The fascination of Mughals with honouring their dead ones is phenomenal, and our region is full of exquisite mausoleums in honour of their beloveds, as well as loyal followers. The mausoleums of Emperors and their wives are phenomenal subjects in their own rights. But ordinary people also received their attention. In this respect very ordinary persons got a grand mausoleum built over their dead bodies. In Humayouns complex we even have a grand one in memory of the hair cutter of the Emperors. Even wet nurses got grand burial places and are robust to this day. But what about the soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the cause of the Mughals.

The battle of Babur with Rana Sanga is one clue. Rana Sanga himself invited Babur, on the belief that  like Timur, he will come and go away. But Babur decided to stay. The result a grand battle started on 16th March, 1527, and alternate historians present the typical two nation theory rhetoric. Babur’s autobiography say something, modern Hindu historians present their own versions. But ours is not a historical version statement. It is about the earliest form of Mughal Architecture in Mughal Indo-Pakistani region. Notice the rudimentary graves of the warriors of Babur’s army. The built ones must be of Generals who lost their lives.

We do know that two Architects came with Babur. One was Ustad Isa Mimar and the other Ustad Yusuf Mimar. Both were students of the Turkish architect Sinan. They belonged to the city of Herat and later settled in Lahore, to be called Lahoris. At the site of Khanwa no one pays attention. The amazing part is that the battleground is still there with hundreds of graves of the soldiers of Babur’s army. But there are built ones too. Obviously built in a hurry, as revealed by the brick laying of the fallen domes. And many sarcophagi exist too in the Mughal style. Our contention was that being the earliest representation of the Mughal architecture, we must pay respect to it. And learn the evolution of its architecture here.


(without any documentation)

We are born Pakistanis, and not familiar with situations before partition. Obviously, we were told many things by our parents. There were basically three religions here, and all ancient. We can talk of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. Buddhism and Jainism are considered earliest. The picture painted of the three co-existing with each other in peace is a myth. Legends have it of murder of Jains by thousands, and paintings exist of this ruthlessness. Not only that there was massive disruption between the three, but scholars write of thousands of Buddhist and Jain Temples destroyed by the Hindu Kings.  A tradition of destruction of temples very much in vogue. Stones extensively used even in those times. No need to chisel new ones when chiseled available. It is a reality the Mandir-obsessed trolls pay no heed to this truth. Inter religious trouble was there.

Thousands of Jain/Buddha Temple/Viharas Were Destroyed to Make Hindu Temples, Meenu Jain

The Muslims came into the scene. They had their own way of life, and it was so different from the way of life of other religions here, they could not be amalgamated with their belief in one Allah, and a society based on egalitarianism. Conflict would be a natural consequence. Historian speak of relics from Afghanistan in the Holy Kaaba itself, as the first museum of Islam. (Read “Islamic Art Oleg Grabar”).        Records speak of Muslim merchants in some parts of India, arriving by sea for trade. Muhammed bin Qasim dubbed by ignorant as an invader, came to the rescue of Muslim women entrapped by Raja Dahir. People who do not read history, will not know that he was so much loved in Sind, that the Sindhi made a statue of him in the main city to commemorate him. And his son ruled Sind after him.

This is merely a blog, but the subject requires a thesis in itself. Suffice the stereotype starts with Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna. Independent researchers have pointed out that Sultan Mahmud had Hindu generals in his war machinery, and for them, he even built a Mandir in Ghazna itself. Even more strange is the appreciation of the architecture of the Mandirs by the Sultan. 

“In Muttra the town was teeming with imposing temples, the glittering spires of which towered above the house tops. The Sultan was so struck with their massive beauty that in a letter of victory, to his Amirs in Ghazna, he gave effusive expression of his appreciation of Hindu Architecture.”

As an act of war for political reasons, he destroyed some of them, but not for religious sake alone.

“The Hindus rejected Islam as their national religion because of the fundamental and irreconcilable differences between Islam and Hinduism. To regard an idol as a helpless piece of stone, instead of a source of life and death, and to believe in one Omnipotent God instead of myriads of deities, one of which could be played off against the other, was diametrically opposed to Hindu way of thinking. The fear naturally was the propagation of the democratic principles of Islam would undoubtedly bring about a social revolution and breakdown of the caste system.”  

There are still surviving Jain Temples in our region. Personally, we pass the now the poorly restored Jain temple without any proportions, on a busy road link, and certainly enjoy the ghazal recitation of the Jain singer, Maneel Jain on the internet. But yes, we are told of still existing Jain Temples in Pakistan, and hardly any Jains around. But Mandirs exist in Pakistan and are being restored at great pace. Islam guarantees freedom of religion. Nobody sane can mind that, but the two nations cannot be one, simply for very different ways of life.

A study of Jain temples shows mixture of inspirations. The famous Gori Mandir in Nagarparkar Sind boasts on its plate as being made with Muslim domes. In any picture that is very clear. Domes exist in other temples too, but the whole structure being Islamic is best represented in the Jain Temple in Haryana, made famous in the Lodhi style, is a structure basically Islamic but with Jain symbolism. The temple had the deity image of Thirthankra. Later it was removed and placed it in the Jaina Temple at Firozpur Jhirka.

Scholars have noted that its direction is the same as a mosque, and reputation is there with people on site that there was a Kalma written on the stairs. But there is a clear statement of an inscription on its main gate, and possibly it has been removed and cannot be traced at this time. But this is sure that it was made in 1451 AD. People confirmed something written on it but are reluctant to share it as can be heard in this video link. Afraid of repercussions by authorities. Makers of same Sultan Bahlul Lodi and wife were of different ways of life. Result same.

Following the reign of the Sayyids, the Afghan Lodi dynasty gained the sultanate. Bahlul Khan Lodi

reigned from (1451–1489) was the nephew and son-in-law of Malik Sultan Shah Lodi, the governor of Sirhind Punjab, in India and succeeded him as the governor of Sirhind during the reign of Sayyid dynasty ruler Muhammed Shah. Tracing the background of Bahlul Khan Lodi on comes up with other details. The reputation is that he had a Hindu wife, but it could very well be a Jain wife.

In his youth, Bahlul was involved in the trading of horses and once sold his finely bred horses to the Sayyid dynasty Sultan Muhammed Shah. As a payment he was granted a pargana and raised to the status of Amir. After the death of Malik Sultan, he became the governor of Sirhind. He was allowed to add Lahore to his charge. So being a Governor of Lahore and having a wife of different religion, it can safely be presumed the reason for this Jain Temple in Haryana, when he ascended the throne of Delhi. A co-production of great dignity. Possibly between a Muslim architect and a Jain iconic expert. The result a production which sways us with its splendour to this day. Certainly, everybody involved here was of broad-minded nature.

Yes co-existence between different ways of life is possible, with mutual respect and according of dignity. Art and architecture best way of bridging gaps. But violence results in violence only. Love begets love.