Delhi

Watch | Did you know Lal Mandir was called Urdu Mandir?

People may be surprised to know that Delhi has an “Urdu Mandir”. And this Urdu Mandir hails back to the time of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who had invited members of the Agarwal Jain community to settle in Chandni Chowk.

As the new city came up in front of Lal Quila, a Digambar Jain Temple was built right opposite the Royal fort in 1656. Previously called as Urdu Mandir, because it touched one end of Urdu Bazaar which reached up to Jama Masjid, or Lal Mandir, the temple, according to a tradition started as a ‘camp temple’.

A Jain soldier is said to have placed an idol of a tirthankar for personal worship in a small tent. After some time, a temple came up at the sight. Temple drums were beaten loud and louder. Shah Jahan’s son, Aurangzeb, said to be opposed to music, ordered the drum beating to be stopped. However, the drums continued to be beaten in the temple.

One day, the emperor came down himself to Urdu Mandir. Not a soul was in sight but the drums could be heard anyway. After this, Aurangzeb retreated, and drums continued to be beaten, and worship continued as before. 

The mandir’s popularity increased. In the 19th century, long after Mughals had been consigned to history, Lal Mandir was given a facelift.


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Printable version | Jun 15, 2022 5:16:38 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/watch-did-you-know-lal-mandir-was-called-urdu-mandir/article65529756.ece