UP: Suit Lays Temple Claim on Chishti Dargah in Fatehpur Sikri

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The genesis of the dispute traces back to British officer E.B. Novel’s description of the property’s pillars and roof as Hindu statues, challenging its classification as a mosque.

Team Clarion

AGRA — Following the controversy surrounding the Jama Masjid, Fatehpur Sikri’s Dargah is now embroiled in a dispute. Advocate Ajay Pratap Singh has filed a case in the Agra court contending that the revered mausoleum of Sheikh Salim Chishti is recognised as a Mukhya Mata temple. The development has added fuel to the ongoing legal tug-of-war over religious identities and historical narratives in the region.

The genesis of the dispute traces back to British officer E.B. Novel’s description of the property’s pillars and roof as Hindu statues, challenging its classification as a mosque. Advocate Singh asserts historical evidence supporting his claim, citing the reign of Rao Dhamdev during the Khanwa War. Singh claims that Rao Dhamdev transported an idol of Mukhya Mata to the Gazipur district in Uttar Pradesh, where a temple was erected in her honour.

Singh draws his argument from archaeological surveys and historical texts, including accounts by poet Vayadhar, supporting the assertion of a temple at the disputed site. The legal battle intensifies as Singh invokes law to bolster his claim, asserting that the original name of Fatehpur Sikri, Vijaypur Sikri, implies its historical identity as a temple town. Despite archaeological evidence supporting its Muslim heritage, Singh maintains that the dargah should be reclassified based on historical perspective.

The case’s complexity deepens with the involvement of multiple stakeholders, including the Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh and the Dargah Saleem Chishti Management Committee. The court proceedings reveal divergent narratives and interpretations of historical accounts, underscoring the nuanced layers of identity and heritage entwined in Fatehpur Sikri’s history.

As legal battles unfold, the fate of Fatehpur Sikri’s religious heritage hangs in the balance, awaiting adjudication in the halls of justice.

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