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Flight of Deities and Rebirth of Temples: Episodes from Indian History

4.42, 12 Ratings 8 Reviews

This work examines the medieval response to temple destruction and image desecration. While temples were destroyed on a considerable scale, also noteworthy were the repeated endeavours to reconstruct them. In each instance of rebirth, the temple retained its original name, even though there was a visible downsizing in its scale and grandeur. The Keshava temple at Mathura, the Vishwanath temple at Kashi, the Somnath temple in Saurashtra, the Rama mandir at Ayodhya were among the shrines continually restored, well after Hindus had lost all semblance of political power. The Bindu Madhava, the most important Vishnu temple in Varanasi, was demolished in 1669 and a mosque constructed in its place. The temple now bearing the name Bindu Madhava is a modest structure in the shadow of the mosque, but continues the traditions associated with the site. Intriguingly, mosques built on temple sites often retained the sacred names —Bijamandal mosque, Lat masjid, Atala masjid, Gyanvapi mosque, and not to forget, masjid-i- janamsthan.

    History, 406 pages
    Published 2019
  • Original Title : Flight of Deities and Rebirth of Temples: Episodes from Indian History
  • Publisher : Aryan Books International
  • Genre : Medieval Indian History ,
  • ISBN : 8173056196 (ISBN13: 978-817305619)
  • Language : English
  • User assigned genres : Indian Subcontinent
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Shrikant Ramdas rated it
July 08, 2019
This is a scholarly work that reminds us of India’s deep inter-connectedness, our obligations to our ancestors and our motherland. Jain’s last lines of the book are emotive and soul-stirring. Clearly, the author has a deep sense of duty towards our ancient civilization. We are lucky to have such a reputedly scholar remind us, to rise like tigers and lions. This book is a gift. Buy. Read. Gift. Full review here. https://yourawesomeindia.com/2019/06/18/lions-jackals-flight-of-deities/
Gaurav Upadhyay rated it
June 29, 2019
We have often heard that Hindus' is one of the few civilisations which survived the onslaught of Islam in medieval centuries. But the story of how we managed to survive had not been told so far. It is for telling us this story in her latest book "The Flight of Deities and Rebirth of Temples" that Prof. Meenakshi Jain deserves out heartfelt appreciation. As Dr. Koenraad Elst has remarked in his review, Prof Jain's book is a novelty in Indian historiography in the sense that this is perhaps the first attempt by a historian to study, first, the re ... more
PRASHANSA JAIN rated it
June 06, 2019
Meenakshi Jain's book is a historical documentation of Indian temples and idols destructed, reconstructed and lost in attempt to be saved. Facts from various historical books and research papers are put into this book making it a ‘hand book’ useful for those who have interest in studying brutal history of Indian idolatry culture destruction. The dismantling and demolition was mostly done by Muslim invaders. Author inscribed how Quran's explicit hospitality to idols and idolatry led Muslim invaders to destroy the shrines and looting the weal ... more
Hariprasad rated it
May 03, 2019
One of the best on Indian History. A must read book.
Debtanu rated it
April 20, 2019
Colonized in 2019? This can happen if you have been brainwashed by the Great Indian Education System. A scathing critique of Public Sector Historians and their "opinions" on Temple destruction. She meticulously points out cases of temple destruction all across India, how Indic faiths coped with the Trauma, how they held on to memory and rebuilt their temples once the Islamic threat decreased. In the South where Islamic rule was sporadic, temple histories played a great part in deciphering the large scale of iconoclasm all over India at the time ... more
Abhinav Agarwal rated it
March 13, 2019
Meenakshi Jain's latest book chronicles the destruction of temples, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain, over the centuries at the hands of mostly Islamic invaders, and the attempts made, where possible, by the faithful to preserve the deities by ferreting them out of the temples before the marauders came to destroy temples and idols. These attempts succeeded sometimes, and it would take years, decades, or sometimes, even centuries, for those idols to be retrieved and returned to their rightful place. In many cases, however, the idols were lost forever. ... more

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