ISLAMABAD: In an age where communal disharmony is rampant and the socio-political scenario about religion is volatile, the story of a 500-year-old temple in Madhya Pradesh provides a satisfying read.
In extremist anti-Muslim Modi and BJP era, Burhanpur of Indian state Madhya Pradesh is also called the city of Ganga Jamuna culture turned up an island of interfaith tranquility. Here a Hindu temple only one in the world where Muslims can offer their Namaz.
Here Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christian communities organise festivals and programmes in tandem with each other, incorporating a sense of communal harmony and brotherhood. These events are organised on the premises of Ichchha Devi Mata Temple complex in Ichhapur of Burhanpur district. No fee is charged for organising religious events by this temple committee.
According to Indian media report “You will be surprised to know that despite being a temple, Muslims are allowed to offer Namaz inside the premises, making the temple probably the only one in the world to allow so.”
Vijay Bhagwat Pawar of the temple committee said that the Ichchha Devi Mata Temple celebrates both Diwali and Eid with equal galore and festive spirit and that people from all religious communities come here for worship.
The temple is nearly 500 years old and is located near the border between Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. According to legend, a Maratha Governor vowed to build a well and a temple for the Goddess Ichchha Devi, also known as the fulfiller of wants, if his wife bore him a son. After his wish was granted, he constructed a shrine and a well. An annual fair attended by thousands of persons is held there in Chaitra Maas.