Religious harmony has been the staple of the Indian way of life all through the ages. A temple dating back to 1845, the Shyam Kaka temple complex near Narsinghgarh, about 100 km from Bhopal, has a panel depicting Muslim men offering the namaz.
When the temple was under construction, six Arabs had come visiting. “The visitors insisted that Mecca and Medina were the holiest places on earth. In response, Amara Singh offered to take them to the two holy cities without moving a step away. Incredulous, the Arab visitors challenged the priest to do so,” adds the temple priest Gurjar.
What followed, according to legend, was a divine revelation of Mecca and Medina in the temple complex. And that was when the awestruck Arabs offered prayers at the spot. “The panel showing the six Arab men was installed as a tribute to this incident,” says Gurjar. The unique panel depicts six men dressed in long robes and traditional headgear, in various stages of offering the namaz.
The temple and its story remind us that there are numerous places in India where warring religious factions once stood in solidarity. And that it was possible to accept such structures as a commonplace for people belonging to all religions.
Read more: Communal harmony