Ancient legacy of Nuh's Nalhar Mahadev Mandir, the temple where 2,500 people sought refuge amid clashes
As communal clashes grip Haryana's Nuh, here's a look at the ancient legacy, religious significance, and architecture of the Nalhar Mahadev Mandir where 2,500 people sought refuge amid violence.
The tranquil surroundings of Nuh's Nalhar Mahadev Mandir were shattered by the horrors of violence on Monday as rioters unleashed chaos on the temple and its visitors. The temple, located about 7 km from Nuh town, stands amidst the picturesque Aravalli hills. However, on the fateful afternoon, it became the destination of a massive procession organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), sparking a communal clash that claimed five lives and left over 70 injured. Among the dead were two security personnel and two civilians, with even a mosque's cleric tragically losing his life.
The once serene hills had witnessed the firing of shots and the hurling of stones as 2,500 people inside the temple who sought refuge, hoping to survive the ordeal. The violence spread to neighboring Gurugram, where mobs damaged scores of vehicles and torched a mosque. Approximately 50 km away, the temple itself became a target. Realising that they were outnumbered, the local police called in paramilitary forces to rescue those trapped inside. After a tense evening, the temple was finally cleared, and paramilitary personnel now closely monitor the area. Around 50 burnt vehicles were removed from the temple's entrance, a stark reminder of the destructive rampage that unfolded.
The temple's priest shared a harrowing account of how the temple provided shelter to visitors amidst gunshots and stone-pelting during the clashes. Over 80 individuals have been arrested in connection with the violence, and multiple police cases have been registered. Reports suggest that the clashes were fueled by rumors surrounding the possible attendance of Bajrang Dal leader Monu Manesar, who is wanted for his alleged involvement in the killing of two Muslim men earlier in the year.
Here's a look at the ancient legacy of the Nalhar Mahadev Mandir
The origins of Nalhar Mahadev Mandir are shrouded in antiquity, with historical records and local beliefs tracing its roots back to several centuries. It is believed to have been constructed during the reign of the Yaduvanshi Rajputs, who once ruled this region.
According to local folklore, the temple derives its name from an intriguing legend. It is said that the Pandavas, from the Indian epic Mahabharata, visited this place during their exile in the forests. They were in search of water to quench their thirst when Lord Krishna appeared before them. By striking his foot on the ground, Krishna created a spring of holy water, which continues to flow within the temple complex to this day. This sacred water body is known as "Nal" in Hindi, hence giving the temple its name "Nalhar Mahadev Mandir."
The temple's architecture reflects a mix of Rajput and Mughal styles, showcasing the influences of the dynasties that once ruled over the region. The main deity of the temple is Lord Shiva, worshipped in the form of a Shiva Lingam. The sanctum sanctorum, adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures, exudes an aura of spirituality and tranquility.
Nalhar Mahadev Mandir holds immense religious significance for devotees, especially during the auspicious occasions of Shivratri and other festivals dedicated to Lord Shiva. Pilgrims and worshippers from different parts of Haryana and neighboring states flock to the temple to seek blessings and pay their respects to the divine.
Over the years, Nalhar Mahadev Mandir has undergone several renovations and restoration works to preserve its ancient glory. The local community and authorities have been actively involved in maintaining the sanctity and architectural integrity of this revered place of worship.
In the present day, the temple continues to be a popular destination for pilgrims and tourists alike. It offers a serene and spiritual environment where one can immerse themselves in devotion and find solace amidst the bustling world.
Nalhar Mahadev Mandir in Nuh, Haryana, stands as a timeless symbol of faith and reverence. With its ancient history, captivating legends, and splendid architecture, the temple serves as a living link to the region's illustrious past. As it continues to inspire and draw devotees, this sacred abode of Lord Shiva remains an integral part of Haryana's cultural and religious heritage.