gujarat)

“The author of the history of Mahmood Shah relates, that in the year AH 872 (AD 1468), the King saw the holy Prophet (Mahomed) in a dream, who presented before him a magnificent banquet of the most delicate viands. This dream was interpreted by the wise men as a sign that he would soon accomplish a conquest by which he would obtain great treasures, which prediction was soon after verified in the capture of Girnal.

“In the year AH 873 (AD 1469), Mahmood Shah marched towards the country of Girnal, the capital of which bears the same name…257

“…The victorious army, without attacking the fort of Girnal, destroyed all the temples in the vicinity; and the King sending out foraging parties procured abundance of provisions for the camp…258

“The King, being desirous that the tenets of Islam should be propagated throughout the country of Girnal, caused a city to be built, which he called Moostufabad, for the purpose of establishing an honourable residence for the venerable personages of the Mahomedan religion, deputed to disseminate its principles; Mahmood Shah also took up his residence in that city…”259

Dwarka (Gujarat)

“Mahmood Shah’s next effort was against the port of Jugut, with a view of making converts of the infidels, an object from which he had been hitherto deterred by the reports he received of the approaches to it…”260

“The King, after an arduous march, at length arrived before the fort of Jugut a place filled with infidels, misled by the infernal minded bramins… The army was employed in destroying the temple at Jugut, and in building a mosque in its stead; while measures, which occupied three or four months in completing, were in progress for equipping a fleet to attack the island of Bete…”261

Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh II of Gujarat (AD 1511-1526)

Idar (Gujarat)

“The King, hearing of this disaster, instantly marched towards Idur. On reaching Mahrasa he caused the whole of the Idur district to be laid waste. Bheem Ray took refuge in the Beesulnuggur mountains; but the garrison of Idur, consisting of only ten Rajpoots, defended it against the whole of the King’s army with obstinacy; they were, however, eventually put to death on the capture of the place; and the temples, palaces, and garden houses, were levelled with the dust…”262

Sultãn Mahmûd Khaljî of Malwa (AD 1435-1469)

Kumbhalgadh (Rajasthan)

“…Sooltan Mahmood now attacked one of the forts in the Koombulmere district, defended by Beny Ray, the deputy of Rana Koombho of Chittor. In front of the gateway was a large temple which commanded the lower works. This building was strongly fortified, and employed by the enemy as a magazine. Sooltan Mahmood, aware of its importance, determined to take possession of it at all hazards; and having stormed it in person, carried it, but not without heavy loss; after which, the fort fell into his hands, and many Rajpoots were put to death. The temple was now filled with wood, and being set on fire, cold water was thrown on the, stone images, which causing them to break, the pieces were given to the butchers of the camp, in order to be used as weights in selling meat. One large figure in particular, representing a ram, and formed of solid marble, being consumed, the Rajpoots were compelled to eat the calcined parts with pan, in order that it might be said that they were made to eat their gods…”263

Mandalgadh (Rajasthan)

“On the 26th of Mohurrum, in the year AH 861 (AD Dec. 23, 1465), the King again proceeded to Mundulgur; and after a vigorous siege occupied the lower fort, wherein many Rajpoots were put to the sword, but the hill-fort still held out; to reduce which might have been a work of time but the reservoirs of water failing in consequence of the firing of the cannon, the garrison was obliged to capitulate, and Rana Koombho stipulated to pay ten lacks of tunkas. This event happened on the 20th of Zeehuj of the same year AH 861 (AD Nov. 8, 1457), exactly eleven months after the King’s leaving Mando. On the following day the King caused all the temples to be destroyed, and musjids to be erected in their stead, appointing the necessary officers of religion to perform daily worship…”264

On Way to Kumbhalgadh (Rajasthan)

“Sooltan Mahmood, in the year AH 863 (AD 1485), again marched against the Rajpoots. On arriving at the town of Dhar, he detached Gheias-ood-Deen to lay waste the country of the Kolies and Bheels. In this excursion the Prince penetrated to the hills of Koombulmere, and on his return, having given the King some description of that fortress, Sooltan Mahmood resolved to march thither. On the next day he moved for that purpose, destroying all the temples on the road…”265

Sultãn Mahmûd Shãh bin Ibrãhîm Sharqî of Jaunpur (AD 1440-1457)


“…Mahmood Shah Shurky, having recruited his army, took the field again for the purpose of reducing some refractory zemindars in the district of Chunar, which place he sacked, and from thence proceeded into the province of Orissa, which he also reduced; and having destroyed the temples and collected large sums of money, returned to Joonpoor.”266

Muhammad bin Qãsim (AD 712-715)

Debal (Sindh)

“On the receipt of this letter, Hijaj obtained the consent of Wuleed, the son of Abdool Mullik, to invade India, for the purpose of propagating the faith and at the same time deputed a chief of the name of Budmeen, with three hundred cavalry, to join Haroon in Mikran, who was directed to reinforce the party with one thousand good soldiers more to attack Deebul. Budmeen failed in his expedition, and lost his life in the first action. Hijaj, not deterred by this defeat, resolved to follow up the enterprise by another. In consequence, in the year AH 93 (AD 711) he deputed his cousin and son-in-law, Imad-ood-Deen Mahomed Kasim, the son of Akil Shukhfy, then only seventeen years of age, with six thousand soldiers, chiefly Assyrians, with the necessary implements for taking forts, to attack Deebul…267

“On reaching this place, he made preparations to besiege it, but the approach was covered by a fortified temple, surrounded by strong wall, built of hewn stone and mortar, one hundred and twenty feet in height. After some time a bramin, belonging to the temple, being taken, and brought before Kasim, stated, that four thousand Rajpoots defended the place, in which were from two to three thousand bramins, with shorn heads, and that all his efforts would be vain; for the standard of the temple was sacred; and while it remained entire no profane foot dared to step beyond the threshold of the holy edifice. Mahomed Kasim having caused the catapults to be directed against the magic flag-staff, succeeded, on the third discharge, in striking the standard, and broke it down… Mahomed Kasim levelled the temple and its walls with the ground and circumcised the brahmins. The infidels highly resented this treatment, by invectives against him and the true faith. On which Mahomed Kasim caused every brahmin, from the age of seventeen and upwards, to be put to death; the young women and children of both sexes were retained in bondage and the old women being released, were permitted to go whithersoever they chose.”268

Multan (Punjab)

“…On reaching Mooltan, Mahomed Kasim also subdued that province; and himself occupying the city, he erected mosques on the site of the Hindoo temples.”269

Sultlãn Jalãlu’d-Dîn Mankbarnî of Khwarîzm (AD 1222-1231)

Thatta (Sindh)

“…Julal-ood-Deen now occupied Tutta, destroyed all the temples, and built mosques in their stead; and on one occasion detached a force to Nehrwala (Puttun), on the border of Guzerat…”270

Sultãn Sikandar Butshikan of Kashmir (AD 1389-1413)


“In these days he promoted a bramin, by name Seeva Dew Bhut, to the office of prime minister, who embracing the Mahomedan faith, became such a persecutor of Hindoos that he induced Sikundur to issue orders proscribing the residence of any other than Mahomedans in Kashmeer; and he required that no man should wear the mark on his forehead, or any woman be permitted to burn with her husband’s corpse. Lastly, he insisted on all golden and silver images being broken and melted down, and the metal coined into money. Many of the bramins, rather than abandon their religion or their country, poisoned themselves; some emigrated from their native homes, while a few escaped the evil of banishment by becoming Mahomedans. After the emigration of the bramins, Sikundur ordered all the temples in Kashmeer to be thrown down; among which was one dedicated to Maha Dew, in the district of Punjhuzara, which they were unable to destroy, in consequence of its foundation being below the surface of the neighbouring water. But the temple dedicated to Jug Dew was levelled with the ground; and on digging into its foundation the earth emitted volumes of fire and smoke which the infidels declared to be the emblem of the wrath of the Deity; but Sikundur, who witnessed the phenomenon, did not desist till the building was entirely razed to the ground, and its foundations dug up.

“In another place in Kashmeer was a temple built by Raja Bulnat, the destruction of which was attended with a remarkable incident. After it had been levelled, and the people were employed in digging the foundation, a copper-plate was discovered, on which was the following inscription:- ‘Raja Bulnat, having built this temple, was desirous of ascertaining from his astrologers how long it would last, and was informed by them, that after eleven hundred years, a king named Sikundur would destroy it, as well as the other temples in Kashmeer’…Having broken all the images in Kashmeer, he acquired the title of the Iconoclast, ‘Destroyer of Idols’…”271

Sultãn Fath Shãh of Kashmir (AD 1485-1499 and 1505-1516)


“On the imprisonment of Mahomed, Futteh Khan, assuming the reigns of government, and being formally crowned, was acknowledged King of Kashmeer in the year 902; and appointed Suffy and Runga Ray, the two officers who had lately made their escape, his ministers. About this time one Meer Shumsood-Deen, disciple of Shah Kasim Anwur, the son of Syud Mahomed Noorbukhsh arrived in Kashmeer from Irak. Futteh Khan made over to this holy personage all the confiscated lands which had lately fallen to the crown; and his disciples went forth destroying the temples of the idolaters, in which they met with the support of the government, so that no one dared to oppose them. In a short time many of the Kashmeeries, particularly those of the tribe of Chuk, became converts to the Noorbukhsh tenets. The persuasion of this sect was connected with that of the Sheeas; but many proselytes, who had not tasted of the cup of grace, after the death of Meer Shumsood-Deen, reverted to their idols…”272


The author is the fourth Mughal emperor, Jahãngîr (AD 1605-1628). He wrote it himself as his memoirs upto the thirteenth year of his reign, that is, AD 1617. After that his ill-health forced him to give up writing and the work was entrusted to Mu‘tamad Khãn who continued writing it in the name of the emperor upto the beginning of the nineteenth year of the reign. Muhammad Hãdî continued the memoirs upto Jahãngîr’s death in 1628.

Ajmer (Rajasthan)

“…On the 7th Ãzar I went to see and shoot on the tank of Pushkar, which is one of the established praying-places of the Hindus, with regard to the perfection of which they give (excellent) accounts that are incredible to any intelligence, and which is situated at a distance of three kos from Ajmir. For two or three days I shot waterfowl on that tank, and returned to Ajmir. Old and new temples which, in the language of the infidels, they call Deohara are to be seen around this tank. Among them Rãnã Shankar, who is the uncle of the rebel Amar, and in my kingdom is among the high nobles, had built a Deohara of great magnificence, on which 100,000 rupees had been spent. I went to see that temple. I found a form cut out of black stone, which from the neck above was in the shape of a pig’s head, and the rest of the body was like that of a man. The worthless religion of the Hindus is this, that once on a time for some particular object the Supreme Ruler thought it necessary to show himself in this shape; on this account they hold it dear and worship it. I ordered them to break that hideous form and throw it into the tank. After looking at this building there appeared a white dome on the top of a hill, to which men were coming from all quarters. When I asked about this they said that a Jogî lived there, and when the simpletons come to see him he places in their hands a handful of flour, which they put into their mouths and imitate the cry of an animal which these fools have at some time injured, in order that by this act their sins may be blotted out. I ordered them to break down that place and turn the Jogî out of it, as well as to destroy the form of an idol there was in the dome…”273

Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)

“On the 24th of the same month I went to see the fort of Kãngra, and gave an order that the Qãzî, the Chief Justice (Mir‘Adl), and other learned men of Islam should accompany me and carry out in the fort whatever was customary, according to the religion of Muhammad. Briefly, having traversed about one koss, I went up to the top of the fort, and by the grace of God, the call to prayer and the reading of the Khutba and the slaughter of a bullock which had not taken place from the commencement of the building of the fort till now, were carried out in my presence. I prostrated myself in thanksgiving for this great gift, which no king had hoped to receive, and ordered a lofty mosque to be built inside the fort… 

“After going round the fort I went to see the temple of Durgã, which is known as Bhawan. A world has here wandered in the desert of error. Setting aside the infidels whose custom is the worship of idols, crowds of the people of Islam, traversing long distances, bring their offerings and pray to the black stone (image)… Some maintain that this stone, which is now a place of worship for the vile infidels, is not the stone which was there originally, but that a body of the people of Islam came and carried off the original stone, and threw it into the bottom of the river, with the intent that no one could get at it. For a long time the tumult of the infidels and idol-worshippers had died away in the world, till a lying brahman hid a stone for his own ends, and going to the Raja of the time said: ‘I saw Durgã in a dream, and she said to me: They have thrown me into a certain place: quickly go and take me up.’ The Raja, in the simplicity of his heart, and greedy for the offerings of gold that would come to him, accepted the tale of the brahman and sent a number of people with him, and brought that stone, and kept it in this place with honour, and started again the shop of error and misleading…”274

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)

“I am here led to relate that at the city of Banaras a temple had been erected by Rajah Maun Singh, which cost him the sum of nearly thirty-six laks of five methkally ashrefies. The principle idol in this temple had on its head a tiara or cap, enriched with jewels to the amount of three laks ashrefies. He had placed in this temple moreover, as the associates and ministering servants of the principal idol, four other images of solid gold, each crowned with a tiara, in the like manner enriched with precious stones. It was the belief of these Jehennemites that a dead Hindu, provided when alive he had been a worshipper, when laid before this idol would be restored to life. As I could not possibly give credit to such a pretence, I employed a confidential person to ascertain the truth; and, as I justly supposed, the whole was detected to be an impudent imposture. Of this discovery I availed myself, and I made it my plea for throwing down the temple which was the scene of this imposture and on the spot, with the very same materials, I erected the great mosque, because the very name of Islam was proscribed at Banaras, and with God’s blessing it is my design, if I live, to fill it full with true believers.”275

Tãrîkh-i-Khãn Jahãn Lodî

The author, Ni‘ãmatu’llãh, was a historian in the court of the Mughal emperor Jahãngîr (AD 1605-1628). His Tãrîkh is practically the same as his Makhzan-i-Afghãni except for the memoirs of Khãn Jahãn Lodî which have been added. Khãn Jahãn Lodî was one of the most illustrious generals of Jahãngîrî. The history begins with Adam and comes down to AD 1612 when it was completed. Ni‘ãmatu’llãh refers to Hindus as “the most notorious vagabonds and rebels.”

Sultãn Mahmûd of Ghazni (AD 997-1030)

Somnath (Gujarat)

“After a long time, in AH 400, Allãh… conferred the honour of sultanate on Sultãn Mahmûd Ghãzî, son of Subuktigîn… Nine men from among the Afghãn chiefs… took to his court and joined his servants… The Sultãn… gave to each one of them enamelled daggers and swords, horses of good breed and robes of special quality and, taking them with him, he set out with the intention of conquering Hindustãn and Somnãt.

“Rãî Dãishalîm whom some historians have pronounced as Dãbshalîm or Dãbshalam was the great ruler of that country. The Sultan inflicted a smashing defeat on that Rãjã, demolished and desecrated the idol temples there, and devastated that land of the infidels…”276

Sultãn Sikandar Lodî (AD 1489-1517)

Dholpur (Madhya Pradesh)

“…Sikandar himself marched on Friday, the 6th Ramzãn AH 906 (AD March, 1501), upon Dhûlpûr; but Rãjã Mãnikdeo, placing a garrison in the fort, retreated to Gwãlior. This detachment however, being unable to defend it, and abandoning the fort by night, it fell into the hands of the Muhammadan army. Sikandar on entering the fort, fell down on his knees, and returned thanks to God, and celebrated his victory. The whole army was employed in plundering and the groves which spread shade for seven kos around Bayãna were tom up from the roots…277

Mandrail (Madhya Pradesh)

“In Ramzãn of the year 910 (AD 1504), after the rising of Canopus, he raised the standard of war for the reduction of the fort of Mandrãil; but the garrison capitulating, and delivering up the citadel, the Sultãn ordered the temples and idols to be demolished, and mosques to be constructed. After leaving Mîãn Makan and Mujãhid Khãn to protect the fort, he himself moved out on a plundering expedition into the surrounding country, where he butchered many people, took many prisoners, and devoted to utter destruction all the groves and habitations; and after gratifying and honouring himself by this exhibition of holy zeal he returned to his capital Bayãna.”278

Udit Nagar (Madhya Pradesh)

“In 912, after the rising of Canopus, the Sultãn went towards the fort of Awantgar… 

On the 23rd of the month, the Sultãn invested the fort, and ordered the whole army to put forth their best energies to capture it… All of a sudden, by the favour of God, the gale of victory blew on the standards of the Sultãn, and the gate was forced open by Malik ‘Alãu-d dîn… The Rãjpûts, retiring within their own houses, continued the contest, and slew their families after the custom of jauhar… After due thanks-giving for his victory, the Sultãn gave over charge of the fort to Makan and Mujãhîd Khãn, with directions that they should destroy the idol temples, and raise mosques in their places…”279

Narwar (Madhya Pradesh)

“…The Sultãn set out for conquering the fort of Narwar. Those inside the fort asked for refuge when they became helpless because of the dearness of grains and scarcity of water; they sought security of their lives and left the fort together with their goods. The Sultãn took over the fort, demolished the temples and idol-houses in it and built mosques, and fixed scholarships and stipends for the teachers and the taught. He resided for six months in the fort.”280

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

“The Islamic sentiment (in him) was so strong that he demolished all temples in his kingdom and left no trace of them. He constructed sarãis, bazãrs, madrasas and mosques in Mathurã which is a holy place of the Hindûs and where they go for bathing. He appointed government officials in order to see that no Hindû could bathe in Mathrã. No barber was permitted to shave the head of any Hindû with his razor. That is how he completely curtailed the public celebration of infidel customs…”281

Thanesar (Haryana)

“Sultãn Sikandar was yet a young boy when he heard about a tank in Thãnesar which the Hindûs regarded as sacred and went for bathing in it. He asked the theologians about the prescription of the Shari‘ah on this subject. They replied that it was permitted to demolish the ancient temples and idol-houses of the infidels, but it was not proper for him to stop them from going to an ancient tank. Hearing this reply, the prince drew out his sword and thought of beheading the theologian concerned, saying that he (the theologian) was siding with the infidels…”282

Sultãn Ibrãhîm Lodî (AD 1517-1526)

Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)

“…When the thought occurred to Sultãn Ibrãhîm, he sent ‘Ãzam Humãyûn on this expedition… The Afghãn army captured from the infidels the statue of a bull which was made of metals such as copper and brass, which was outside the gate of the fort and which the Hindûs used to worship. They brought it to the Sultãn. The Sultãn was highly pleased and ordered that it should be taken to Delhi and placed outside the ‘Red Gate’ which was known as the Baghdãd Gate in those days. The statue was so fixed in front of the ‘Red Gate’ till the time of the Mughal emperor, Akbar the Great, who ordered in AH 999 that it be melted down and used for making cannon as well as some other equipment, which are still there in the government armoury. The author of this history… has seen it in both shapes.”283

Sultãn Sulaimãn Karrãnî of Bengal (AD 1563-1576)

Puri (Orissa)

“After Tãj Khãn, his brother Sulaimãn Karrãni took possession of the province of Gaur and proclaimed his independence… He also made up his mind to demolish all the temples and idol-houses of the infidels. As the biggest temple of the Hindûs was in Orissa and known as Jagannãth, he decided to destroy it and set out in that direction with a well-equipped force. Reaching there, he demolished the idol-house and laid it waste. There was an idol in it known as that of Kishan… Sulaimãn ordered that it be broken into pieces and thrown into the drain. In like manner, he took out seven hundred golden idols from idol-temples in the neighbouring areas… and broke them.284

“…When the armies of Islãm entered that city, the women of the Brahmans, dressed in costly robes, wearing necklaces, covering their heads with colourful scarves and beautifying themselves in every way, took shelter at the back of the temple of Jagannãth. They were told again and again that a Muslim army that had entered the city would capture and take them away, and that those people would desecrate the temple after laying it waste. But the women did not believe it at all. They kept on saying. ‘How could it happen?  How could the soldiers of the Muslim army cause any injury to the idols?’

