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India as a nation has seen many examples of religious inclusions. Whether it is Muslims donating land to build the world’s largest Hindu temple In Bihar or Hindus offering prayers at a mosque in Kerala, they are so many stories which illustrate communal harmony. In light of the above, let’s have a look at two famous Hanuman temples that have been built by Muslim devotees:
Hanuman Garhi (Ayodhya)
Hanuman Garhi is situated near the river Sarayu in Ayodhya, the birth place of Lord Rama. One has to walk up the 76 steps to reach the ornate carved gateway of this temple. There is an interesting story behind this temple according to which Nawab Mansoor Ali ruled this place about 300 years ago. Once his son fell severly ill and the Nawab, worried about his son’s deteroriating health went to pray to Lord Hanuman. As a result of his prayers, his son’s health improved. This built his faith in Lord Hanuman and he decided to renovate the entire property and for this purpose, he donated 52 bighas of land for the construction of this temple. Constructed in the shape of a four-sided fort, Hanuman Garhi is one of the most popular shrines in Ayodhya.
Aliganj Hanuman temple, Lucknow
Begum Rabiya, wife of Nawab Mohammad Ali Shah established this temple. It is said that she once dreamt there is a huge statue of Lord Hanuman lying near a garden and she should dig it out and install it in a temple. After she was blessed with a child, she ordered the excavation of that place and found a statue of Lord Hanuman. It was then decided that the statue should be established in a temple near Bara Imambara but while the statue was being transported, the elephant that was carrying it, sat down and refused to go ahead. The Begum took this as a divine sign and ordered the construction of Aligarh Hanuman temple at that place. The famous Bara Mangal festival which traces its origin to this temple is held every year in Lucknow. Bada Mangal symbolizes Hindu-Muslim unity and people assemble in large numbers to take part in this festival.