New Delhi: The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Sunday claimed that the Qutab Minar was a ‘Vishnu Stambh’ before some of its portions were reconstructed by a Muslim ruler and renamed as Quwwat-ul-Islam.

VHP national spokesperson Vinod Bansal claimed that the 73-metre-high structure was built on a temple of lord Vishnu constructed during the times of a Hindu ruler.

“When the Muslim ruler came, some of its portions were reconstructed with the material obtained after demolishing 27 Hindu-Jain temples, and renamed as Quwwat-ul-Islam (Might of Islam),” Bansal claimed, speaking to PTI.

He claimed that Muslim rulers made multiple efforts to rebuild some of the top floors that they had “damaged”, but they could not restore it.

“One can see a clear difference in the structure of the first three floors of the tower and the remaining floors towards the top. These floors were superimposed by them as they (Muslim rulers) just wanted to showcase the dominance of Islam,” he claimed.

“It was actually a Vishnu Stambh built on a Vishnu temple. They (Muslim rulers) did not build it. Our (Hindu) rulers built it,” he claimed.

The VHP on Saturday demanded that the government rebuild the ancient temples at the Qutab Minar complex and allow resumption of Hindu rituals and prayers there.

The demands came after a group of VHP leaders, including Bansal, visited the compound of the monument, which was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.

National Monument Authority (NMA) chairman and BJP leader Tarun Vijay had on Thursday said that Ganesha idols were placed “disrespectfully” in the Qutab Minar complex.

“The idols are currently placed at the most disrespectful place, upside down at the feet level of visitors. The idols should either be removed or placed respectfully inside the Qutub complex, he had told PTI.

Vijay also said that he had raised the issue with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) over a year ago but was yet to receive a response to his letter.

VHP spokesperson Bansal said, “Tarun Vijay ji has raised the issue with the ASI… We hope that the government and its concerned departments do a serious pondering over the issue and restore the honour of the Hindu society.”

When asked about the VHP’s future course of action on the issue, he said the matter will be discussed by senior leaders and “if the need arises, we may also consider taking a legal course of action.”

According to the Delhi Tourism website, the Qutab Minar was built with materials obtained after demolishing 27 Hindu temples at the site after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom.

The wesbite states, “An inscription over its (Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque) eastern gate provocatively informs that it was built with material obtained from demolishing ’27 Hindu temples’.”

An advisory body which carried out an evaluation of the monument for its inscription in 1992 had noted that the building of the Quwwat-ul-Islam congregational mosque had begun in 1192 by Qutbu’d-Din Aibak and completed in 1198, “using the demolished remains of Hindu temples”, it said.

“It was enlarged by Iltutmish (1211-36 AD) and again by Alau’d-Din Khalji (1296-1316 AD). The Qutb Minar was also begun by Qutbu’d-Din Aibak, in around 1202 and completed by his successor, Muhammad-bin-Sam,” read the advisory body evaluation uploaded on the website of UNESCO world heritage sites.

“It was damaged by lightning in 1326 and again in 1368 AD, and was repaired by the rulers of the day, Muhammad-bin-Tughluq (1325-51 AD) and Firuz Shah Tughluq (1351-88 AD). In 1503 AD Sikandar Lodi carried out some restoration and enlargement of the upper storeys,” it notes.

The report also noted the iron pillar in the mosque compound was brought from elsewhere in India.

“It bears a 4th century AD Sanskrit inscription describing the exploits of a ruler named Chandra, believed to be the Gupta king Chandragupta II (375-413),” it says.

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