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Week Special

Pracheen? Really??

By Vijay Satokar
Aug 31, 2015
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Cheaply made huge idols of Shiva, Ganesh and Krishna welcome you to the specious compound of a Shiva temple in a narrow lane of Patparganj area of Delhi. Patparganj is  one of those areas- villages- that have history that dates back to the Mughal era. The 'ganj' in its name denotes a market place. Patparganj was also area where the Marathas fought and lost their last war with the British. 

When they marched with thousands, some times tens of thousands of soldiers, infantry to Delhi, the Marathas camped at various places. One thing they were interested was building temples- not big ones though- in places for the soldiers. Are there any temples in Patparganj what may have been built or where some Marhatta soldiers may have prayed? A resident of Patparganj tells Aamchi Dilli that older part of the area in fact is known as Garonda Neem Ka Bangar- whatever tht means. The Shiva temple, he says is one of those which has been there for over hundred years although there may not be any records.  
A committee of locaqls controls the land value of which may run into crores.

A visit to the temple and there is nothing that gives the impression of the site being historic in any respect. Delhiites believe in describing anything 'pracheen'- ancient- and you have temples with boards proclaiming these as ancient. 

The Shiv Ling in the temple is old, the not so old priest in the temple says. There used to be awell here, he says adding that a Ramji temple stands just on the top of it. "Aaj  kuye ko kaun puchchta hai?", he asks ruing that in the olden days wells were important. Now they have become dumping places and people throw waste. The well here, therefore, has been filled up and Ramji installed ther, he sayhs pointing to the idols of Ram, Sita and Lakshman.

No way to know if any unknown soldier from distant Maharashtra had prayed here!

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