“When the army of Islãm arrived near the temple, it made prisoners of those Hindû women. That is what surprised them most…”285

The History of the Afghans in India AD 1545-1631 by M.A. Rahim (Karachi, 1961) quotes Makhzan-i-Afghãna while describing the exploits of Sulaimãn Karrãni’s general, Kãlãpahar, in AD 1568. It says: “Every Afghãn, who took part in the campaign, obtained as booty one or two gold images. Kãlã Pahãr destroyed the temple of Jagannãth in Puri which contained 700 idols made of gold, the biggest of which weighed 30 mãns.”286


The author, Sikandar bin Muhammad Manjhû bin Akbar, was in the employ of Azîz Kokã, the Mughal governor of Gujarat, and fought against Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh III, the last independent sultãn of Gujarat, who was dethroned in AD 1591.

He finished his history in 1611 or 1613. It relates the history of Gujarat from Muzaffar Shãh I to Muzaffar Shãh III.

Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1392-1410)

Somnath (Gujarat)

“On his return (from Îdar) the Khãn made up his mind to destroy Somnãt, that is, the temple of PaTandev. But in the meanwhile he received a report that ‘Ãdil Khãn, the ruler of Ãsir and Burhãnpur, had crossed the border and stepped into die province of Sultãnpur and Nadrabãr which was under Gujarat… The Khãn postponed his march to PaTandev…

“In AH 799 (AD 1394-95) he invaded Jahdand (JûnãgaDh)which was in the Kindgdom of Rãi Bhãrã and slaughtered the infidels there. 

“From there he proceeded towards Somnãt, and destroyed the famous temple. He embellished that city with the laws of Islãm.”287

Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1411-1443)

Sidhpur (Gujarat)

His destruction of the Rudramahãlaya and construction of a mosque on the same site, as described in Mir‘ãt-i-Sikandarî, has been related already in Chapter One. Strangely, the long verse cited from the Aligarh text has been omitted from the English translation by Fazlullah Lutfullah Faridi, originally published from Dharampur (Gujarat) and reprinted from Gurgaon in 1990.

General Order

“Thereafter in AH 823 (AD 1420-21) he proceeded to different parts of his Kingdom for establishing order and good government… He got temples demolished and palaces and mosques constructed in their stead…”288

Sultãn Mahmûd BegDhã of Gujarat (AD 1458-1511)

Dwarka (Gujarat)

“On 17 Zilhijjã he started towards Jagat and reduced that place after marching continuously. The infidels of Jagat ran away to the island of Sãnkhû. The Sultãn destroyed Jagat and got its palaces dismantled. He got the idols broken…”289

Sankhodhar (Gujarat)

“…When the Sultãn saw that the infidels had gone to that island, he ordered boats from the ports and proceeded to the island with his well-armed soldiers… The infidels did not stint in fighting with swords and guns. In the end the army of Islãm achieved victory. A majority of the infidels were slaughtered. The Musalmãns started giving calls to prayers after mounting on top of the temples. They started destroying the temples and desecrating the idols. The Sultãn offered namãz out of gratefulness of Allãh… He got a Jãmi‘ Masjid raised in that place…”290

Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh II of Gujarat (AD 1511-1526)

Idar (Gujarat)

“…The Rãjã of Îdar ran away to the mountains and on the fourth day the Sultãn started from Morãsã and halted near Îdar. He ordered that the houses and temples of Îdar should be destroyed in such a way that no trace of them should remain.”291

Sultãn Bahãdur Shãh of Gujarat (AD 1526-1537)

Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh)

“Afterwards he went towards Bhîlsã which country had been conquered for Islãm by Sultãn Shamsu’d-dîn (Altamsh), King of Delhî. Since eighteen years the estate of Bhîlsã had been subject to Silahdî, and the laws of Islãm had been changed there for the customs of infidelity. When the Sultãn reached the above place, he abrogated the ordinances of infidelity and introduced the laws of Islãm, and slew the idolaters and threw down their temples…”292

Intikhãb-i-Jahãngîr Shãbî

The name of the author is not known. He was evidently a contemporary and a companion of Jahãngîr. The Tabqãt-i-Shãh-Jahãnî mentions a work written by Shykh ‘Abdul Wahãb and named Akhlãq-i-Jahãngîrî. This work may be the same as the Intikhãb. The Shykh died in 1622-23.

Nûru’d-Dîn Muhammad Jahãngîr Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1605-1628)

Ahmadabad (Gujarat)

“One day at Ahmadabad it was reported that many of the infidel and superstitious sect of the Seoras (Jains) of Gujarãt had made several very great and splendid temples, and having placed in them their false gods, had managed to secure a large degree of respect for themselves and that the women who went for worship in those temples were polluted by them and other people… The Emperor Jahãngîr ordered them banished from the country, and their temples to be, demolished. Their idol was thrown down on the uppermost step of the mosque, that it might be trodden upon by those who came to say their daily prayers there. By this order of the Emperor, the infidels were exceedingly disgraced, and Islãm exalted…”293


It is a history of sixteenth century Bijapur written in AD 1608-09 by Rafîu’d-Dîn Ibrãhîm Shîrãzî, an Iranian adventurer and diplomat.

Sultãn ‘Alî I ‘Ãdilshãh of Bijapur (AD 1557-1580)


“While campaigning in Karnataka following the fall of Vijayanagar ‘Ali I’s armies destroyed two or three hundred Hindu temples, and the monarch himself was said to have smashed four or five thousand Hindu images…”294


The author, Haidar Malik Chãdurãh, was a Kashmirian nobleman in the service of Sultãn Yûsuf Shãh (AD 1579-1586). He gives the history of Kashmir from the earliest times. Though mainly based on Rãjã-tarañgiNî, there are some additions in the later period. It was begun in AD 1618 and finished sometime after 1620-21.

Sultãn Sikandar Butshikan of Kashmir (AD 1389-1413)


“During the reign of Sultãn Sikandar, Mîr Sayyîd Muhammad, son of Mîr Sayyîd Hamadanî… came here, and removed the rust of ignorance and infidelity and the evils, by his preaching and guidance… He wrote an epistle for Sultãn Sikandar on tasawwuf… Sultãn Sikandar became his follower. He prohibited all types of frugal games. Nobody dared commit acts which were prohibited by the Sharîat… The Sultãn was constantly busy in annihilating the infidels and destroyed most of the temples…”295

Malik Mûsã of Kashmir


He was a powerful minister in the reign of Sultãn Fath Shãh (AD 1489-1516), but Tãrîkh-i-Kashmîr presents him as the monarch. It says:

“Malik Mûsã ascended the throne in AH 907 (AD 1501). During his reign, he devoted himself to the obliteration of the infidels and busied himself with the spread of the religion of the prophet. He made desolate most of the temples where the infidels had practised idolatry. Wherever there was a temple, he destroyed it and built a mosque in its place… None of the Sultãns of Kashmîr after Sultãn Sikandar… ever made such an effort for the spread of the Islamic faith as did Malik Mûsã Chãdurãh, and for this auspicious reason he received the title of the ‘Idol Breaker’.”296

Sufi Mîr Shamsu’d-Dîn Irãqî


He was a sufi of the Kubrawiyya sect who came to Kashmir first in AD 1481, next in AD 1501, and finally in 1505 in the reign of Sultãn Fath Shãh. He found it convenient to work as a member of the Nûr Bakhsh Sufi sect. His doings are “anticipated” in the Tãrîkh-i-Kashmîr in the following words:

“…Bãbã Ûchah Ganãî went for circumambulation of the two harms (Mecca and Medina)… in search of the perfect guide (Pîr-i-Kãmil). He prayed to God (to help) him when he heard a voice from the unknown that the ‘perfect guide’ was in Kashmîr himself… Hazrat Shaikh, Bãbã Ûchah Ganãî… returned to Kashmîr… All of a sudden his eyes fell upon a place of worship, the temples of the Hindus. He smiled; when the devotees asked the cause of (his smile) he replied that the destruction and demolition of these places of worship and the destruction of the idols will take place at the hand of the high horn Shaikh Shams-ud-Dîn Irrãqî. He will soon be coming from Iraq and shall turn the temples completely desolate, and most of the misled people will accept the path of guidance and Islãm… So as was ordained Shaikh Shams-ud-Dîn reached Kashmîr. He began destroying the places of worship and the temples of the Hindus and made an effort to achieve the objectives.”297


It is a biography of Sayyid Sãlãr Mas‘ûd Ghãzî whose tomb at Bahraich (Uttar Pradesh) occupies the site of a Sun Temple. It was written by Shykh ‘Abdu’r-Rahmãn Chishtî in the reign of Jahangir (1605-1628). He drew his main material from Tawãrîkh-i-Mahmûdî by Mullã Muhammad Ghaznavî, a contemporary of Sultãn Mahmûd of Ghazni (AD 997-1030). Sãlãr Mas‘ûd, according to this account, was the son of Sitr Mu’alla’, a sister of Sultãn Mahmûd, married to his general, Sãlãr Sãhû. Sãlãr Mas‘ûd was born when the couple was staying in Ajmer. He is famous among the Muslims as Ghãzî Miyãn, Bãlã Miyãn (revered boy) and Hathîlã Pîr (the obstinate saint). There are many stories current regarding how he led or sent many expeditions against the Hindu Kãfîrs in all direction from his headquarters at Satrakh in the Barabanki District of Uttar Pradesh. He is supposed to have defeated many Rãjãs, plundered many towns, and destroyed many temples, particularly in Awadh. Many tombs all over Awadh and neighbouring areas are reputed to be the graves of his Ghãzîs (veterans) who became Shahîds (martys) in a prolonged Jihãd (holy war) directed by him. He was finally caught and killed near Bahraich by a league of Hindu Rãjãs. The Sun Temple which was his target escaped this time, but was destroyed when another wave of Islamic invasion swept over the area at the end of the twelfth century.

Saiyyid Sãlãr Mas‘ûd Ghãzî (AD 1013-1033)

Somnath (Gujarat)

“It happened that Mahmûd had long been planning an expedition into Bhardana, and Gujarat, to destroy the idol temple of Somnãt, a place of great sanctity to all Hindus. So as soon as he had returned to Ghaznî from his Khurasan business, he issued a farmãn to the General of the army, ordering him to leave a confidential officer in charge of the fort of Kabuliz, and himself to join the court with his son Sãlãr Mas‘ud…298

“It is related in the Tãrîkh-i Mahmûdî that the Sultãn shortly after reached Ghaznî, and laid down the image of Somnãt at the threshold of the Mosque of Ghaznî, so that the Musulmãns might tread upon the breast of the idol on their way to and from their devotions. As soon as the unbelievers heard of this, they sent an embassy to Khwãja Hasan Maimandî, stating that the idol was of stone and useless to the Musulmãns, and offered to give twice its weight in gold as a ransom, if it might be returned to them. Khwãja Hasan Maimandî represented to the Sultãn that the unbelievers had offered twice the weight of the idol in gold, and had agreed to be subject to him. He added, that the best policy would be to take the gold and restore the image, thereby attaching die people to his Government. The Sultãn yielded to the advice of the Khwãja, and the unbelievers paid the gold into the treasury.

“One day, when the Sultãn was seated on his throne, the ambassadors of the unbelievers came, and humbly petitioned thus: ‘Oh, Lord of the world! we have paid the gold to your Government in ransom, but have not yet received our purchase, the idol Somnãt.’ The Sultãn was wroth at their words, and, falling into reflection, broke up the assembly and retired, with his dear Sãlãr Mas‘ûd, into his private apartments. He then asked his opinion as to whether the image ought to be restored, or not?  Sãlãr Mas‘ûd, who was perfect in goodness, said quickly, ‘In the day of the resurrection, when the Almighty shall call for Ãzar, the idol-destroyer, and Mahmûd, the idol-seller, Sire! what will you say?’ This speech deeply affected the Sultãn, he was full of grief, and answered, ‘I have given my word; it will be a breach of promise.’ Sãlãr Mas‘ûd begged him to make over the idol to him, and tell the unbelievers to get it from him. The Sultãn agreed; and Sãlãr Mas‘ûd took it to his house, and, breaking off its nose and ears, ground them to powder.

“When Khwãja Hasan introduced the unbelievers, and asked the Sultãn to give orders to restore the image to them, his majesty replied that Sãlãr Mas‘ûd had carried it off to his house, and that he might send them to get it from him. Khwãja Hasan, bowing his head, repeated these words in Arabic, ‘No easy matter is it to recover anything which has fallen into the hands of a lion.’ He then told the unbelievers that the idol was with Sãlãr Mas‘ûd, and that they were at liberty to go and fetch it. So they went to Mas‘ûd’s door and demanded their god.

“That prince commanded Malik Nekbakht to treat them courteously, and make them be seated; then to mix the dust of the nose and ears of the idol with sandal and the lime eaten with betel-nut, and present it to them. The unbelievers were delighted, and smeared themselves with sandal, and ate the betel-leaf. After a while they asked for the idol, when Sãlãr Mas‘ûd said he had given it to them. They inquired, with astonishment, what he meant by saying that they had received the idol? And Malik Nekbakht explained that it was mixed with the sandal and betel-lime. Some began to vomit, while others went weeping and lamenting to Khwãja Hasan Maimandî and told him what had occurred…”299

“Afterwards the image of Somnãt was divided into four parts, as is described in the Tawãrîkh-i-Mahmûdî. Mahmûd’s first exploit is said to have been conquering the Hindû rebels, destroying the forts and the idol temples of the Rãî Ajipãl (Jaipãl), and subduing the country of India. His second, the expedition into Harradawa and Guzerãt, the carrying off the idol of Somnãt, and dividing it into four pieces, one of which he is reported to have placed on the threshold of the Imperial Palace, while he sent two others to Mecca and Medina respectively. Both these exploits were performed at the suggestion, and by the advice, of the General and Sãlãr Mas‘ûd; but India was conquered by the efforts of Sãlãr Mas‘ûd alone, and the idol of Somnãt was broken in pieces by his sold advice, as has been related. Sãlãr Sãhû was Sultãn of the army and General of the forces in Iran…300

Awadh (Uttar Pradesh)

“…Mas‘ûd hunted through the country around Bahraich, and whenever he passed by the idol temple of Sûraj-kund, he was wont to say that he wanted that piece of ground for a dwelling-place. This Sûraj-kund was a sacred shrine of all the unbelievers of India. They had carved an image of the sun in stone on the banks of the tank there. This image they called Bãlãrukh, and through its fame Bahraich had attained its flourishing condition. When there was an eclipse of the sun, the unbelievers would come from east and west to worship it, and every Sunday the heathen of Bahraich and its environs, male and female, used to assemble in thousands to rub their heads under that stone, and do it reverence as an object of peculiar sanctity. Mas‘ûd was distressed at this idolatry, and often said that, with God’s will and assistance, he would destroy that mine of unbelief, and set up a chamber for the worship of the Nourisher of the Universe in its place, rooting out unbelief from those parts…301

“Meanwhile, the Rãi Sahar Deo and Har Deo, with several other chiefs, who had kept their troops in reserve, seeing that the army of Islãm was reduced to nothing, unitedly attacked the body-guard of the Prince. The few forces that remained to that loved one of the Lord of the Universe were ranged round him in the garden. The unbelievers, surrounding them in dense numbers, showered arrows upon them. It was then, on Sunday, the 14th of the month Rajab, in the aforesaid year 424 (14th June, 1033) as the time of evening prayer came on, that a chance arrow pierced the main artery in the arm of the Prince of the Faithful…302

Siyar al-Aqtãb

This work was completed in AD 1647 by Allãh Diyã Chishtî. It deals with many miracles performed by the Sufis, particularly of the Sãbriyya branch of the Chishtiyya silsilã.

Shykh Mu‘în al-Dîn Chishtî of Ajmer (d. AD 1236)

Ajmer (Rajasthan)

“Although at that time there were very many temples of idols around the lake, when the Khwaja saw them, he said: ‘If God and His Prophet so will, it will not be long before I raze to the ground these idol temples.’

