THE DESTRUCTION OF SOMNATH
Mahmoud Ghazni also went to Somnath in 1026 where he destroyed the famous temple and took back much wealth, including the famous Shiva linga, some of the fragments of which were turned into the steps of the city’s Jama Masjid mosque where the faithful could defi le it by walking on it.
Other fragments were sent to Mecca, Medina, and Baghdad for the same purpose.
Th e Indians made a desperate attempt to defend their temple, but more than 50,000 were slain by the armies of Mahmoud. He also took away 20,000,000 dirhams of gold, silver, and gems from the temple. He then stripped the lingam of its guilded gold and then attacked it with his sword, breaking it into bits which he sent back to Ghazni to be laid into the steps of the new Jama Masjid mosque to be perpetually trampled on and defi led by the faithful Muslims who would regularly walk over them.
The historian Al-Biruni (973-1048) records the effects of Mahmoud Ghazni’s campaigns in India. He says that he ruined the prosperity of the country and made dust of the Hindus which scattered in all directions. He was known for his barbarism and brutality against Hindus and their temples.
There was a great relief when he died in 1030. Mahmoud’s son tried to do the same as his father, but only carried out one successful campaign, which was on Hansi in 1037. He attacked the fort, which was bravely defended by the Hindus, but, as recorded in the Tarikh-usSubuktigin, the Brahmanas were all killed, and the women and children were
all taken away as slaves, and the treasure was distributed amongst the army.
Source : Stephen Knapp – Crimes Against India
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