In an earlier article, we had talked about the innate harmony between two such communities, which have been made scapegoats by people and politics alike. But there comes to the fore, such heartwarming instances of Hindus and Muslims communities, that we start to believe in the innate goodness of the human nature.
In my research to find out more about such stories, I found a gem and decided to bring them to everyone’s notice. To my utter surprise, I didn’t have to look that far. In fact, this place is at a walking distance from my residence. I have been there many times, but this time the feeling was completely different. This place, the Purana Hanuman Mandir at Aliganj, Lucknow, revealed itself in a new light to me.
Where: This mandir is located near Anand Motors Maruti Service Centre, Aliganj. The nearest landmark is the Petrol Pump at Manas Complex.
Legend has it that Nawab Mohammad Ali Shah and his wife Begum Rabiya were childless for many years. One night, the Begum had a dream that there’s an idol of Lord Hanuman lying near a garden and she should find it and keep it in a temple. After that, the couple was blessed with a child and the Nawab decided to find the Hanuman Idol. To his amazement, he actually did discover the idol and thus, commissioned the construction of this temple. A crescent moon at the top of the roof symbolises the Islamic history of this temple.
Another story that is popular is that a trader from Marwar wanted to sell his goods in the city. He traded in kesar(saffron) and kasturi(musk). Even after struggling for many days, he could not sell his goods. Tired and hassled, he offered his prayers to Lord Hanuman at this temple and retired for the night in a dharamshala. Incidentally, Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was talking a leisurely stroll with his wife that evening. The waft of the fragrance of kasturi and kesar drew them to the dharamshala. They bought all of the trader’s goods. As with this person, Lord Hanuman, the presiding deity of this temple is believed to answer everyone’s prayers.
This temple might not be really fancy in its structure, but it has been put on the highest pedestal by devotees due to their immense faith in it. When I first heard about the story behind this temple, I was really touched by the acts of humanity, which transcends every religious barrier. It is equally revered by Hindus and Muslims, who place their faith here. Lucknow is truly a melting pot of goodness and simplicity, acts of which reveal itself in many selfless deeds.
Lucknow is not just a place, it is an experience. Come, be a part of it and we shall greet you with a smile and say,”Aji muskuraiye, aap Lucknow me hai.“