“It is said that among those temples there was one temple to reverence which the Rãjã and all the infidels used to come, and lands had been assigned to provide for its expenditure. When the Khwãja settled there, every day his servants bought a cow, brought it there and slaughtered it and ate it…

“So when the infidels grew weak and saw that they had no power to resist such a perfect companion of God, they… went into their idol temples which were their places of worship. In them there was a dev, in front of whom they cried out and asked for help…303

“…The dev who was their leader, when he saw the perfect beauty of the Khwãja, trembled from head to foot like a willow tree. However much he tried to say ‘Ram, Ram’, it was ‘Rahîm, Rahîm’ that came from his tongue… The Khwãja… with his own hand gave a cup of water to a servant to take to the dev… He had no sooner drunk it than his heart was purified of darkness of unbelief, he ran forward and fell at the Heaven-treading feet of the Khwãja, and professed his belief…

“The Khwãja said: ‘I also bestow on you the name of Shãdî Dev [Joyful Deval]’…304

“…Then Shadî Dev… suggested to the Khwãja, that he should now set up a place in the city, where the populace might benefit from his holy arrival. The Khwãja accepted this suggestion, and ordered one of his special servants called Muhammad Yãdgîr to go into the city and set in good order a place for faqîrs. Muhammad Yãdgîr carried out his orders, and when he had gone into the city, he liked well the place where the radiant tomb of the Khwãja now is, and which originally belonged to Shãdî Dev, and he suggested that the Khwãja should favour it with his residence…305

“…Mu‘în al-dîn had a second wife for the following reason: one night he saw the Holy Prophet in the flesh. The prophet said: ‘You are not truly of my religion if you depart in any way from my sunnat.’ It happened that the ruler of the Patli fort, Malik Khitãb, attacked the unbelievers that night and captured the daughter of the Rãjã of that land. He presented her to Mu‘în al-dîn who accepted her and named her Bîbî Umiya.”306

P.M. Currie comments:

“…The take-over of ‘pagan’ sites is a recurrent feature of the history of the expansion of Islam. The most obvious precedent is to be found in the Muslim annexation of the Hajar al-aswad at Mecca… Sir Thomas Arnol remarks that ‘in many instances there is no doubt that the shrine of a Muslim saint marks the site of some local cult which was practised on the spot long before the introduction of Islam.’

“There is evidence, more reliable than the tradition recorded in the Siyar al-Aqtãb, to suggest that this was the case in Ajmer. Sculpted stones, apparently from a Hindu temple, are incorporated in the Buland Darwãza of Mu‘în al-dîn’s shrine. Moreover, his tomb is built over a series of cellars which may have formed part of an earlier temple… A tradition, first recorded in the ‘Anis al-Arwãh, suggests that the Sandal Khãna is built on the site of Shãdî Dev’s temple.”307


The author, ‘Abdu’l Hamîd Lãhorî, was commissioned by Shãh Jahãn himself to compile this history which is a voluminous work covering the first twenty years of Shãh Jahãn’s reign. Lãhorî died in 1654.

Nûru’d-Dîn Muhammad Jahãngîr Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1605-1628)

Many Places

“Perhaps these in stances [Mewar, Kangra, and Ajmer] made a contemporary poet of his court sing his praises as the great Muslim emperor who converted temples into mosques.”308

Shihãbu’d-Dîn Muhammad Shãh Jahãn Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1628-1658)

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)

“It had been brought to the notice of His Majesty that during the late reign many idol temples had been begun, but remained unfinished at Benares, the great stronghold of infidelity. The infidels were now desirous of completing them. His Majesty, the defender of the faith, gave orders that at Benares, and throughout all his dominions in every place, all temples that had been begun should be cast down. It was now reported from the province of Allahãbãd that seventy-six temples had been destroyed in the district of Benares.”309

Orchha (Madhya Pradesh)

“At the Bundela capital the Islam-cherishing Emperor demolished the lofty and massive temple of Bir Singh Dev near his palace, and erected a mosque on its site.”310


“Some temples in Kashmir were also sacrificed to the religious fury of the emperor. The Hindu temple at Ichchhabal was destroyed and converted into a mosque.”311


It was written by ‘Inãyat Khãn whose original name was Muhammad Tãhir Ãshnã. It comes down to AH 1068 (AD 1657-58), the year when Aurangzeb seized power and imprisoned Shãh Jahãn in the fort of Agra. It presents Shah Jahan as a pious Muslim vis-a-vis the Hindu Kãfirs.

Shihãbu’d-Dîn Muhammad Shãh Jahãn Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1628-1658)

Orchha (Madhya Pradesh)

“When the environs of Orchha became the site of the royal standards, an ordinance was issued authorising the demolition of the idol temple, which Bir Singh Deo had erected at a great expense by the side of his private palace, and also the idols contained in it…”312


The author, Bakhtãwar Khãn, was a nobleman of Aurangzeb’s court. He died in AD 1684. The history ascribed to him was really compiled by Muhammad Baqã of Saharanpur who gave the name of his friend as its author. Baqã was a prolific writer who was invited by Bakhtãwar Khãn to Aurangzeb’s court and given a respectable rank. He died in AD 1683.

Muhiyu’d-Dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb ‘Ãlamgîr Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1658-1707)

General Order

“Hindû writers have been entirely excluded from holding public offices, and all the worshipping places of the infidels and great temples of these infamous people have been thrown down and destroyed in a manner which excites astonishment at the successful completion of so difficult a task. His Majesty personally teaches the sacred kalima to many infidels with success… All the mosques in the empire are repaired at public expense. Imãma, criers to the daily prayers, and readers of the khutba, have been appointed to each of them, so that a large sum of money has been and is still laid out in these disbursements…”313


This work, written in AD 1688 by Mîrza Muhammad Kãzim, contains a history of the first ten years of Aurangzeb’s reign.

Muhiyu’d-Dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb ‘Ãlamgîr Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1658-1707)

Palamau (Bihar)

“In 1661 Aurangzeb in his zeal to uphold the law of Islam sent orders to his Viceroy of Bihar, Dãud Khãn, to conquer Palamau. In the military operations that followed many temples were destroyed…”314

Koch Bihar (Bengal)

“Towards the end of the same year when Mîr Jumla made a war on the Raja of Kuch Bihar, the Mughals destroyed many temples during the course of, their operations. Idols were broken and some temples were converted into mosques.”315


The author, Sãqã Must‘ad Khãn, completed this history in AD 1710 at the behest of ‘Inãyatu’llãh Khãn Kashmîrî, Aurangzeb’s last secretary and favourite disciple in state policy and religiosity. The materials which Must‘ad Khãn used in this history of Aurangzeb’s reign came mostly from the State archives which were thrown open to him.

Muhiyu’d-Dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb ‘Ãlamgîr Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1658-1707)

General Order

“The Lord Cherisher of the Faith learnt that in the provinces of Tatta, Multãn, and especially at Benares, the Brahman misbelievers used to teach their false books in their established schools, and that admirers and students both Hindu and Muslim, used to come from great distances to these misguided men in order to acquire this vile learning. His Majesty, eager to establish Islãm, issued orders to the governors of all the provinces to demolish the schools and temples of the infidels and with the utmost urgency put down the teaching and the public practice of the religion of these misbelievers.”316

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)

“It was reported that, according to the Emperor’s command, his officers had demolished the temple of Viswanãth at Kãshî.”317

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

“…During this month of Ramzan abounding in miracles, the Emperor as the promoter of justice and overthrower of mischief, as a knower of truth and destroyer of oppression, as the zephyr of the garden of victory and the reviver of the faith of the Prophet, issued orders for the demolition of the temple situated in Mathurã, famous as the Dehra of Kesho Rãi. In a short time by the great exertions of his officers the destruction of this strong foundation of infidelity was accomplished, and on its site a lofty mosque was built at the expenditure of a large sum…

“Praised be the august God of the faith of Islãm, that in the auspicious reign of this destroyer of infidelity and turbulence, such a wonderful and seemingly impossible work was successfully accomplished. On seeing this instance of the strength of the Emperor’s faith and the grandeur of his devotion to God, the proud Rajas were stifled and in amazement they stood like images facing the wall. 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 the Begam Sãhib, in order to be continually trodden upon. The name of Mathurã was changed to Islãmãbãd.”318

Khandela (Rajasthan)

“…Dãrãb Khãn who had been sent with a strong force to punish the Rajputs of Khandela and to demolish the great temple of the place, attacked the place on the 8th March/5th Safar, and slew the three hundred and odd men who made a bold defence, not one of them escaping alive. The temples of Khandela and Sãnula and all other temples in the neighbourhood were demolished…”319

Jodhpur (Rajasthan)

“On Sunday, the 25th May/24th Rabi. S., Khan Jahãn Bahãdur 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 (jilaukhãnah) of the Court and under the steps of the Jãm‘a mosque, to be trodden on.  They remained so for some time and at last their very names were lost”320

Udaipur (Rajasthan)

“…Ruhullah Khan and Ekkatãz Khan went to demolish the great temple in front of the Rãnã’s palace, which was one of the rarest buildings of the age and the chief cause of the destruction of life and property of the despised worshippers Twenty mãchãtoR Rajputs who were sitting in the temple vowed to give up their lives; first one of 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 including the trusted slave, Ikhlãs. The temple was found empty. The hewers broke the images.”321

“On Saturday, the 24th January, 1680/2nd Muharram, the Emperor went to view lake Udaisãgar, constructed by the Rãnã, and ordered all the three temples on its banks to be demolished.”322

“…On the 29th January/7th Muharram, Hasan ‘Ali Khan brought to the Emperor twenty camel-loads of tents and other things captured from the Rãnã’s palace and reported that one hundred and seventy-two other temples in the environs of Udaipur had been destroyed. The Khan received the title of Bahãdur ‘Alamgirshãhi…323

Amber (Rajasthan)

“Abû Turãb, who had been sent to demolish the temples of Amber, returned to Court on Tuesday, the 10th August/24th Rajab, and reported that he had pulled down sixty-six temples…”324

Bijapur (Karnataka)

“…Hamiduddin Khan Bahãdur who had gone to demolish a temple and build a mosque (in its place) in Bijapur, having excellently carried out his orders, came to Court and gained praise and the post of dãrogha of gusalkhãnah, which brought him near the Emperor’s person…”325

Iconoclasm was a part of Aurangezb’s Islamic Piety

“…As his blessed nature dictated, he was characterized by perfect devotion to the rites of the Faith; he followed the teaching of the great Imãm. Abu Hanifã (God be pleased with him!), and established and enforced to the best of his power the five foundations of Islãm…”326

“…Through the auspices of his hearty endeavour, the Hanafi creed (i.e., the Orthodox Sunni faith) has gained such strength and currency in the great country of Hindustan as was never seen in the times of any of the preceding sovereigns. By one stroke of the pen, the Hindu clerks (writers) were dismissed from the public employment. Large numbers of the places of worship of the infidels and great temples of these wicked people have been thrown down and desolated. Men who can see only the outside of things are filled with wonder at the successful accomplishment of such a seemingly difficult task. Arid on the sites of the temples lofty mosques have been built…”327


These were reports from different provinces compiled in the reign of Aurangzeb.

Muhiyu’d-Dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb ‘Ãlamgîr Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1658-1707)

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

“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.”328

Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh)

“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.”329

Aurangabad (Maharashtra)

“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 set the Bairagi free and sent the copper idols to the local subahdar.”330

Pandharpur (Maharashatra)

“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.”331

On Way to the Deccan

“When the war with the Rajputs was over, Aurangzeb decided to leave for the Deccan. His march seems to have been marked with the destruction to many temples on the way. On 21 May, 1681, the superintendent of the labourers was ordered to destroy all the temples on the route.”332

Lakheri (?)

“On 27 September, 1681, the emperor issued orders for the destruction of the temples at Lakheri.”333

Rasulpur (?)

“About this time, on 14 April, 1692, orders were issued to the provincial governor and the district fojdãr to demolish the temples at Rasulpur.”334

Sheogaon (?)

“Sankar, a messenger, was sent to demolish a temple near Sheogaon. He came back after pulling it down on 20 November, 1693.”335

Ajmer (Rajasthan)

“Bijai Singh and several other Hindus were reported to be carrying on public worship of idols in a temple in the neighbourhood of Ajmer. On 23 June, 1694, the governor of Ajmer was ordered to destroy the temple and stop the public adoration of idol worship there.”336

Wakenkhera (?)

“The temple of Wakenkhera in the fort was demolished on 2 March, 1705.”337

Bhagwant Garh (Rajasthan)

“The newswriter of Ranthambore reported the destruction of a temple in Parganah Bhagwant Garh. Gaj Singh Gor had repaired the temple and made some additions thereto.”338

Malpura (Rajasthan)

“Royal orders for the destruction of temples in Malpura Toda were received and the officers were assigned for this work.”339


This is a diary of Mîr Jumla’s campaigns in Kuch Bihar and Assam. “By looting,” writes Jadunath Sarkar, “the temples of the South and hunting out buried treasures, Mîr Jumla amassed a vast fortune. The huge Hindu idols of copper were brought away in large numbers to be melted and cast into cannon.”340

Muhiyu’d-Dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb ‘Ãlamgîr Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1658-1707)

Koch Bihar (Bengal)

“Mir Jumla made his way into Kuch Bihar by an obscure and neglected highway… In six days the Mughal army reached the capital (19th December) which had been deserted by the Rajah and his people in terror. The name of the town was changed to Alamgirnagar; the Muslim call to prayer, so long forbidden in the city, was chanted from the lofty roof of the palace, and a mosque was built by demolishing the principal temple…”341


This is a collection of letters and orders of Aurangzeb compiled by ‘Inayatullãh in AD 1719 and covers the years 1699-1704 of Aurangzeb’s reign.

Muhiyu’d-Dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb ‘Ãlamgîr Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1658-1707)

Somnath (Gujarat)

“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 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.”342

Satara (Maharashtra)

“The village of Sattara 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 (muralis) to ply their shameful profession…”343

General Observation

“The demolition of a temple is possible at any time, as it cannot walk away from its place.”344

Sirhind (Punjab)

“In a small village in the sarkãr of Sirhind, a Sikh temple was demolished and converted into a mosque. An imãm was appointed who was subsequently killed.”345


It is a contemporary account of the destruction of Hindu temples at Varanasi in the reign of Aurangzeb:

Mubiyu’d-Dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb ‘Ãlamgîr Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1658-1707)

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)

“The infidels demolished a mosque that was under construction and wounded the artisans. When the news reached Shãh Yasîn, he came to Banaras from Mandyawa and collecting the Muslim weavers, demolished the big temple. A Sayyid who was an artisan by profession agreed with one Abdul Rasûl to build a mosque at Banaras and accordingly the foundation was laid. Near the place there was a temple and many houses belonging to it were in the occupation of the Rajputs. The infidels decided that the construction of a mosque in the locality was not proper and that it should be razed to the ground. At night the walls of the mosque were found demolished. Next day the wall was rebuilt but it was again destroyed. This happened three or four times. At last the Sayyid hid himself in a corner. With the advent of night the infidels came to achieve their nefarious purpose. When Abdul Rasûl gave the alarm, the infidels began to fight and the Sayyid was wounded by Rajputs. In the meantime, the Musalman resident of the neighbourhood arrived at the spot and the infidels took to their heels. The wounded Muslims were taken to Shãh Yasîn who determined to vindicate the cause of Islam. When he came to the mosque, people collected from the neighbourhood. The civil officers were outwardly inclined to side with the saint, but in reality they were afraid of the royal displeasure on account of the Raja, who was a courtier of the Emperor and had built the temple (near which the mosque was under construction). Shãh Yasîn, however, took up the sword and started for Jihad. The civil officers sent him a message that such a grave step should not be taken without the Emperor’s permission. Shãh Yasîn, paying no heed, sallied forth till he reached Bazar Chau Khamba through a fusillade of stones… The, doors (of temples) were forced open and the idols thrown down. The weavers and other Musalmans demolished about 500 temples. They desired to destroy the temple of Beni Madho, but as lanes were barricaded, they desisted from going further.”346


This is another compilation of letters and orders by ‘Inãyatu’llãh covering the years 1703-06 of Aurangzeb’s reign.

Muhiyu’d-Dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb ‘Ãlamgîr Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1658-1707)


“The houses 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 destroy 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.”347

Muraq‘ãt-i-Abu’I Hasan

This is a collection of records and documents compiled by Maulãna Abu’l Hasan, one of Aurangzeb’s officers in Bengal and Orissa during AD 1655-67.

Muhiyu’d-Dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb ‘Ãlamgîr Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1658-1707)

Bengal and Orissa

“Order issued on all faujdars of thanas, civil officers (mutasaddis), 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 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 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.”348


The author, Îshwardãs Nãgar, was a Brahman from Gujarat, born around AD 1654. Till the age of thirty he as in the service of the Chief Qãzî of the empire under Aurangzeb. Later on, he took up a post under Shujã‘t Khãn, the governor of Gujarat, who appointed him amîn in the pargana of Jodhpur. His history covers almost half a century of Aurangzeb’s reign, from 1657 to 1700. There is nothing in his style which may mark him out as a Hindu. He sends to “hell” every Hindu who dies at the hands of Muslims or otherwise, while every Muslim who gets killed becomes a “martyr” and attains paradise.

Muhiyu’d-Dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb ‘Ãlamgîr Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 16M-1707)

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

“When the imperial army was encamping at Mathura, a holy city of the Hindus, the state of affairs with regard to temples of Mathura was brought to the notice of His Majesty. Thus, he ordered the faujdar of the city, Abdul Nabi Khan, to raze to the ground every temple and to construct big mosques (over their demolished sites).”349

Udaipur (Rajasthan)

“The Emperor, within a short time, reached Udaipur and destroyed the gate of Dehbari, the palaces of Rana and the temples of Udaipur. Apart from it, the trees of his gardens were also destroyed.”350

Nau-Bahãr-i-Murshid Qulî-Khãnî

The author, Ãzãd al-Husainî, was a poor but learned immigrant from Persia, who presented this work in AD 1729 to Mîrza Lutfullãh surnamed Murshid Qulî II who had arrived in Dhaka in 1728 as the Deputy Governor of Shujãu’d-Dîn, the Mughal Governor of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa from 1727 to 1739.

