Defined: What’s the hyperlink between Hyderabad and ‘Bhagyanagar’, and the temple to goddess Bhagyalakshmi within the metropolis?


Information company ANI on Sunday (July 3) quoted senior BJP chief Ravi Shankar Prasad as saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mentioned on the social gathering’s nationwide government that “Hyderabad is Bhagyanagar, which is a significance for all of us”. The BJP’s nationwide basic secretary (Organisation) B L Santhosh tweeted that Modi had talked about that “Sardar (Vallabhbhai Patel) gave us ‘Ek Bharath’ right here in Bhagyanagar”.

The statements attributed to the Prime Minister have restarted conversations round an outdated BJP demand for renaming Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar.

In December 2020, Union Residence Minister Amit Shah, whereas on a go to to Hyderabad forward of municipal elections within the metropolis, had visited the Bhagyalakshmi temple which, in line with some BJP leaders, derives its identify from Bhagyanagar, as Hyderabad was initially identified.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who too was campaigning in Hyderabad, pitched for renaming the town, saying, “Some folks have been asking me if Hyderabad might be renamed as Bhagyanagar. I mentioned — why not?”

The place is the Bhagyalakshmi temple?

The temple in query is a small shrine devoted to Goddess Lakshmi, adjoining to the southeast minar of the enduring Charminar, the late nineteenth century monument positioned within the coronary heart of the Previous Metropolis of Hyderabad.

The southeast minar constitutes the again wall of the temple, which is product of bamboo poles and tarpaulin, and has a tin roof.

How outdated is that this temple?

There isn’t a definitive historical past of how and when the temple got here up, however it has been there since not less than the Nineteen Sixties, when the present idol of the goddess is claimed to have been put in. The development of the Charminar was begun in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, apparently to commemorate the tip of the plague in his dominions — and in line with Secunderabad MP G Kishan Reddy, the temple predates the monument.

Sources within the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which is tasked with defending the Charminar, had instructed The Indian Specific earlier that the temple encroaches on the protecting perimeter of the monument.

In accordance with ASI officers, a small guard pillar erected to guard the monument from automobiles negotiating the roundabout on which it stands, was discovered painted saffron a while within the Nineteen Sixties, and a few folks had began performing aarti there. After a state highway transport bus by accident hit the guard pillar and broken it, a small construction product of bamboo was constructed in a single day, and the idol of the goddess was positioned below it.

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“After that incident, the shrine began increasing by a foot or two throughout each pageant till the Excessive Court docket directed police to cease any enlargement in 2013,” Congress chief Mohammed Shabbir Ali, who’s a former Chief of Opposition within the Telangana Vidhan Parishad, had instructed The Indian Specific in 2020.

Who visits the temple now?

A lot of Hindu merchants and businessmen who’ve outlets in Charminar space go to the temple every day. Throughout festivals, particularly Diwali, the temple attracts many devotees and sees lengthy queues.

Devotees affiliate the identify with their perception that praying to the goddess within the temple will carry them good luck and fortune.

Alternatively, Hindu political organisations affiliate the identify of the goddess with Bhagyanagar, and declare that Hyderabad was earlier generally known as Bhagyanagar, however its identify was modified to Hyderabad by the Qutbshahi rulers after they moved their capital right here from Golconda.

When did the temple turn out to be a web site of political contestation?

The outdated metropolis of Hyderabad is communally delicate, and the temple has been on the centre of communal tensions and violence since not less than the Nineteen Seventies.

In November 1979, after extremists searching for to overthrow the Home of Saudi in Saudi Arabia seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), the Hyderabad-based social gathering that’s now led by MP Asaduddin Owaisi, referred to as for a bandh within the Previous Metropolis of Hyderabad.

As Diwali was approaching, many Hindu shopkeepers requested the MIM to permit them to maintain their outlets open. This resulted in clashes, and the Bhagyalakshmi temple was attacked and desecrated.

A number of years later, in September 1983, banners put up on the temple on the event of the Ganesh pageant brought on tensions after it was reported that the temple had expanded. Each the temple and the Allwyn mosque within the metropolis have been attacked by mobs.

In November 2012, clashes broke out after stories that the temple administration was increasing it by changing the bamboo construction with sheets. The Andhra Pradesh Excessive Court docket had stepped in to halt all building exercise on the web site.

Since when has the BJP sought to affiliate itself with the temple and the calls for to rename Hyderabad after it?

A connection was sought to be established between the temple and the so-called Bhagyanagar particularly across the time of the elections to the Better Hyderabad Municipal Company in 2020, when a number of BJP leaders visited the temple. Among the many guests was Amit Shah who, nevertheless, mentioned he had gone solely to hunt the blessings of the goddess, and had denied that it was supposed to make an announcement.

Nevertheless, following a political controversy concerning the distribution of flood aid round that point, the BJP’s Telangana chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar had dared leaders of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to take an oath of fact earlier than the goddess Bhagyalakshmi, and had subsequently visited the temple himself to swear to his aspect of the story with the goddess as witness.

Thereafter, ‘Bhagyanagar’ has come up in political discussions once in a while, and has acquired huge protection in the course of the BJP’s nationwide government in Hyderabad.



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