Lucknow University: Where temple and mosque mean communal harmony
The nearly century-old university has two Shiv temples, a mosque near the dilapidated Lal Baradari, two ‘mazars’ (graves) and the grave of Sir Maharaj Singh.Updated: Feb 24, 2017 17:13 IST
At a time when communal strife tears the social fabric at many places in the country and the world, the prestigious Lucknow University stands out as an oasis of religious concord and peaceful coexistence, with six shrines or structures dedicated to different faiths on and around its premises.
The nearly century-old university has two Shiv temples, a mosque near the dilapidated Lal Baradari, two ‘mazars’ (graves) and the grave of Sir Maharaj Singh—son of Maharaja Kapoorthala—who converted to Christianity. After his death, he was buried at a spot which is close to the present day geology department.
Girl students perform daily rituals at the Shiv temple inside the Kailash hostel. On Mahashivratri , they decorate these temples and worship Shiv. Syed Baba Ki Mazar (grave) is also on Kailash hostel premises, where an urs (festival) is held in June every year, according to Prof Nishi Pandey, former chief provost of LU hostels.
Another Shiv temple is located on the premises of Tilak hostel.
The mazar near the social work department is often decorated by social work department students on special occasions.
The mosque near Lal Baradari was still in use and many Muslim teachers and staff offered prayers on campus, said Arup Chakravarty, professor in history department.
The university of Sir Maharaj Singh was also maintained by the institute, proctor Vinod Singh said.
Singh said that Lucknow University was a living example of peaceful coexistence and secularism, a place where followers of different faiths could learn much from each other.
“We have places of worship for people of all religions. Very few educational institutions can boast of anything like this,” vice chancellor SP Singh told HT.