Nasiru’d-Dîn Muhammad Shãh Bahãdur Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1719-1748)

Udaipur (Tripura)

“Tipara is a country extremely strong… The Raja is proud of his strength and the practice of conch-blowing and idol-worship prevailed there…

“Murshid Qulî II decided to conquer Tipara and put down idolatry there. He wrote to Sayyid Habibullah (the Commander-in-Chief), Md. Sadîq, Mir Hãshim, Shaikh Sirãjuddin Md., and Mahdi Beg who were then engaged in the Chittogong expedition, that… they should set out with their forces, observing every precaution, arrive close to the Kingdom of Tipara, and try to conquer it…”351

“The Tipara soldiers did not fail to fight regardless of death. The Muslim troops invested the fort from four sides. A severe battle was fought. The zamindar’s men lay dead in heaps. The victors entered the fort… The flag of Murshid Quli Khan was unfurled on the top of fort Udaipur. The Muslims raised the cry of Allahu-ãkbar and the Muslim credo (There is no deity except Allah and Muhammad is His messenger), and demolished the temple of the zamindar which had long been the seat of idol-worship. Making a level courtyard on the side of the temple, they read the Khutba in the Emperor’s name… The world-illuminating sun of the faith of Muhammad swept away the dark night of infidelity, and the bright day of Islam dawned.”352


The name and position of the author is not known. It deals with the history of the ‘Ummayids, the Ghaznivids and the Muslim dynasties of India.

Muhiyu’d-Dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb ‘Ãlamgîr Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1658-1707)

Agra (Uttar Pradesh)

“In the city of Agra there was a large temple, in which there were numerous idols, adorned and embellished with precious jewels and valuable pearls. It was the custom of the infidels to resort to this temple from far and near several times in each year to worship the idols, and a certain fee to the Government was fixed upon each man, for which he obtained admittance. As there was a large congress of pilgrims, a very considerable amount was realized from them, and paid into the royal treasury. This practice had been observed to the end of the reign of the Emperor Shãh Jahãn, and in the commencement of Aurangzeb’s government; but when the latter was informed of it, he was exceedingly angry and abolished the custom. The greatest nobles of his court represented to him that a large sum was realized and paid into the public treasury, and that if it was abolished, a great reduction in the income of the state would take place. The Emperor observed, ‘What you say is right, but I have considered well on the subject, and have reflected on it deeply; but if you wish to augment the revenue, there is a better plan for attaining the object by exacting the jizya. By this means idolatry will be suppressed, the Muhammadan religion and the true faith will be honoured, our proper duty will be performed, the finances of the state will be increased, and the infidels will be disgraced.’ …This was highly approved by all the nobles; and the Emperor ordered all the golden and silver idols to be broken, and the temple destroyed…”353


The author, Hãshim ‘Alî Khãn, is better known by his designation of Khãfî Khãn. His father was also a historian in the employ of Aurangzeb. He was brought up in the court of Aurangzeb, made a dîwãn, but was ordered to stop writing history. He, however, continued writing in secret. Muhammad Shãh was pleased when he saw what had been written and named him Khãfi Khãn. The work is also known as Tãrîkh-i-Khãfî Khãn. It starts with the invasion of Bãbur in AD 1519 and comes upto the fourteenth year of Bahãdur Shãh (AD 1719-1748). He refers to the Hindus as evil dogs, accursed wretches, etc.

Shihãbu’d-Dîn Muhammad Shãh Jahãn Pãdshãh Ghãzî (1628-1658)

After describing the destruction of temples in Benares and Gujarat, this author stated that “The materials of some of the Hindu temples were used for building mosques.”354

Hargaon (Uttar Pradesh)

“In AD 1630-31 (AH 1040) when Abdãl, the Hindu chief of Hargaon in the province of Allahabad, rebelled, most of the temples in the state were either demolished or converted into mosques. Idols were burnt.”355

Muhiyu’d-Dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb ‘Ãlamgîr Pãdshãh Ghãzî (1658-1707)

Golkonda (Andhra Pradesh)

“On the capture of Golkonda, the Emperor appointed Abdur Rahim Khan as Censor of the city of Haiderabad with orders to put down infidel practices and (heretical) innovations and destroy the temples and build mosques on their sites.”356

Bijapur (Karnataka)

“The fall and capture of Bijapur was similarly solemnized though here the destruction of temples was delayed for several years, probably till 1698.”357

Sikh Temples (Punjab)

“Aurangzeb ordered the temples of the Sikhs to be destroyed and the guru’s agents (masands) for collecting the tithes and presents of the faithful to be expelled from the cities.”358

Shãh ‘Ãlam Bahãdur Shãh Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1707-1712)

Jodhpur (Rajasthan)

“Ajît Singh… sent a message humbly asking that Khãn Zamãn and the Kãzîu’I-Kuzãt might come into Jodhpur, to rebuild the mosques, destroy idol-temples, enforce the provisions of the law about the summons to prayer and the killing of cows, to appoint magistrates and to commission officers to collect the jizya. His submission was graciously accepted, and his requests granted…”359


This is the most important Persian history of Gujarat. It starts with the Hindu Rãjãs of ANhilwãD PãTan and ends with the establishment of Maratha rule in the eighteenth century. It was written after the Third Battle of Panipat in AD 1761. The author, ‘Alî Muhammad Khãn, came to Gujarat from Burhanpur in 1708-09 and, when grown up, had access to official records.

Sultãn ‘A1ãu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1296-1316)

Sidhpur (Gujarat)

“…When Raja Sidhraj Jaisingh Solanki became the king, he extended his conquest as far as Malwa and Burhanpur etc. and laid foundation of lofty forts such as the forts of Broach and Dabhoi etc. He dug the tank of Sahastraling in Pattan, many others in Biramgam and at most places in Sorath. His reign is known as ‘Sang Bast’, the Age of Stone Buildings. He founded the city of Sidhpur and built the famous Rudramal Temple. It is related that when he intended to build Rudramal, he summoned astrologers to elect an auspicious hour for it. The astrologers said to him that some harm through heavenly revolution is presaged from Alauddin when his turn comes to the Saltanat of Dihli. The Raja relied on the statement of astrologers and entered into a pledge and pact with the said Sultan. The Sultan had said. ‘If I do not destroy it under terms of the pact, yet I will leave some religious vestiges.’ When, after some time, the turn of the Sultan came to the Saltanat of Delhi, he marched with his army to that side and left religious marks by constructing a masjid and a minar…”360

Somnath (Gujarat)

“In the year 696, six hundred and ninety-six, he sent an army for the conquest of Gujarat under the command of Ulugh Khan who became famous among the Gujaratis as Alp Khan and Nusrat Khan Jalesri. These Khans subjected Naharwala that is, Pattan and the whole of that dominion to plunder and pillage… They broke the idol of Somnat which was installed again after Sultan Mahmud Ghaznawi and sent riches, treasure, elephants, women and daughters of Raja Karan to the Sultan at Delhi…”361

Patan (Gujarat)

“After conquest of Naharwala and expulsion of Raja Karan, Ulugh Khan occupied himself with the government. From that day, governors were appointed on this side on behalf of the Sultans of Dilhi. It is said that a lofty masjid called Masjid-i-Adinah (Friday Masjid) of marble stone which exists even today is built by him. It is popular among common folk that error is mostly committed in counting its many pillars. They relate that it was a temple which was converted into a masjid… Most of the relics and vestiges of magnificence and extension of the ancient prosperity of Pattan city are found in the shape of bricks and dried clay, which inform us about the truth of this statement, scattered nearly to a distance of three kurohs (one kuroh = 2 miles) from the present place of habitation. Remnants of towers of the ancient fortifications seen at some places are a proof of repeated changes and vicissitudes in population due to passage of times. Most of the ancient relics gradually became extinct. Marble stones, at the end of the rule of rajas, were brought from Ajmer for building temples in such a quantity that more than which is dug out from the earth even now. All the marble stones utilized in the city of Ahmedabad were (brought) from that place…”362

Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1392-1410)

Somnath (Gujarat)

“He made efforts at the proclamation of the word of God (confession of the Muslim faith). He led an army for plundering the temple of Somnat, that is, Pattan Dev. He spread Islam at most of the places…”363

Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1411-1443)

Sidhpur (Gujarat)

“In the year 817, eight hundred and seventeen Hijri, he resolved to march with intent of jihad against the unbelievers of Girnar, a famous fort in Sorath. Raja Mandalik fought with him but was defeated and took refuge in the fort. It is narrated that even though that land (region) this time did not get complete brightness form the lamp of Islam, yet the Sultan subdued the fort of Junagadh situated near the foot of Girnar mountain. Most of the Zamindars of Sorath became submissive and obedient to him and agreed to pay tribute. After that, he demolished the temple of Sayyedpur in the month of Jamadi I of the year 818, eight hundred and eighteen Hijri… In the year 823, eight hundred and twenty-three Hijri, he attended to the establishment of administrative control over his dominion. He suppressed refractoriness wherever it was found. He demolished temples and constructed masjids in their places…”364

Sultãn Mahmûd BegDãh of Gujarat (AD 1458-1511)

Junagadh (Gujarat)

“Rao Mandalik saw that his fate was sealed. He fled at night to the fort and gave him a battle. When the warfare continued for some time provisions in the fort became scarce. He requested the Sultan in all humility to save his life. The Sultan agreed on condition of his accepting Islam. Rao Mandalik came down from the fort, surrendered the fort’s keys to the Sultan. The Sultan offered recitation of the word of Unity to him to repeat. He instantly recited it. The fort was conquered in the year 877, eight hundred and seventy-seven… In a few days, he populated a city which can be called Ahmedabad and named it Mustafabad. Rao Mandalik was given the title of Khan Jahan with a grant of jagir. He gave away as presents the gold idols brought from the temple of Rao Mandalik to all soldiers…”365

Sankhodhar (Gujarat)

“This victory took place in the year 878, eight hundred and seventy-eight; the island of Sankhodar was never conquered in any age by any king of the past. It is related that the Sultan performed two genuflexions of namaz out of thanksgiving at the time of demolishing the temple and breaking the idols of Jagat. He grew eloquent in recitation of praise out of gratitude to God. The Muslims raised calls to namaz (azan) by loud voice from top of temples… He built a masjid there.”366

Idar (Gujarat)

“He marched towards Malwa, in the same month, from Muhammedabad for repulsion of unbelievers and defence of religious-minded Muslims. He halted at the town of Godhra for reinforcement of powerful forces when he received a report about insolence of the Raja of Idar. He, therefore, marched thither and ordered to demolish houses and temples of Idar. This event took place in the year 919, nine hundred and nineteen Hijri…”367

Muhiyu’d-Dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb ‘Ãlamgîr Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1658-1707)

Ahmadabad (Gujarat)

“During the Subedari of religious-minded, noble prince, vestiges of the Temple of Chintaman situated on the side of Saraspur built by Satidas jeweller, were removed under the Prince’s order and a masjid was erected on its remains. It was named ‘Quwwat-ul-Islam’…”368


“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.”369

Vadnagar (Gujarat)

“The Emperor ordered the destruction of the Hateshwar temple at Vadnagar, the special guardian of the Nagar Brahmans.”370

Malarina (Rajasthan)

“Salih Bahadur was sent to pull down the temple of Malarna.”371

Sorath (Gujarat)

“In AD 1696-97 (AH 1108) orders were issued for the destruction of the major temples at Sorath in Gujarat.”372

Dwarka (Gujarat)

“He stopped public worship at the Hindu temple of Dwarka.”373

Tãrîkh-i-Ibrãhîm Khãn

It was composed by Nawãb Ibrãhîm Khãn and written down by Mullã Baksh in the town of Benares. It was finished in the year AD 1786. It is mainly a history of the Marathas.

Ahmad Shãh Abdãlî (AD 1747-1773)

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

“Ahmad Shãh Abdãlî in the year AH 1171 (AD 1757-58), came from the country of Kandahãr to Hindãstãn, and on the 7th of Jumãdal awwal of that year, had an interview with the Emperor ‘Ãlamgîr II, at the palace of Shãh-Jahãnãbãd… After an interval of a month, he set out to coerce Rãjã Sûraj Mal Jãt, who from a distant period, had extended his sway over the province of Ãgra, as far as the environs of the city of Delhî. In three days he captured Balamgarh, situated at a distance of fifteen kos from Delhî… After causing a general massacre of the garrison he hastened towards Mathurã, and having razed that ancient sanctuary of the Hindûs to the ground, made all the idolaters fall a prey to his relentless sword…”374

Tãrîkh-i-Husain Shãhî

It was written in AD 1797-98 by Sayyid Imãmu’d-Dîn al-Husain. We have not been able to obtain other particulars about it.

Ahmad Shãh Abdãlî (AD 1747-1773)

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

“Idols were broken and kicked about like polo-balls by the Islamic heroes.”375


The author, Mîr Hussain ‘Alî Kirmãnî, describes his work as “the History of the Nawab Hyder Ali Khan Bahadur, and a commentary on the reign and actions of Tipu Sultan.” He completed the work in AD 1802.  We have been able to get an English translation of the second part only.

Tipu Sultan (AD 1782-1799)

Srirangapatnam (Karnataka)

“…At this time the Sultan determined to recommence the building of the Masjidi Ala, the erection of which had been suspended since the year 1198 Hijri, and the Daroghu Public buildings, according to the plan, which will be mentioned hereafter, completed it in two years, at the expense of three lakhs of rupees…

“…It is known that when the vile and rejected Brahman Khunda Rao imprisoned the Nawab’s Zanana and the Sultan (who was then a boy of six or seven years of age) in a house in the fort… there stood a Hindu temple, the area or space round which was large. The Sultan, therefore, in his infancy being like all children fond of play, and as in that space boys of Kinhiri Brahmin castes assembled to amuse themselves, was accustomed to quit the house to see them play, or play with them… It happened one day that a Fakir (a religious mendicant) a man of saint-like mind passed that way, and seeing the Sultan gave him a life bestowing benediction, saying to him, ‘Fortunate child, at a future time thou will be the king of this country, and whey thy time comes, remember my words-take this temple and destroy it, and build a Masjid in its place, and for ages it will remain a memorial of thee.’ The Sultan smiled, and in reply told him, ‘that whenever, by his blessing, he should become a Padishah, or king, he would do as he (the Fakir) directed.’ When, therefore, after a short time his father became a prince, the possessor of wealth and territory, he remembered his promise, and after his return from Nagar and Gorial Bundar, he purchased the temple from the adorers of the image in it (which after all was nothing but the figure of a bull, made of brick and mortar) with their goodwill, and the Brahmins, therefore, taking away their image, placed it in the Deorhi Peenth, and the temple was pulled down, and the foundations of a new Masjid raised on the site, agreeably to a plan of the Mosque built by Ali Adil Shah, at Bijapur, and brought thence.”376

The nature of the purchase needs no comment:


This is a history of Bengal from the invasion of Bakhtiyãr Khaljî to AD 1788 when the British were in complete control. The author, Ghulãm Hussain Salîm of Zaidpur in Awadh, had migrated to Bengal and become a Postmaster in Malda. He died in AD 1817.

Ikhtiyãru’d-Dîn Muhammad Bakhtiyãr Khaljî (AD 1202-1206)

Lakhnauti (Bengal)

“Muhammad Bakhtiyar sweeping the town with the broom of devastation, completely demolished it, and making anew the city of Lakhnauti… his metropolis, ruled over Bengal… and strove to put in practice the ordinances of the Muhammadan religion… and for a period ruling over Bengal he engaged in demolishing the temples and building mosques.”377

Sulaimãn Karrãnî of Bengal (AD 1563-1576)


“Kãlãpahãr, by successive and numerous fightings, vanquished the Rajah's forces, and brought to his subjection the entire dominion of Odîsah (Orissa), so much so that he carried off the Rani together with all household goods and chattels. Notwithstanding all this, from fear of being killed, no one was bold to wake up this drunkard of the sleep of negligence, so that Kãlãpahãr had his hands free. After completing the subjugation of the entire country, and investing the Fort of BãrahbãTi, which was his (the Rajah’s) place of sleep, Kãlãpahãr engaged in fighting… The firm Muhammadan religion and the enlightened laws of Islãm were introduced into that country. Before this, the Musalman Sovereigns exercised no authority over this country. Of the miracles of Kãlãpahãr, one was this, that wherever in that country, the sound of his drum reached, the hands and the feet, the ears and the noses of the idols, worshipped by the Hindus, fell off their stone-figures, so that even now stone-idols, with hands and feet broken, and noses and ears cut off, are lying at several places in that country. And the Hindus pursuing the false, from blindness of their hearts, with full sense and knowledge, devote themselves to their worship!

It is known what grows out of stone:
From its worship what is gained, except shame?

“It is said at the time of return, Kãlãpahãr left a drum in the jungle of Kãonjhãr, which is lying in an upset state. No one there from fear of life dares to set it up; so it is related.”378


It is an account of a journey undertaken in 1823 by ‘Ãzam Jãh Bahãdur “after he ascended the throne of the Carnatic as Nawwãb Wãlãjãh VI.”379 The author, Ghulãm ‘Abdul Qadir Nãzir, was his court scribe who accompanied the Nawwãb on this journey. Nãzir does not tell us that his patron was a Nawwãb only in name as he was living in Madras on British charity, his ancestral principality of Arcot having been ceded to the British in 1801. What he says instead is how the “Nawwãb” lost his temper when he learnt that the Muslims in his retinue were visiting the Hindu temples at Chidambaram and how he “gave strict orders” to British officers of the place “that no Muslim should be allowed to go over to the temple and enter it.”380 At a later stage, we are told that “the party marched forth… to the accompaniment of music provided by dancing girls of the Hindu cornmunity.”381 The account names numerous Sufis etc., who came to the districts of Chingleput, North Arcot, South Arcot, Tiruchirapalli and Thanjavur and established Muslim places of worship. What these new monuments replaced becomes obvious from the following few instances.

