Rudramahalaya Siddhpur – Patan Dist, Gujarat
Rudramahalaya, a spectacular and ancient 12th-century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located at Siddhpur, Patan District Gujarat. The lavish temple had grandiose architecture, intricate carvings and dedicated to Lord Rudra, a ferocious form of Shiva. It was built between (1094-1143) by King Jayasimha Siddharaja of the Solanki Dynasty.
The quaint town of Siddhpur was named after the glorious king Jayasimha Siddharaja, who built this magnificent Shiva temple. During the rule of the Solanki dynasty, the people of Sidhpur enjoyed ample amounts of wealth and prosperity, especially during the time of Jayasimha Siddharaja.
The principal temple of Siddhpur was built with a huge availability of resources and comprised of 1600 pillars, 18000 idols, 17000 flags and delicately carved “Toran” or massive and ornate entrances.
Rudramahalaya temple was a very massive, rich and prosperous temple until the 12-15th century. It was then demolished and was brutally converted forcibly into, yet another mosque by the Islamic invaders.
Mohammed Ghori looted, plundered, desecrated and destroyed the grandest and most architecturally imposing Rudramahalaya temple in the 12th century; while he was en route to destroying the famous Somnath temple.
During his invasion of India, Mohammed Ghori, and his fellow Mughals destroyed numerous Hindu temples in their attempts to establish Islamic religion and law across the subcontinent. The Muslim invaders systematically tried to destroy the Hindu religion, culture, tradition, history, literature, language, heritage, legacy, and the entire Hindu grand narrative by destroying temples and places of religious worship.
The temple was subjected to further more destruction and loot at the hands of moguls like Ulugh Khan in 1297-98 AD and again by Ahmad Shah in 1415 AD.
The western portion of this massive temple structure was later converted into a Jama mosque.
Inscriptions at the site entrance suggest that the Jama mosque was constructed during the reign of Aurangzeb in the year 1645. However, it must be noted that Aurangzeb did not rule as monarch until 1658, almost 13 years later. It is not surprising that most locals of Siddhpur credit the construction of a mosque to Aurangzeb. During the reign of Aurangzeb, numerous Hindu temples and palaces, especially across the Deccan plateau and its surrounding areas, were destroyed. These temples were later looted, and the wealth was used to convert the Hindu structures into mosques. Even the raw materials from the destroyed temple site were reused to build more mosques.
This article is authored by Prerna Thiruvaipati ji.