Sufi Nãtthar Walî

Tiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu)

“It is said that in ancient days Trichila, an execrable monster with three heads, who was a brother of Rawan, with ten heads, had the sway over this country. No human being could oppose him. But as per the saying of the Prophet, ‘Islam will be elevated and cannot be subdued’, the Faith took root by the efforts of Hazarat Natthar Wali. The monster was slain and sent to the house of perdition. His image namely but-ling worshipped by the unbelievers was cut and the head was separated from the body. A portion of the body went into the ground. Over that spot is the tomb of the Wali, shedding rediance till this day.”382

Sufi Shãh Bheka

“Shah Bheka… when he was at Trichinopoly during the days of Rani Minachi, the unbelievers who did not like his stay there harassed him. One day when he was very much vexed, he got upon the bull in front of the temple, which the Hindus worship calling it swami, and made it move on by the power and strength of the Supreme Life Giver… They abandoned the temple and gave the entire place on the aruskalwa as present to the Shah.”383

Sufi Qãyim Shãh

“Qayim Shah… came here from Hindustan. He was the cause for the destruction of twelve temples. He lived to an old age and passed away on the 17th Safar AH 1193.”384

Sufi Nûr Muhammad Qãdirî

Vellore (Tamil Nadu)

“Hazarat Nur Muhammad Qadiri was the most unique man regarded as an invaluable person of his age. Very often he was the cause of the ruin of temples. Some of these were laid waste. He selected his own burial ground in the vicinity of the temple. Although he lived five hundred years ago, people at large still remember his greatness.”385


It is a book on the antiquities of Delhi written by Sayyid Ahmad Khãn, the famous founder of the Aligarh Muslim University. Its first edition was published in 1847, the second in 1854, and the third in 1904. A new edition with a long introduction, footnotes, comments, bibliography, and index has been published recently. We are reproducing relevant passages from this edition.

Qutbu’d-Dîn Aibak (AD 1192-1210)

Iron Pillar: “…In our opinion this pillar was made in the ninth century before (the birth of) Lord Jesus… When Rãi Pithorã built a fort and an idol-house near this pillar, it stood in the courtyard of the idol-house. And when Qutbu’d-Dîn Aibak constructed a mosque after demolishing the idol-house, this pillar stood in the courtyard of the mosque…”386

Idol-house of Rãi Pithorã: “There was an idol-house near the fort of Rãi Pithorã. It was very famous… It was built along with the fort in 1200 Bikarmî [Vikrama SaMvat] corresponding to AD 1143 and AH 538. The building of this temple was very unusual, and the work done on it by stone-cutters is such that nothing better can be conceived. The beautiful carvings on every stone in it defy description… The eastern and northern portions of this idol-house have survived intact. The fact that the Iron Pillar, which belongs to the Vaishnava faith, was kept inside it, as also the fact that sculptures of Kirshan avatãr and Mahãdev and Ganesh and Hanumãn were carved on its walls, leads us to believe that this temple belonged to the Vaishnava faith. Although all sculptures were mutilated in the times of Muslims, even so a close scrutiny can identify as to which sculpture was what.  In our opinion there was a red-stone building in this idol-house, and it was demolished. For, this sort of old stones with sculptures carved on them are still found.”387

Quwwat al-Islãm Masjid: “When Qutbu’d-Dîn, the commander-in-chief of Muizzu’d-Dîn Sãm alias Shihãbu’d-Dîn Ghûrî, conquered Delhi in AH 587 corresponding to AD 1191 corresponding to 1248 Bikarmî, this idol-house (of Rãi Pithorã) was converted into a mosque. The idol was taken out of the temple.  Some of the images sculptured on walls or doors or pillars were effaced completely, some were defaced. But the structure of the idol-house kept standing as before. Materials from twenty-seven temples, which were worth five crores and forty lakhs of Dilwãls, were used in the mosque, and an inscription giving the date of conquest and his own name was installed on the eastern gate…388

“When Mãlwãh and Ujjain were conquered by Sultãn Shamsu’d-Dîn in AH 631 corresponding to AD 1233, then the idol-house of Mahãkãl was demolished and its idols as well as the statue of Rãjã Bikramãjît were brought to Delhi, they were strewn in front of the door of the mosque…”389

“In books of history, this mosque has been described as Masjid-i-Ãdînah and Jãma‘ Masjid Delhi, but Masjid Quwwat al-Islãm is mentioned nowhere. It is not known as to when this name was adopted. Obviously, it seems that when this idol-house was captured, and the mosque constructed, it was named Quwwat al-Islãm…”390

Sultãn Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236)

Tomb of Sultãn Ghãrî: Sayyid Ahmad Khãn notices this tomb and describes it as exquisite. He says that it was built in AH 626 corresponding to AD 1228 when the corpse of Sultãn Nãsiru’d-Dîn Mahmûd, the eldest son of Sultãn Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish, who was Governor of Laknauti and who died while his father was still alive, was brought to Delhi and buried.391 But the editor, Khaleeq Anjum, comments in his introduction that “the dome of the mosque which is of marble has been re-used and has probably been obtained from some temple”, and that the domes on the four pavilions outside “are in Hindu style in their interior.”392 He provides greater details in his notes at the end of Sayyid Ahmad’s work. He writes:

“…This is the first Muslim tomb in North India, if we overlook some others. And it is the third historical Muslim monument in India after Quwwat al-Islãm Masjid and ADhãî Din Kã JhoñpRã… Stones from Hindu temples have been used in this tomb also, as in the Quwwat al-Islãm Masjid.”393

“…In the middle of the corridor on the west there is a marble dome. A look at the dome leads to the conclusion that it has been brought from some temple. The pillars that have been raised in the western corridor are of marble and have been made in Greek style. It is clear that they belong to some other building…”394

Sultãn Ghiyãsu’d-Dîn Tughlaq (AD 1320-1325)

Tomb of Ghiyãsu’d-Dîn Tughlaq: Similarly, Sayyid Ahmad notices this tomb in some detail but does not describe its Hindu features.395 Khaleeq Anjum, however, says in his introduction that “corridors inside this tomb have been constructed in the style of Hindu architecture, and the pillars as well as the beams in the corridors are fully of Hindu fashion.”396 He repeats the same comments in his notes at the end.”397

Nasîru’d-Dîn Muhammad Humãyûn Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1530-1540 and 1556)

Nîlî Chhatrî: “At the foot of Salîm Garh and on the bank of the Jamunã, there is a small Bãrãdarî near Nigambodh Ghãt… It is known as Nîlî Chhatrî because of the blue mosaic work on its dome. This Chhatrî was built by Humãyûn Bãdshãh in AH 939 corresponding to AD 1533 in order to have a view of the river. Hindus ascribe this Chhatrî to the time of the PãNDûs. Even if that is not true, this much is certain that the bricks with mosaic work which have been used in this Chhatrî have been taken from some Hindu place because the bricks bear broken and mutilated images. On account of a derangement of the carvings, some have only the head left, while some others show only the torso. This derangement of carvings also goes to prove that these bricks have been placed here after being taken out from somewhere else. According to the Hindus, Rãjã Judhastar had performed a Jag [Yajña] at this Ghãt. It is not inconceivable that in the Hindu era a Chhatrî had been built at some spot on this Ghãt in commemoration of the Jag, and that this Chhatrî was built in the reign of Humãyûn after demolition of that (older) Chhatrî…398

He repeats some of these comments while describing the Nigambodh Ghãt…399


This was written in the reign of Nawãb Wãjid ‘Alî Shãh of Awadh (AD 1847-1856) by Mîrza ‘Alî Jãn, an eyewitness of and active participant in the jihãd led by Amîr ‘Alî Amethawî in 1855 for recapturing the Hanumãn GaRhî temple at Ayodhya. The temple had been converted into a mosque in the reign of Aurangzeb but restored when Muslim power suffered an eclipse. The work was written immediately after the failure of the jihãd and published in 1856.

Zahîru’d-Dîn Muhammad Bãbur Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1026-1030)

Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh)

“Wherever they found magnificent temples of the Hindus ever since the establishment of Sayyid Salar Mas’ud Ghazi’s rule, the Muslim rulers in India built mosques, monasteries and inns, appointed mu’azzins, teachers, and store-stewards, spread Islam vigorously and vanquished the Kafirs. Likewise, they cleared up Faizabad and Avadh, too, from the filth of reprobation (infidelity), because it was a great centre of worship and capital of Rama’s father. Where there stood the great temple (of Ramjanmasthan), there they built a big mosque, and where there was a small mandap (pavilion), there they erected a camp mosque (masjid-i-mukhtasar-i-qanati). The Janmasthan temple is the principal place of Rama’s incarnation, adjacent to which is the Sita ki RasoiHence, what a lofty mosque was built there by king Babar in AH 923 (AD 1528) under the patronage of Musa Ashiqan! The mosque is still known far and wide as the Sita ki Rasoi mosque. And that temple is extant by its side (aur pahlu mein wah dair baqi hai).”400


It was completed in 1869 by Shykh ‘Azmat Alî Kãkorwî Nãmî who was an eyewitness of much that happened in the reign of Wãjid ‘Alî Shãh. The work, known as Tãrîkh-i-Awadh also, was published for the first time in 1986 by the Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad Committee, U.P., Lucknow, but the chapter dealing with the jihãd led by Amîr ‘Alî Amethawî was left out. This chapter was published separately by Dr. Zakî Kãkorawî from Lucknow in 1987.

Zahîru’d-Dîn Muhammad Bãbur Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1526-1530)

Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh)

“According to old records, it has been a rule with the Muslim rulers from the first to build mosques, monasteries, and inns, spread Islam, and put (a stop to) non-Islamic practices, wherever they found prominence (of kufr). Accordingly, even as they cleared up Mathura, Bindraban etc., from the rubbish of non-Islamic practices, the Babari mosque was built up in AH 923 (?) under the patronage of Sayyid Musa Ashiqan in the Janmasthan temple (butkhane Janmsthan mein) in Faizabad Avadh, which was a great place of (worship) and capital of Rama’s father…

“A great mosque was built on the spot where Sita ki Rasoi is situated. During the regime of Babar, the Hindus had no guts to be a match for the Muslims. The mosque was built in AH 923 (?) under the patronage of Sayyid Mir Ashiqan… Aurangzeb built a mosque on the Hanuman Garhi… The Bairagis effaced the mosque and erected a temple in its place. Then idols began to be worshipped openly in the Babari mosque where the Sita ki Rasoi is situated.”401


This is an Urdu work compiled in 3 volumes by Bashîr’ud-Dîn Ahmad in AD 1913-14 and published from Agra in 1915. The first two volumes are translations of Basãtîn al-Salãtîn, a general history of Bijapur written in 1811 by Muhammad Ibrãhîm Zubairî. The third volume contains details collected by Bashîru’d-Dîn Ahmad himself from the life-stories and sayings of Sufis.

Sultãn ‘Alî ‘Ãdil Shãh I of Bijapur (AD 1558-1580)

Mudgal (Karnataka)

“And in Mudgal town located 75 miles south-east of Bijapur ‘Ali I tore down two temples and replaced them with ashurkhanas, or houses used in the celebration of Shi’a festivals.”402

Mosque Architecture of Pre-Mughal Bengal

This is a modern work published from Dacca (Bangladesh) in 1979. The author, Dr. Syed Mahmudul Hasan, had submitted it as his Ph.D. thesis to the University of London in 1965. He has been the Head of the Post-Graduate Department of Islamic History and Culture in Jagannath University College in Decca, a member of F.R.A.S. and F.S.A. (Scot), and has served on the staff of the Department of Eastern Art in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. The book is documented from impeccable sources, literary and archaeological. It carries 43 plates with 45 photographs of monuments, and of inscriptions etc. discovered in them. We have brought together, from different pages, the passages which relate to the same subject.

General and Persistent Practice

“The Muslim invaders were necessarily impressed by Indian architecture and sculpture, expressing as they do foreign religious emotions in terms of images and emblems. What they saw at Delhi, and the other cities of India, which they attacked, was absolutely foreign to them. Yet when they came to raise their own religious buildings, they were not averse to using the spoils of their temples…403

“The ruthless desecration and makeshift conversion of Indian temples into Mosques has led many scholars to regard Indo-Muslim architecture as nothing more than a local variety of hybrid nature. In point of fact, these early Indian mosques which were compiled from Brahamanical fragments, such as the Deval Masjid at Bodhan near Hyderabad, have no direct bearing on the general development of Mosque architecture in India.”404

“On the other hand the use of the spoils of non-Muslim ruins was a widely recognised feature in early Muslim architecture…405

“Just as later Mughal painting is a harmonious blend of Persian and Indian artistic tradition, so the Indo-Muslim architecture of Delhi and Ajmer is a blend. In the Quwwat al-Islam at Delhi and the Arhai din-ka-Jhopra at Ajmer, existing remains bear unmistakable evidence that they were not merely compilations, but the distinctive, planned works of professional architects…406

“Although constructed of destroyed Hindu temples, the Mosques at Old Delhi and Ajmer once and for all set the fashion to be followed by later mosques in Muslim India…407

“The early formative phase of Indo-Muslim architecture, marked by the adaptation of Hindu, Buddhist or Jaina temples, is illustrated by the oldest Mosques at Delhi, Bengal, Jaunpur, Daulatabad, Patan, etc. In Malwa, also, spoils of Hindu temples were used…408

“Creighton says, ‘It appears to have been the general practice of the Muhammadan conquerors of India, to destroy all the temples of the idolaters, and to raise Mosque out of their ruins.’ The statement is of course a gross exaggeration, for innumerable contemporary Hindu and Buddhist temples still exist in the cities of India once conquered by the Muslims. ‘Abid ‘Ali seems to have carried the observation of Creighton further when he remarks, ‘It seems to the writer that the builder of the Mosque [Chhoto Sona Masjid at Gaud] had collected the stones containing the figure of the Hindu gods from the citadel of Gaur where temples must have existed in the time of the earlier Hindu kings.’ Incidentally, Ravenshaw gave illustrations of sculptured stones, representing stone capitals and Makara gargoyles, which have been discovered in Hazrat Pandua. Westmacott, however, thinks that the circular stone given in Ravenshaw’s plate XXX ‘formed a part of the high ornament or pinnacle with which both the Buddhist Stupas and later Hindu temples were usually crowned. I have seen similar pieces at Debkot, and elsewhere, often with a perforation through the centre, through which I conjecture that a rod of metal, or perhaps a column of molten lead may have been passed, to retain it in an upright position’. In the event of a prodigious abundance of Hindu temple building material scattered all over the province, it is difficult to pin-point the provenance of each stray sculptured piece used in the mosques of Gaud and Hazrat Pandua. The existence of any Hindu temple in the citadel or outside Gaud as ‘Abid ‘Ali tells us, is as difficult to prove as to obviate the fact that no material was taken from Devikot or Bannagar in Dinajpur. Contradicting the views of ‘Abid ‘Ali, Stapleton says, ‘On the other hand from Manrique’s statement that in 1641, he saw figures of idols standing in niches surrounded by carved grotesques and leaves in some stone reservoirs in Gaur, it is possible that except during periods of persecution the Muhammadan Kings of Gaur allowed idols and Hindu temples to remain unmolested in their capital.’ Although examples of the use of Hindu material are not scarce, as proved by the discovery of three sculptured figures from Mahisantosh with Muslim ornament on the reverse side, now in the Varendra Research Society Museum, it would be wrong to say after Creighton that all the Hindu temples were desecrated by the Muslims to procure building material…409

“…The Indian Museum, Calcutta, as well as the Bangiya Sahitya Parishad Museum, Calcutta, acquired a large number of architectural objects from the ancient sites of Bengal, particularly, Gaud, Hazrat Pandua, Bagerhat, Hughli, Rajshahi, Dinajpur and elsewhere. Besides freshly quarried basalts, a large quantity of locally available building materials was employed by the architects of Gaud, Hazrat Pandua and elsewhere. Ravenshaw’s unwarranted observation that ‘Though it (Hazrat Pandua) cannot boast of such antiquity as Gaud, its remains afford stronger evidence than those of the latter city of its having been constructed mainly from the materials of Hindoo buildings’, has been brushed aside by Westmacott, who thinks that Hazrat Pandua is older than Gaud. One of the strongest advocates of the Indianized form of Muslim structures is Havell, who is too intolerant to allow any credit to the Muslim builders for the use of radiating arches, domes, minarets, delicate relief works. He maintains that the central mihrab of the Adina Masjid (Pl. III) at Hazrat Pandua is so obviously Hindu in design as hardly to require comments. While Havell writes that ‘The image of Vishnu or Surya has trefoil arched canopy, symbolizing the aura’ of the god, of exactly the same type as the outer arch of the mihrab, Beglar says that the Muslims delighted in ‘placing the sanctum of his orthodox cult (in this case the main prayer niche) on the spot, where hated infidel had his sanctum’. Saraswati is even more emphatic on this point when he contends, ‘An examination of the stones used in the construction of the Adina Masjid (one of them bearing a Sanscrit inscription, recording merely a name of Indranath, in the character of the 9th century AD) and those lying about in heaps all round, reveals the fact, which no careful observer can deny, that most of them came from temples that once stood in the vicinity.’ Ilahi Bakhsh, Creighton, Ravenshaw, Buchanan-Hamilton, Westmacott, Beglar, Cunnigham, King, and a host of other historians and archaeologists bear glowing testimony to the utilization of non-muslim materials (Fig. 3b & Pl. V), but none of them ventured to say that existing temples were dismantled and materials provided for the construction of magnificent monuments in Gaud and Hazrat Pandua.410

“Creighton drew the sketches of a few Hindu sculptures which were evidently used in the Chhoto Sona Masjid at Gaud. These are the image of Sivani, the consort of Siva, Varahaavatara or Vishnu in the form of a Boar, Brahmani, consort of Brahma. In the British Museum there are a few images of Hindu and Buddhist character, such as the Brahmani, sketched by Creighton, and the seated Buddha figure (Pls. XLI-XLII). The Muslim builders out of sheer expediency felt no scruple to use these fragments in their mosques by concealing the carved sides into the wall and utilizing the flat reverse side of these black basalts for arabesque design in shallow carvings. Piecemeal utilization of Hindu sculptures were also to be seen in the earlier monuments, such as, the Mosque and Tomb of Zafar Khan at Tribeni, the Mosque at Chhoto Pandua, the Adina Masjid at Hazrat Pandua, etc. The British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, both in London, the Indian Museum and the Bangiya Sahitya Parishad Museum, both at Calcutta, Varendra Research Society Museum, Rajshahi, provide large specimens of carved stones and architectural fragments used in the monuments of pre-Mughal Bengal. Ravenshaw photographed a circular stone pedestal and a gargoyle, which is now in the Indian Museum, Calcutta. Used obviously as the gargoyle in the Adina Masjid, it ‘consists of a modification of an elephant’s head with the eyes, horns and ears of a sardula (elephant).’ Cunningham found in the pulpit of the Adina Masjid ‘a line of Hindu sculpture of very fine bold execution.’ Innumerable Hindu lintels, pillars, door-jambs, bases, capitals, friezes, fragments of stone carvings, dadoes, etc., have been utilized in such a makeshift style as to render ‘improvisation’ well-nigh impossible. In many cases as observed in the Quwwat al-Islam at Delhi and the Arhai-din-ka-Jhopra Mosque at Ajmer, pillars were inverted, joining the base with capitals, suiting neither pattern nor size. Still there is no denying the fact that Hindu materials were utilized, yet it would be far-fetched to say that existing Hindu temples were dismantled and converted by improvisation into mosques as observed in the early phase of Muslim architecture in Indo-Pak sub-continent. The ritual needs and structural properties of the Hindus and the Muslims are so diametrically opposite as to deter any compromise and, therefore, the early Muslim conquerors of Bengal said their prayer in mosques built out of the fragments of Hindu materials in the same way as their predecessors did at Delhi, Ajmer, Patan, Janupur, Dhar and Mandu, and elsewhere. In the event [absence?] of any complete picture of pre-Muslim Hindu art as practised in Gaud and Hazrat Pandua, it is an exaggeration to hold the view after Saraswati that ‘indeed, every structure of this royal city (Hazrat Pandua) discloses Hindu materials in its composition, thus, disclosing that no earlier monument was spared.”411

“…During the Husain Shahi period the stone cutter’s art was thoroughly practised and perfected, as walls of gates and mosques were adorned with stone, either quarried from Rajmahal hills or obtained from some existing buildings…412

“…The British Museum, London, has in its collection two sculptured pieces from Bengal, namely, the seated Buddha figure (Pl. XLIIa) and the image of Brahmani (Pl. XLIa). Both these images have on their obverse (Pls. XLIb, XLIIb) exquisitely carved diaper work of unmistakable Muslim workmanship. The Indian Museum, Calcutta, has a stone slab carved on the one side with the image of Durga, destroying Mahisha or Buffalow-demon, and on the reverse arabesque. The panel consisting of a scalloped arch with a lotus rosette on each of its sides, surrounded by richly foliated devices, is undoubtedly a Muslim work.413

“The Muslim calligraphers did not feel any scruple to utilize fragments of Hindu or Jaina sculpture in carving out beautiful inscriptions in elegant Naskh, Thulth and Tughra, keeping the images inside the wall…”414


“…Delhi was the source of artistic inspiration for all the later provincial schools of Indo-Muslim architecture. Codrington remarks, ‘At Delhi, the Kutb-ul-Islam marks the beginning of Islamic architecture in India.’ This formative phase of Mosque architecture in India began with the random utilization of temple spoils, Hindu architraves, corbelled ceilings, kumbha pillars with hanging bell-and-chain motifs, which were organised to fulfil the needs of congregational prayer. It is said that the columns of twenty-seven Hindu and Jaina temples were utilized in the great Mosque, at Delhi, rightly called the ‘Might of Islam’. It was built by Qutb-al-Din Aybak in AH 587/AD 1191-92 on an ancient pre-Muslim plinth.415

“…Originally there were five domes in the liwan all compiled of Hindu fragments, as is evident from their corbelled interiors…416

“…Incidentally, it may be recalled that Beglar carried out excavations at the Quwat-al-Islam Mosque at Old Delhi under the supervision of Cunningham and noticed the foundation of pre-Muslim temples there…417

Ajmer (Rajasthan)

“…To Iletmish we owe some of the finest Muslim works in India. The Arhai din ka-Jhopra began by Qutab al-Din in AD 1198-99, was also completed by him. Tod had said of it that it was ‘one of the most perfect as well as the most ancient monuments of Hindu architecture’, on the evidence of certain four-armed figures to be seen on the pillars…418

“The Ajmer Mosque resembles the Delhi Mosque in its use of pre-Muslim materials as well as in its courtyard plan, arched screen, columnar liwan and riwags and use of reconstructed Hindu corbelled domes. All these features, except the fragments of Hindu and Jain carvings used in the work are essentially Islamic. The Ajmer Mosque indicates a further improvement in Mosque design… As Sardar puts it, ‘These pillars have a greater height than those at the Kutub, and are more elegant in their sculpture and general appearance than the converted Mosques in Malwa and Ahmedabad.’”419

Badaun (Uttar Pradesh)

“The Jami Masjid of Badaun, also built by Iletmish is one of the largest mosques in India. Following the traditional courtyard plan, it also utilizes Hindu temple pillars. The entrance arches of the gateways leading into the courtyard of the Mosque presumably recall those in the great Mosques at Delhi and Ajmer…”420

Bayana (Rajasthan)

“That the practice of utilizing the spoils of Hindu temples continued throughout the reign of Sultan Iletmish is proved by the Mosque of Ukha in Bayana (Uttar Pradesh), which is also on the site of a Hindu temple…”421

Dhar (Madhya Pradesh)

“The oldest of the Mosques in Malwa is the Kamal Maula Masjid which was built in Dhar in AH 803/AD 1400. Both this Mosque and the slightly later Jami or Lat Masjid are clearly adaptations of ruined Hindu temple material…”422

Mandu (Madhya Pradesh)

“The transfer of the capital from Dhar to Mandu by Dilwar Khan in AH 794/AD 1392, marks a new phase in the development of Mosque architecture in Malwa. The Mosque built by him in C. AH 808/AD 1405-06 is oblong in ground plan, the western side being formed by the liwan. Its roof is supported by Hindu pillars…”423


“It is true that Mosque architecture in Gujarat only began in the 14th century. When ‘Ala-al-Din Khalji conquered and annexed the country to the Delhi Sultanate in the later part of the 13th century, there still flourished a singularly beautiful indigenous style of architecture. The early monuments of Gujarat, notably at Patan (Anhilvada) tell the same story of the demolition of local temples and the reconstruction of their fragments…424

“…In the beginning, at the Qutb, the Hindu element was confined architecturally to the trabeate constructive methods, and to part of the decoration, Islam contributing the plan and the embellishment of the Arabic lettering. In Gujarat, notably in the entrance porches of the Jami‘ Masjid at Cambay, much may fairly be described as literal reconstruction of Hindu work, as units in the established plan of a Muslim place of worship. These entrances have their parallels in the pavilions and mandapas of Hindu and Jaina temples still standing, for instance, at Modhera and Mount Abu…”425

Patan (Gujarat)

“The earliest recorded building in Gujarat is the Adina Masjid at Patan (Anhilvada), as stated above. This bears the same unusual name as that of the Mosque built by Sikandar Shah at Hazrat Pandua about fifty years later. The tomb of Sheikh Farid and the Adina Masjid at Patan, which are dated C. AH 700/AD 1300, correspond in their utilization of Hindu building material with the tomb and the Mosque of Zafar Khan Ghazi at Tribeni in Hooghly, Bengal, which are dated C. AH 705/ AD 1305. The now demolished Adina Masjid at Patan, is said to have had one thousand and fifty pillars of marble and other stones taken from destroyed temples. Erected by Ulugh Khan, ‘Ala’-al-Din Khalji’s Governor, it measures 400 feet by 300 feet…”426

Bharuch (Gujarat)

“…Unlike the Patan Mosque, the Jami‘ Masjid of Bharoch, which is also dated C. AH 700/AD 1300 is a new creation. Although it does incorporate Hindu pillars, it is built on the usual Mosque plan with which we are familiar in earlier works. The brackets of the incorporated pillars and the carved interior of the corbelled domes are particularly fine. They, of course, necessarily recall the much earlier work of the Quwwat al-Islam at Delhi. It is important to realize that these primitive methods were still being used in the Indian provinces two hundred years after they were fully developed at Delhi…”427

Khambhat (Gujarat)

“…The Mosque of Cambay demonstrates the imposition of Khalji features, such as the arched screen of the Jama‘at Khana Masjid at the Dargah of Nizam-al-Din Aulia in Delhi, upon the local trabeate forms of Gujarat Hindu architecture. Codrington writes, ‘The Jami‘ Masjid at Cambay was finished in 1325, and is typical of these earlier buildings. It has all the appurtenances that Islam demands-cloisters, open court-yard, the covered place for prayer, mimbar and mihrab-but only the west end is in any sense Islamic. As at Delhi and Ajmir, the pillars of the cloisters, and notably the entrance porches as a whole, are the relics of sacked Hindu shrines…”428


“Like all other provinces of India, the Deccan, also, witnessed the growth of a distinguished school of Muslim architecture. Its early phase is also, characterized by the adaptation of local temples, for the purpose of Muslim congregational prayer, as exemplified by the Deval Mosque of Bodhan in Nizamabad, near Hyderabad, dated AD 1318, which was formerly a Hindu shrine…”429

Bodhan (Maharashtra)

“…It is said that the star-shaped Jaina Temple built in the Chalukya style at Bodhan in the 9th or 10th century was, also, transformed into a Mosque during the reign of Muhammad Tughlaq (AH 726-52/AD

Daulatabad (Maharashtra)

“The Mosque of Qutb al-Din Mubarak Khalji at Daulatabad, dated AH 718/AD 1318, is probably the earliest surviving Muslim structure in the Deccan. It is a square, 260 feet each way, assembled into the usual orthodox plan out of destroyed Hindu pillars, brackets, and beams…”431

Pandua (Bengal)

“Beglar traces the origin of the Adina Masjid to pre-Muslim sources… He bases his arguments on the point that if the Adina Masjid occupies the site of a pre-Muslim Hindu temple, the name may be a reminiscent of Adisur, the so-called founder of the hitherto unidentified temple dating from the 7th century AD; however, he does not know that there is a mosque at Patan, called Adina, and that it is a Persian term for Friday. The use of fragments of Hindu or Buddhist architectural works in the Masjid do [does?] not prove that the site was pre-Muslim. They may have been brought there…”432

“…Beglar suggests that the mihrab of the Adina Masjid was transferred from a Hindu temple. He says, ‘Of the Hindu sculpture, the most striking and superb is beyond question the trefoil arch and pillars of the main prayer niche.’ But there are no grounds for his assertion. The Adina Masjid mihrab, forming a single work of art, must be accepted as contemporary with the fabric of the Masjid itself. But it must be admitted that the style is local…433

“Particular attention has been drawn to the curiously interesting designs of the archivolt of the niche. The conventional grotesque Lion’s head at the crown and the Kinnara and Kinnari at the haunches, which appear in the lintel of the Vaishnava temple from Gaud, according to many scholars have been transformed into graceful foliage, palmette and sensuous tendrils…434

“The discovery of an odd fragment of Hindu sculpture found built into the steps of the staircase has led many scholars to ascribe a pre-Muslim origin to the Adina Masjid. As Cunningham puts it, ‘The steps leading up to the pulpit have fallen down, and, on turning over one of the steps I found a line of Hindu sculpture of very fine and bold execution… The main ornament is a line of circular panels… formed by continuous intersecting lotus stalks. These are five complete panels, and two half-panels which have been cut through. These two contain portions of an elephant and a rhinoceros. In the complete panels are: (i) cow and a calf; (ii) human figures broken; (iii) a goose; (iv) a man and woman and a crocodile; (v) two elephants. The carving is deep and the whole has been polished.’ This sculpture is still visible. It is, therefore, clear that the exigencies of the circumstances led to the utilization of some Hindu materials available on the site. Nevertheless, such mutilated fragments hardly testify to the fact that the Adina Masjid was built on the ruins of an ancient Indian temple.435

“The western wall of the northern prayer hall is pierced by two openings on either side of die zenana gallery, which reduce the number of niches (Fig. 3) between the pilaster of the back walls from the 16 found in the southern prayer hall to 14. These postern gateways (Figs. 3, 9, & Pls.  IV, V), are built out of elements of Hindu door frames and, therefore, are unusual features, rarely found in Indian Mosques. It is hard to believe that they were provided for the use of the general worshippers. Probably they were for the use of the attendants, palanquin-bearers and entourage of the King and his ladies, who entered the Mosque through the adjoining Ladies’ vestibule.436

“…However, there is one exception shown in the northern hall, which differs from the other semi-circular niches. Here the trefoil arch corresponds generally with that of the central mihrabs. The arch itself has a superimposed ribbed roof, recalling Hindu architecture. The face of the trefoil is decorated with a lotus and diamond band, the pilasters on either side having kumbha bases and looped garlands on their shafts. All these details are different from the rest of the decorative motifs in the Adina Masjid. But there are no grounds for the suggestion that the work is Hindu or that it is built up of fragments of a destroyed Hindu temple. The space between the pilasters of this mihrab and the stone-face of the brick wall is filled with fragmentary remains of Hindu sculpture.437

“…The two postern gateways and the two doors are already mentioned. Beglar pointed out that the door frames of all these four door ways are built up of fragments from some other buildings. He identifies the work as being Hindu but admits that he does not know any local source from their fragments. The work is more or less of the same kind as that to be seen in the postern gate. In all these doorways various Indian motifs attracts undivided attention. These include pot and foliage, pilasters, door guardians and the intertwined nagas on the lintel. The utilization of non-Muslim materials in the Adina Masjid as well as in later Mosques in Gaud and Hazrat Pandua is supported by two fragments in the British Museum. They are cut in basalt and the first shows finely cut Muslim diaper work on one side and the figure of Buddha on the other (Pls. XLII, a-b). Another fragment has the image of probably the goddess Brahmani on the other side (Pls. XLI, a-b). The work indicates that these fragments came from Gaud or Hazrat Pandua.438

“…The entrance gateway to the Minar at Chhoto Pandua as well as that of the Eklakhi Mausoleum at Hazrat Pandua (Pl. XVI) provide parallels for zenana gatways. The floor of the zenana gallery with its worn basalt paving slabs is supported by the squat pillars of the prayer hall below. These support bays roofed by a corbelled construction of plain slabs placed across the corners of the bays. At earlier mosques, such as the Quwwat al-Islam, internal domes constructed in this way were removed from Hindu temples. Here the old Indian method is still utilized with fresh material…439

“A curiously interesting feature of the Adina Masjid is the square structure, adjoining the outer wall of the qibla on the northern side of the central mihrab. It communicates with the zenana gallery by lintellect doorways, formed by Hindu door jambs as stated earlier. According to Beglar it measures externally 54 feet by 48 feet, whereas ‘Abid ‘Ali notes that this roofless annexe is 42 feet square. It stands on a very high plinth, raising the floor to the level of the ladies’ gallery. The plinth is built of random rubble work with conventionalised Buddhist railing ornament resembling those in the dadoes of the qibla wall of the mosque.440

“The real character as well as the distinguishing features of the Adina Masjid have yet to be determined. In the present crumbling state of this one-time ‘wonder of the world’, as Cunningham calls it, it is well nigh impossible to say whether this magnificent mosque occupies the site of any Hindu or Buddhist temple. A group of scholars failed to see in the impressive Adina Masjid anything more than a mere assemblage of Hindu or Buddhist fragments, arranged skilfully to adhere to a mosque plan. Ilahi Bakhsh started the controversy when he wrote, ‘It is worth observing that in front of the chaukath (lintel) of the Adina Masjid, there was a broken and polished idol, and that there were other idols lying about. So it appears that, in fact, this mosque was originally an idol-temple.’ Beglar steps up this controversy by saying, ‘the Adina Masjid occupies the site, of a once famous, or at least a most important, and highly ornamented, pre-Muhammadan shrine’; he depends for his arguments on a Proto-Bengali inscription (Fig. 4b) discovered in the building which bears the name of Brahma. Saraswati seems to have carried the thesis too far when he writes, ‘an examination of the stones used in the construction of the Adina Mosque (one of them bearing a Sanskrit inscription recording merely a name, Indranath, in character of the 9th century) and those lying about in heaps all around, reveals the fact, which no careful observer can deny, that most of them came from temples that once stood in the vicinity.’ Beglar even went so far as to pin-point ‘the sanctum of the temple, judging from the remnants of heavy pedestals of statues, now built into the pulpit, and the superb canopied trefoils, now doing duty as prayer niches, stood where the main prayer niche now stands; nothing would probably so tickle the fancy of a bigot, as the power of placing the sanctum of his orthodox cult (in this case the main prayer niche) on the spot, where hated infidel had his sanctum’. The existence of the foundation of a Hindu Temple in the Adina Masjid is as far-fetched as to consider the circular pedestal to the west of the qibla wall as remains of a Buddhist stupa (Fig. 3). It may be the base of a detached minar, as similar examples are to be seen in the mosques of Egypt, Persia and India…”441

Tribeni (Bengal)

“The existing tomb and mosque of Zafar Khan Ghazi at Tribeni is another example of contemporary Hindu fragments being utilized in Muslim structure…442

“The Mosque of Zafar Khan Ghazi is the earliest known example of Mosque architecture in Bengal, and ‘is certainly the oldest in Bengal far anterior to any building at Gaud and Hazrat Pandua’. Marking the earliest phase of Muslim building activities, it incorporates fragments of non-Muslim monuments, like those of the Quwwat al-Islam Mosque in Delhi. R.D. Banerjee is of opinion that ‘the Mosque of Tribeni was most probably a Vaishnava temple but relics of Buddhism and Jainism were found…’443

“…Unmistakable Hindu workmanship is evident in the mutilated figures in some of the architectural fragments used -- a phenomenon to be observed in the Adina Masjid at Hazrat Pandua, dated AH 776/AD 1374. There are five mihrabs in the qibla wall, the most striking being the central one. Tastefully carved multifoil brick arch of the central mihrab is supported by slender stone pillars of some Hindu temple…444

“…The utilization of non-Muslim building materials is to be taken as a matter of expediency for no mosque plan was ever superimposed on the traditional ground plan of temple architecture. In the light of this phenomena the mosques can hardly be regarded as mere improvisations of existing temples, as stated by R.D. Banerjee in the case of the Mosque of Zafar Khan. The Muslim architects did not feel any scruple to employ fragments of Hindu sculpture still bearing traces of iconographical art in their mosques, and furthermore Hindu workmanship is evident in the delicate stone carvings and sensuous tendrils, and corbelled domes.”445

Gaud (Bengal)

“…Both Cunningham and Marshall accept Creighton’s suggestion that the Lattan Masjid was built in the year AH 880/AD 1475…446

“The qibla wall has three semi-circular niches, the central one being bigger than the side ones. These are all encrusted with glazed tiles. The mihrab to the north of the central niche has fragments of Hindu sculpture built into it…447

“…Although less ornate than those of the southern prayer chamber in the Adina Masjid, the Tantipara Masjid pillars have square bases, moulded bands and cubical abaci. Brown says that the pillars of this mosque are ‘of the square and chamfered variety originally part of a Hindu temple’, but this was not so. They are contemporary with the building. Certainly work of this character is known in Hindu building, and this seems to have misled Brown.448

“…Two rows of chamfered pillars, each carrying 5 pointed arches, divide the interior of the [Chhoto Sona] Mosque into 3 longitudinal aisles. In each row there are 4 pillars of black basalt which in their moulded string-courses, cubical pedestal, dog-tooth ornament and square abacus recall those of the supporting pillars of the zenana gallery in the Adina Masjid. Evidently they are much more attenuated in shape in the Chhoto Sona Masjid than those in the Adina Masjid. It is hard to ascertain their origins, but considering the enormous quantity of Hindu spoil used in the Chhoto Sona Masjid (Pls. XLI, XLII) and comparing its pillars with the carved stone pillars at the Bari Dargah which originally must have been brought from the Adina Masjid it may be said that they were taken from unidentifiable Hindu temples. 449

“…Many of the stones used for casing the wall to give the illusion of a stone monument from distance are evidently Hindu. To quote Creighton, ‘The stone used in these mosques had formerly belonged to Hindu temples destroyed by the zealous Muhammadans,’ as will be evident from an inspection of Plates XLI and XLII, representing two slabs taken from this Building. Creighton’s painting XVI represents a stone with the image of the Hindu deity, Vishnu, in the Boar incarnation, with shallow diaper carving on the reverse side. The figure of Sivani, the consort of Siva, one of the Hindu triad, appears on another stone sketched by Creighton (painting XVII). The mother figure evidently drawn from sculptured stones used in the Small Golden Mosque is that of Brahmani, given in Plate XLIa (Creighton’s painting XVII). It is very interesting to point out in connection with the figure of Brahmani that it agrees in meticulous execution of details and perfection of style with that of the British Museum piece. Therefore, it is certain that Creighton drew his sketch from this black stone which curiously displays diaper work on the other side (Pl. XLIb) similar to that of Creighton’s Plate XVI. Arabesque design in shallow stone carving, resembling delicate tapestry, appears also in another superb black basalt piece, shown in Plate XLIb, now in the British Museum. It has the image of a seated Buddha on one side thereby again indicating the utilization of non-Muslim material (Pl. XLIIa). This fascinating piece may well be attributed to the Chhoto Sona Masjid on the grounds of the close similarity of its diaper work with that of the stone sketched by Creighton in his Plate XVI, and of the existence of gilding in the shallow carvings of the diaper work.”450

Rampal (Bengal)

“The famous Mosque of Baba Adam, (Fig. 17) the patron saint of the locality in the ancient Hindu site of Rampal where Raja Ballal Sena built his palace in the district of Dacca is an impressive architectural monument of pre-Mughal Bengal.451

“…Measuring 43 feet by 36 feet externally and 34 feet by 22 feet internally, the Mosque incorporated a number of beautifully carved stone pillars of unmistakable Hindu workmanship…452

“In the construction of this 6-domed mosque, measuring 36 feet by 24 feet, considerable amount of locally available materials from dilapidated Hindu monuments were employed as evident in the black carved basalts of the pillars, mihrabs, epigraphic slabs, etc…453

Chhota Pandua (Bengal)

“‘Next to Satgaon’, writes D.G. Crawford, ‘Pandua is the oldest place of Hughli District-once the capital of a Hindu Raja and is famous as the site of a great victory gained by the Musulmans under Shah Safi over the Hindus in about AD 1340.’ Besides the Mosque and Tomb of Shah Safiuddin, the most outstanding architectural project of great magnitude is the Great Mosque at Chhoto Pandua… O’Malley and M.M. Chakravarti differ from Blockmann in ascribing Buddhist origin to these pillars and maintain that they were probably quarried from a Hindu temple. As put forward by Cunningham, ‘The Mosque stands on a mound once die site of a Hindu temple, the pillars of which now support this mean-looking barn-like Masjid.’ It would be far-fetched to maintain that the Great Mosque at Chhoto Pandua was built on the very foundation of a Hindu temple, like the improvised Tomb of Zafar Khan Ghazi at Tribeni, dated 14th century AD.”454

Sadipur (Bengal)

“…A.K. Bhattacharya points out that an inscription in Arabic, carved in Tughra is found on the reverse of an image of Adinath, which is recovered from a ruined Dargah in the village Sadipur, P.S. Kaliachak, Malda.”455


1 The language which is uniformly used by Muslim writers in describing the slaughter of people, destruction of cities and towns, and enslavement of the conquered men, women and children, has to be read in the original Arabic or Persian in order to realize that the writers themselves must have been bloodthirsty thugs masquerading as theologi­ans, poets and historians. Amîr Khusrû and Ziãu‘d-Dîn Baranî, the two distinguished disciples of Nizãmu‘d-Dîn Auliyã‘, excel them all in the respect. The Urdu translations retain some of the flavour which is lost in translations in other languages. Urdu is truly an Islamic language.

2 Cited by Abdur Rahman, The Last Two Dynasties of the Shãhîs, Delhi Reprint, 1988, pp. 55-56

3 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol. II, pp. 413-14.

4 Kitab Futuh Al-Buldan of al-Biladhuri, translated into English by F.C. Murgotte, Columbia University, New York, 1924, p. 707.

5 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 120-21.

6 Ibid., pp. 122-23.

7 Ibid., p. 127. “Budd” in Islamic parlance means an idol. The word is derived from “Buddha” whose idols were known as Budd or But in Iran long before the Muslims conquered that land. The Muslims borrowed the word and extended it to mean all idols. The Iranian text of Bundahism translated by H.W. Bailey says that “The demon But is that which they worship in India and in his image a spirit is resident which is worshipped as Bodasf” (Indian Studies, Volume in Honour of Edward James Rapson, edited by J. Bloch et al., London, 1931, Delhi Reprint, 1988, p. 279). Bodasf is Persian for Bodhisattva.

8 Major David Price, Mahommedan History, London. 1811. New Delhi Reprint, 1984, Vol. I. pp. 467-68.

9 Ibid., pp. 474-75.

10 Abdur Rahman, op. cit., p. 102.

11 Ibid., pp. 103-04.

12 Ibid., p. 104.

13 The ancient name of Multan was Mûlasthãna and the Sun God was probably named accordingly.

14 Hindus under the leadership of the Gurjara-Pratihãra rulers of Kanauj.

15 The Muslim occupants of Multan.

16 Elliot and Dowson. op. cit., Vol. I. p. 23.

17 A Shî‘ah Muslim sect.

18 E.C. Sachau (tr.), Alberuni’s India, New Delhi Reprint, 1983, p. 116.

19 Ibid., p. 117.

20 Ibid., pp. 102-03.

21 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 22.

22 This is one of the names by which Muslims mean Hindus.

23 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit, Vol. II, p. 36.

24 Ibid., p. 37.

25 Ibid., p. 39. According to Firishta the temple in which the inscription was found was destroyed.

26 Ibid., p. 40.

27 Ibid., p. 40-41.

28 Ibid., p. 44.

29 Ibid., pp. 44-45. The conspicuous temple referred to in this passage was most probably that of Kešavadeva, predecessor of those destroyed by latter-day Islamic icono­clasts, the latest by Aurangzeb.

30 Ibid., p. 46.

31 Ibid. Vol. IV, pp. 518-19.

32 Ibid., pp. 520-21.

33 Ibid., p, 524.

34 Ibid. Vol. I, p. 158.

35 Ibid., p. 164.

36 The Chachnamah, translated into English by Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg. Delhi Reprint, 1979, pp. 179-80.

37 This man was most probably the Brahmana who led Muhammad bin Qãsim to the temple treasure. He had accepted Islam simply because its arms were victorious.

38 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol. I. pp. 205-06.

39 Ibid., p. 21.

40 Ibid., Vol. II, p. 172.

41 Ibid., p. 215.

42 Ibid., p. 216-17.

43 Ibid., p. 219.

44 Ibid., p. 223.

45 Ibid., p. 222.

46 Ibid., p. 219.

47 Ibid., p. 224.  Kol was the old name of Aligarh.

48 Ibid., p. 226. Thangar or Tahangarh is the name of the Fort near Bayana.

49 Ibid., p. 231.

50 Ibid., pp. 238-39.

51 Ibid., p. 246.

52 Ibid., p. 469.

53 Ibid., pp. 469-70.

54 Ibid., p. 471.

55 Ibid., p. 398.

56 Tabqãt-i-Nãsirî, translated into English by Major H.G. Reverty, New Delhi Reprint, 1970, Vol. I, pp. 81-82.

57 Ibid., p. 88, footnote 2.

58 Ibid., pp. 621-22.

59 Ibid., pp. 622-23.

60 Ibid., p. 628.

61 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 97-98.

62 Ibid., p. 470.

63 Ibid.,  Vol. II, p. 252.

64 Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Khaljî Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh, 1955, pp. 153-54.

65 Elliot and Dowson, up. cit., Vol. III, p. 542.

66 Ibid., p. 543.

67 Ibid.

68 The reference is to the tower known as Qutb Minãr at present.

69 Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Khaljî Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh, 1955, pp. 156-57. The last sentence means that the temples were first made to topple and then levelled with the ground.

70 Ibid., p. 159.

71 Quoted by Jagdish Narayan Sarkar, The Art of War in Medieval India, New Delhi, 1964, pp. 286-87.

72 S. A. A. Rizvi, op. cit., p. 160. Bahirdev arms to be Bhairavadeva.

73 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit.  Vol. III, p. 81.

74 “Gabr” was a term which the Muslims used for the Zoroastrians to start with. Later on, the term was sometimes extended to mean the Hindus as well.

75 Ibid., pp 82-83.

76 Ibid., p. 85.

77 Ibid., pp. 90-91. The Hindi translation by S.A.A. Rizvi says that temples at Birdhul touched the sky with their tapes, and reached the nether world in their foundations, but they were dug up (Khaljî Kãlîna Bhãrata, p. 169).

78 Ibid., p. 91.

79 Ibid., pp. 550-51. Other histories identify this place as Birdhul, the PãNDya capital. Capitals and seaports were often called pattana in ancient India. This was not the only instance of Muslims employed by Hindu rulers deserting to Islamic invaders. Muslims have always placed their loyalty to Islam above loyalty to the employer whose salt they have eaten, sometimes for many years.

80 Mohammad Wahid Mirza, The Life and Works of Amir Khusrau (1935), Delhi Re­-Print 1974. pp. 183-84.

81 Elliot Dowson, op. cit., Vol. III, p. 559.

82 Cited in P.M. Currie, The Shrine and Cult of Mu‘in al-Dîn Chishtî of Ajmer, OUP, 1989, p. 30.

83 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol.  III, pp. 43-44.

84 Ibid., p. 65.

85 Hindu temples were often called ‘fire temples’ by Muslim writers as Hindus were often described as ‘fire-worshippers’ or ‘gabrs’. The appellations were transferred from the Zoroastrian temples and the Zoroastrian people.

86 Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Tughlaq Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarb, 1956, Vol. I, p. 325.

87 Ibid., p. 327.  The saints, sages, scholars and Brahmin priests of the Hindus were re­garded as “magicians” by the theologians of Islam.

88 Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Khaljî Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh, 1955, p. 206.

89 The figures were defaced. That is how Islamic iconoclasts spent some of their fury against “false gods”.

90 The Rehalã of Ibn Battûta translated into English by Mahdi Hussain, Baroda, 1967, p. 10. It shows how local legends grew about a whole city destroyed by Muslim invad­ers during one of their invasions of Sindh. This was moss probably the site of Debal.

91 Ibid., p. 27.

92 Ibid., pp. 203AM.  The “westerner” was a Muslim missionary from North Africa which is known as Maghrib (the West) among the Arabs. See Thor Heyerdahl, The Maldive Mystery, Bethesda (Maryland, USA), 1986, for the large number of Hindu temples destroyed. Many mosques stand on their sites now.

93 Elliot and Dowson.  Vol. III, p. 146.

94 Ibid., p. 148. The last line according to S.A.A. Rizvi should be translated as “so that people may be educated” (Khaljî Kãlîna Bhãrata. p. 29), and as “for the fun of the people” according to Dr. Mu‘în-ul-Haq (Urdu translation of Baranî. Lahore, 1983, p. 335).

95 Ibid., p. 163. Dr. Mu‘în-ul-Haq translate it as “for the fun of the people,” (Ibid., p. 377), but S.A.A. Rizvi agrees with Elliot’s translation.

96 Ibid., p. 204.

97 Ibid., p. 313. Banãrsî is the name of Cuttack which was known as Kataka-VãraNasî to the Hindus of medieval India. 

98 Ibid.,  p. 314.

99 Ibid.,  p. 318. Hindus had to spread such “lies” in order to save their temples from demolition and their idols from desecration by succeeding sultans and swordsmen of Islam.

100 Ibid., p. 365. Zunãr or Zunnãr is the Muslim term for the sacred thread worn by the BrãhmaNas who were accordingly called Zunãr-dãrs.

101 Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Tughlaq Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh, 1957, Vol. II, p. 380.

102 Ibid., p. 381.

103 Ibid., p. 382.

104 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol. III, pp. 376-77. This translation does not mention “idol-temples had been demolished.” This qualification of the “former sovereigns”, however, is mentioned in the Hindi translation by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Tughlaq Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh, 1957, Vol. II, p. 328.

105 It was probably Malzã or Malchã where, according to Shams Sîrãj, Sultãn Fîrûz had built a dam. This place is near the Kalka Temple in the area of Okhla (S.A.A. Rizvi, Tuqhlaq Kãlîna Bhãrata, Vol.  II, p. 333, footnote 1).

106 Elliot and Dowson. op. cit., Vol. III, pp. 380-81. The apologists of Islam tell us that zimmîs are guaranteed freedom of worship once they agree to pay jijyah. Here we have a most pious sultãn saying and acting otherwise.

107 Ibid., p. 381.

108 Quoted in R.C. Majumdar (ed.), op. cit., Vol. VI, The Delhi Sultanate, Bombay, 960, p. 94.

109 Quoted in Ibid., pp. 105-60.

110 Translated from the Urdu version by Dr. Ãftãb Asghar, second edition, Lahore. 1982.

111 Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Khaljî Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh, 1955, p. 223.

112 Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Tughlaq Kãlina Bhãrata, Aligarh, 1957, Vol.  II, pp. 228-29.

113 Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Uttara Taimûr Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh, 1959, Vol. II, p. 27.

114 Ibid., pp. 27-28.

115 Ibid., p. 29.

116 Summarised by S.A.A. Rizvi in History of Sufism in India, New Delhi, 1978, Vol. I, pp. 201-202, footnote 4. Tabrizî is most probably the hero of Sekasubhodaya, a San­skrit work ascribed to Halãyudha Mišra, discovered at Gaur in Bengal and edited with an English translation by Sukumar Sen, Calcutta, 1963.

117 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol. IV, p. 166.

118 Ibid., pp. 182-83.

119 Ibid., pp. 178-79.

120 Ibid., pp. 179-80. The number of temples mentioned in this passage means the number of temples destroyed.

121 Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Mughal Kãlîna Bhãrata: Bãbur, Aligarh, 1960, p. 233.

122 Ibid., 237.

123 Ibid., p. 167. Professor Sri Ram Sharma cites from Tãrîkh-i-Bãburî that “His Sadr, Shaikh Zain, demolished many Hindu temples at Chanderî when he occupied it” (Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, p. 9).

124 Ibid., p. 277. It seems that for some reason, the statues could not be destroyed, though they were mutilated. All of them are Jain statues.

125 Summarised by S.A.A. Rizvi in his. A History of Sufism in India. Vol. I, New Delhi, 1978, pp. 201-02.

126 ‘Summarised by Ibid., p. 307.

127 Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Uttara Taimûr Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh, 1955, Vol. I, p. 322.

128 Ibid., p. 331.

129 Ibid., p. 343.

130 Eliot and Dowson, op. cit, Vol. IV, pp. 403-04.

131 Ibid., p. 544.

132 Translated Iron the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Uttara Taimûr Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh, 1958, Vol. I, p. 102.

133 Ibid., Vol. II. 138. Ghiyãsu’d-Dîn had collected 16,000 women in his harem and was notorious for his lewdness. Piety in Islam has no relation with personal character. Lechers can serve the faith as well as the recluse.

134 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 471.

135 The reference is to some Hindu Goddess. Islamic iconoclasts often named Hindu Goddesses after those of Arabia whose idols the prophet of Islam had destroyed.

136 Translated from the Hindi version by S.A. A. Rizvi included in Tughlaq Kãlîna Bhãrata. Aligarh, 1956, Vol. I, p. 370.

137 The Tabqãt-i-Akbarî translated by B. De, Calcutta, 1973, Vol. I, p. 3.

138 Ibid., p. 7.

139 Ibid., p. 11.

140 Ibid., p. 16.

141 Ibid., p. 22.

142 Ibid., p. 51.

143 Ibid., pp. 68-69.

144 Ibid., p. 144.

145 Ibid., p. 157.

146 Ibid., p. 184.

147 Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Tughlaq Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh, 1957. Vol. II, p. 349.

148 Ibid., p. 350.

149 Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Uttara Taimûr Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarb, 1958. Vol. I, p. 219.

150 Ibid., p. 220.

151 Ibid., p. 221.

152 Ibid., p. 222.

153 Ibid., p. 227.

154 Ibid., pp, 236-37. The bull was most probably a Nandî standing outside a temple of Šiva.

155 Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Uttar Taimûr Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh 1959, Vol. II. p. 9.

156 Ibid., p. 74.

157 Ibid., p. 75.

158 Ibid., p. 85.

159 Ibid., p. 86.

160 Ibid., pp. 177-78.  Zafar Khãn crowned himself as Muzaffar Shãh a few years later, and founded the independent kingdom of Gujarat.

161 Ibid., p. 180.

162 Ibid., p. 178.

163 Ibid., p. 180.

164 Ibid., p. 192.

165 Ibid., pp. 201-02.

166 Ibid., pp. 206-07.

167 Ibid., p. 214.

168 Ibid., p. 218-19.

169 Ibid., pp. 233-34.

170 Ibid., p. 515. The discovery of an inscription seems to be true, but the reading is obviously wishful and fictitious.

171 Ibid., p. 517.

172 Ibid., p. 527.

173 Elliot and Dowson, op. cab, Vol. V, p. 358.

174 Muntakhãbu’t-Tawãrikh, translated into English by George S.A. Ranking, Patna Reprint 1973, Vol. I, p. 17.

175 Ibid., pp. 27-28.

176 Ibid., pp. 21-22.

177 Ibid., p. 24.

178 Ibid., pp. 82-83.

179 Ibid., p. 95.

180 Ibid., pp. 235-36.

181 Ibid., pp. 255-56.

182 Ibid., p. 420.

183 Ibid., p. 422.

184 Ibid., pp. 432-33.

185 Ibid., Vol. II, pp. 128-29.

186 Ibid., pp. 165-66.

187 Ibid., pp. 166-67.

188 Elliot and Dowson. op. cit, Vol. VI, p. 528.

189 Ibid., Vol. IV, p. 439.

190 Ibid., p. 447.

191 Ibid., p. 465.

192 Ibid., p. 466.

193 Ibid., pp. 466-67.

194 Cited by Sri Ram Sharma, op. cit., p. 11.

195 Zafaru’l Wãlih Bi Muzaffar Wa Ãlihi, translated into English by M.F. Lokhand­wala, Baroda, 1970 and 1974, Vol. II, p. 575.

196 Ibid., p. 626.

197 Ibid., pp. 627-28.

198 Ibid., Vol. I, p. 138.

199 Ibid., Vol. II. pp. 646-47.

200 Ibid., p. 650. 

201 Ibid., Vol. I, p. 139.  Malabar in wrongly indicated by the translator. 

202 Ibid., Vol. II, p. 676.  This is a revealing report. The Sufis were not only instigators but also beneficiaries of jihãd and iconoclasm. 

203 Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Uttara Taimûr Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh, 1959, Vol. II, p. 413. 

204 Ibid., p. 417. 

205 Ibid., p. 418. 

206 Elliot and Dowson, op.cit., Vol. VI, p. 187. 

207 Tãrîkh-i-Haqqî (of which Zubdatu’t-Tawãrîkh is an extension) cited by Sri Ram Sharma, op. cit., p. 62. 

208 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol. II, pp. 435-36. 

209 Tãrîkh-i-Firishta, translated by John Briggs under the title History of the Rise of the Mahomedan Power in India, first published in 1829, New Delhi Reprint 1981, Vol. I, pp. 27-28. 

210 Ibid., p. 29. 

211 Ibid., p. 30. 

212 Ibid., p. 34. 

213 Ibid., p. 35. 

214 Ibid., p. 36. Mahmûd was a pious Muslim who destroyed Hindu temples and idols in keeping with the tenets of Islam. Those who present him as a freebooter out to plun­der temple treasuries are either fools like Jawaharlal Nehru or knaves like Mohammad Habib, and Pandit Sunderlal. Mahmûd is too great an hero of Islam to be sacrificed in order to salvage the faith. 

215 Ibid., p. 37. 

216 Translated from the Urdu version of Tãrîkh-i-Firishta by ‘Abdul Haî Khwãjah, Deoband, 1983, pt. I, p. 125. 

217 John Briggs, op. cit., pp. 38-39. 

218 Ibid., pp. 40-41. Lure of plunder as well as religious merit made many Muslims join the army without pay. Islam like Christianity enables people to make the best of the both the worlds. 

219 Ibid., pp. 41-42. 

220 Other accounts put the figure at 50,000. 

221 Ibid., pp. 43-44. 

222 Ibid., p. 49. 

223 Ibid., p. 63. 

224 Ibid., p. 82. 

225 Ibid., pp. 100-01. 

226 Ibid., p. 108. 

227 Ibid., P. 119. 

228 Ibid., p. 170. 

229 Ibid., p. 171. 

230 ‘Abdul Haî Khwãjah, op. cit, pt. I, p. 349. It appears to be the Šivaliñga of the Rudramahãlaya at Sidhpur. 

231 John Briggs, op. cit., pp. 213-14.  Modern historians doubt if Malik Kãfûr reached Setubandha Ramešvaram. 

232 Ibid., p. 263. The word “temple” at the end of the passage stands for the Ka‘ba. 

233 Ibid., p. 338. 

234 Ibid., p. 339. 

235 Ibid., pp. 339-40. 

236 Ibid., p. 343. 

237 Ibid., pp. 347-48. 

238 Ibid., Vol. II, p. 206-07. 

239 Ibid., p. 248. 

240 Ibid., p. 251. 

241 Ibid., p. 269. 

242 Ibid., p. 306. 

243 Ibid., p. 308. 

244 Ibid., Vol. III, p. 82. 

245 Ibid., p. 84. 

246 Ibid., p. 212. 

247 Ibid., p. 267.  Murahari Rao was obviously a precursor of our present-day devotees Secularism who are Hindus by accident of birth and who stop at nothing in order to please the Muslims. 

248 Ibid., p. 274. 

249 Ibid., pp. 276-77. 

250 Ibid., Vol. IV, p. 3. 

251 Ibid., p. 4. 

252 Ibid., p. 5. 

253 Ibid., p. 10. 

254 Ibid. 

255 Ibid., pp. 10-11. 

256 Ibid., p. 16. There is evidence that the mosque was raised on the site of a temple. 

257 Ibid., p. 31. 

258 Ibid., p. 32. 

259 Ibid., p. 33. 

260 Ibid., p. 35. 

261 Ibid., p. 36. 

262 Ibid., p. 49. 

263 Ibid., pp. 125-26. 

264 Ibid., p. 135. 

265 Ibid., p. 136. 

266 Ibid., p. 215. 

267 Ibid., p. 234. 

268 Ibid., p. 235. 

269 Ibid., p. 238. 

270 Ibid., p. 244. 

271 Ibid., pp. 268-69. Another wishful reading of an ancient inscription. 

272 Ibid., pp. 279-80. 

273 Tûzuk-i-Jahãngîrî, translated into English by Alexander Rogers, first published 1909-1914, New Delhi Reprint, 1978, Vol. I, pp. 254-55. 

274 Ibid., Vol. II, pp. 223-25. 

275 Another manuscript of Tûzuk-i-Jahãngîrî, translated into English by Major David Price, Calcutta, 1906, pp. 24-25. 

276 Translated from the Urdu version by Muhammad Bashîr Husain, second edition, Lahore, 1986, pp. 121-22. 

277 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol. V, p. 97. The Urdu version by Muhammad Bashir Husain adds that “all buildings were pulled down” (p. 166). 

278 Ibid., p. 98 

279 Ibid., pp. 100-01 

280 Translated from the Urdu version, op. cit., p. 172. 

281 Ibid., p. 178. 

282 Ibid., p. 179. 

283 Ibid., P. 199. 

284 Ibid., p. 305. 

285 Ibid., pp. 305-06 

286 Cited in The Cult of Jagannath and the Regional Tradition of Orrisa by Anncharotte Eschmann et al, New Delhi, second printing. 1981, p. 322. footnote 7. 

287 Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi in Uttara Taimûr Kãlîna Bhãrata, Aligarh, 1959, Vol.  II, p. 256. 

288 Ibid., p. 273. 

289 Ibid., p. 318. 

290 Ibid., p. 319. 

291 Ibid., p. 350. 

292 Mir‘ã-i-Sikandarî, translated by Fazlullah Lutfullah Faridi, Dharampur (Gujarat), Gurgaon Reprint, 1990, p. 171. 

293 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit, Vol. VI, p. 451.  An additional excuse besides commandments of Allãh was invented in order to destroy the temples. 

294 Summarised by Richard Maxwell Eaton in his Sufis of Bijapur 1300-1700, Princeton (U.S.A.), 1978, p. 68. 

295 Tãrîkh-Kashmîr, edited and translated into English by Razia Bano, Delhi, 1991, p. 55. 

296 Ibid., p. 61. 

297 Ibid., pp. l02-03. 

298 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol. II. p. 524. 

299 Ibid., pp. 525-27. 

300 Ibid., p. 527. 

301 Ibid., p. 538. 

302 Ibid., pp. 546-47. 

303 Cited by P.M. Currie, op. cit., p. 74. 

304 Ibid., p. 75. 

305 Ibid., p. 80. 

306 Ibid., p. 83. The Sunnah of the Prophet prescribes that every true Muslim should force into his bed some captured women of the unbelievers. 

307 Ibid., pp. 86-87. 

308 Bãdshãh Nãma cited by Sri Ram Sharma, op. cit., p. 63. 

309 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol. VII, p. 36. Sri Ram Sharma op. cit. cites Lãhorî to add that “three temples were destroyed in Gujarat” (p. 86). 

310 Quoted by Jadunath Sarkar, op. cit., Vol. I and II, p. 15.  Sri Ram Sharma cites Lãhorî to add that “several other temples suffered the same fate and were converted into mosques” (p. 86). 

311 Cited by Sri Ram Sharma, op. cit., p. 86. 

312 The Shahjahan Nama of ‘Inayat Khan, translated by A.R. Fuller and edited and compiled by W.E. Beyley and Z.A. Desai, OUP, Delhi, 1090, p. 161. 

313 Elliot and Dowson, Vol. VII, p. 159. 

314 Cited by Sri Rain Sharma, op. cit., p. 129. 

315 Ibid. 

316 Maãsir-i-‘Ãlamgiri, translated into English by Sir Jadu-Nath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947, pp. 51-52. 

317 Ibid., p. 55. 

318 Ibid., p. 60. 

319 Ibid., p. 107. 

320 Ibid., pp. 108-09. 

321 Ibid., pp. 114-15. 

322 Ibid., p. 116. 

323 Ibid., p. 116-17. 

324 Ibid., p. 120. Amber had hem loyal to the Mughals since the days of Akhar, and, unlike Mewar and Mewar, given no offence to Aurangzeb. 

325 Ibid., p. 241. 

326 Ibid., p. 312. 

327 Ibid., pp. 314-15. 

328 Quoted by Jadunath Sarkar, op. cit., Vol. III, p. 186. 

329 Quoted by Ibid., p. 187. 

330 Quoted by Ibid., p. 188. 

331 Quoted by Ibid., p. 189. 

332 Cited by Sri Rain Sharma, op. cit, p. 136. 

333 Ibid. 

334 Ibid., p. 137. 

335 Ibid. 

336 Ibid. 

337 Ibid., p. 138. 

338 Ibid. 

339 Ibid., pp.138-39 

340 Jadunath Sarkar, op. cit, Vol. I and II, pp. 120-21. 

341 Summarised in Ibid., Vol. III, p. 103. 

342 Quoted in Ibid., Vol. III, pp. 185-86. 

343 Quoted in Ibid., Vol. I and II, p. 94. 

344 Quoted in Ibid., Vol. III, p. 188. 

345 Cited by Sri Ram Sharma. op. cit., p. 138. 

346 Ibid., pp. 144-45. The mosque demolished by Hindus had been built on the site of a temple recently destroyed. 

347 Quoted in Jadunath Sarkar, op. cit, Vol. III, pp. l88-89. 

348 Quoted in Ibid., p. 187. 

349 Futûhãt-i-‘Ãlamgîrî, translated into English by Tanseem Ahmad, Delhi, 1978. p. 82 

350 Ibid., p.130. 

351 Nau-Bahãr-i-Murshid Quli-Khãni, translated into English by Jadu Nath Sarkar and included in his Bengal Nawãbs, Calcutta Reprint, 1985, p. 4. 

352 Ibid., p. 7. 

353 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol. VIII, pp. 38 -39. 

354 Cited by Sri Ram Sharma. op. cit, p. 86. 

355 Cited by Ibid., pp. 86-87. 

356 Quoted in Jadunath Sarkar, op. cit., Vol. III, p. 188. 

357 Cited by Sri Ram Sharma, cit., p. 137. 

358 Quoted in Jadunath Sarkar, Vol. III, p. 207, footnote. 

359 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol. VII, p. 405. 

360 Mirat-i-Ahmdi, translated into English by M.F. Lokhandwala, Baroda, 1965, P. 27. This account is obviously a folktale because ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî became a Sultãn two hundred years after Siddharãja JayasiMha ascended the throne of Gujarat. Moreover, ‘Alãu’d-Dîn never went to Gujarat; he sent his generals, Ulugh Khãn and Nasrat Khãn. 

361 Ibid., p. 28. 

362 Ibid., P. 29. 

363 Ibid., P. 34. 

364 Ibid., pp. 37-38. Sayyedpur is Sidhpur. 

365 Ibid., pp. 47-48. 

366 Ibid., p. 48. 

367 Ibid., pp. 51-52. 

368 Ibid., p. 194. It was a Jain Temple built at great expense. 

369 Quoted in Jadunath Sarkar, op. cit., Vol. III, p. 186. 

370 Quoted in Ibid., p. 188. 

371 Quoted in Ibid., p. 186. 

372 Cited by Sri Ram Sharma, op. cit., p. 137. 

373 Cited by Ibid., p. 138. 

374 Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., Vol. VIII, pp. 264-65. 

375 Quoted by Jadunath Sarkar, Fall of The Mughal Empire, Vol. II, Fourth Edition, New Delhi, 1991, p. 70. 

376 History of Tipu Sultan Being a Continuation of The Neshan-i-Hyduri, translated from Persian by Col. W. Miles, first published 1864, New Delhi Reprint, 1986, pp. 66-67. 

377 Riyuz-us-Salatin, translated into English by Abdus Salam, Delhi Reprint, 1976, pp. 63-64. 

378 Ibid., pp. 17-18. 

379 Bahãr-i-Ãzam, translated in English, Madras, 1960, p. 2. 

380 Ibid., pp. 18-19. 

381 Ibid., p. 101. 

382 Ibid., p. 51. Hindu mythology from the RãmãyaNa has obvious, up with the story of how Sayyid Nathar Shah (AD 969-1030) from Arabia destroyed a Šiva temple and converted it into his khãnqãh. He died in AH 673, and the khãnqãh became a dãrgãh which has since grown into an important place of Muslim pilgrimage. 

383 Ibid., p. 63. This is another garbled account of how a Hindu temple was converted into a Muslim dargãh during the time when Tiruchirapalli was occupied by Chandã Sãhib, the Dîwan of the Nawwãb of Arcot, and Rãnî Mînãkshî committed suicide when thrown into prison through treachery. 

384 Ibid., p. 64. 

385 Ibid., p. 128. 

386 Translated from the Urdu of Ãsãru’s-Sanãdîd, edited by Khaleeq Anjum, New Delhi, 1990.  Vol. I, p. 305. 

387 Ibid., p. 310. 

388 Ibid., pp. 310-11. 

389 Ibid., p. 316. 

390 Ibid., p. 310. 

391 Ibid., p. 317. 

392 Ibid., p. 89. 

393 Ibid., Vol. III, p. 406. 

394 Ibid., p. 407. 

395 Ibid., Vol. I, p. 321. 

396 Ibid., p. 97. 

397 Ibid., Vol. III, p. 409. 

398 Ibid., Vol. I, p. 334. 

399 Ibid., p. 361. 

400 Cited by Dr. Harsh Narain in his article, Rama-Janmabhumi Temple: Muslim Testimony, Indian Express, February 26, 1990. 

401 Cited by Ibid. 

402 Summarised from the Wãqî’ãt, Vol. III, p. 575 by Richard Maxwell Eaton m his Sufis of Bijapur 1300-1700, Princeton (U.S.A.), 1978, p. 68. 

403 Syed Mahmudul Hasan, Mosque Architecture of Pre-Mughal Bengal, Dacca (Bangladesh), 1979, p. 33. 

404 Ibid. 

405 Ibid. 

406 Ibid., p. 34. 

407 Ibid., p. 38. 

408 Ibid., p. 43. 

409 Ibid., pp. 163-64. His statement that “innumerable Hindu and Buddhist temples still exit in the     cities of India once conquered by the Muslims”, is a figment of his imagination. No city in North India can show a temple from pre-Islamic times. 

410 Ibid., pp. 170-71. In subsequent passages he himself says that existing buildings were quarried for stones used in Mosques. Medieval Muslim historians say that all Hindu temples were destroyed and mosques raised at Lakhnauti, the site of Gaud, and Pandau. 

411 Ibid., pp. 171-72. 

412 Ibid., p. 183. 

413 Ibid. 

414 Ibid., p. 185. 

415 Ibid., p. 37. 

416 Ibid. 

417 Ibid., P. 64. 

418 Ibid., p. 38. 

419 Ibid. 

420 Ibid., p. 39. 

421 Ibid. 

422 Ibid., p. 43. 

423 Ibid., p. 44. 

424 Ibid., p. 45. 

425 Ibid., p. 46. 

426 Ibid. 

427 Ibid. 

428 Ibid. 

429 Ibid., p. 49. 

430 Ibid., p. 50. 

431 Ibid. 

432 Ibid., 62 and 64 (Illustration on p. 63). 

433 Ibid., p. 77. 

434 Ibid. 

435 Ibid., pp. 80-81. 

436 Ibid., pp. 81-82. 

437 Ibid., p. 83. 

438 Ibid., pp. 85-86. 

439 Ibid., P. 86. 

440 Ibid., pp. 90-91. 

441 Ibid., p. 97. 

442 Ibid., p. 86. 

443 Ibid., p. 128. 

444 Ibid., p. 129. 

445 Ibid., p. 131. 

446 Ibid., p. 123. 

447 Ibid., p. 122. 

448 Ibid., p. 131. 

449 Ibid., pp. 160-61. 

450 Ibid., p. 163. 

451 Ibid., p. 138. 

452 Ibid. 

453 Ibid., p. 141. 

454 Ibid., pp. 144-45. 

455 Ibid., p. 185. 

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