Correcting Bharadwaj (aka True Indology) on the “temple gate” of Kandahar city

The famous Indian tweep Bharadwaj (aka True Indology) has shared a British map of Kandahar city dated to 1880, in which one of the four gates of the city is named “temple gate”. He assumes that it is temple of Shiva and states that it is “a testament to the durability and continuity of Hindu civilization”.  1

“How did the traces of temple continue to exist until 1880? It is possible that there was still some Hindu presence in Kandahar city which rebuilt the temple. But for the temple to exist in the same place or remain in public memory until 1880 is indeed amazing. This is the biggest testament to the durability and continuity of Hindu civilization that they were able to conserve the memory of a temple for almost a thousand years in a Sharia dominant place like Kandahar”. 1

True indology

However, this is a hasty conclusion by True Indology. The word temple in that map is not reference to a Hindu mandir. Some British used to loosely use the term temple and also used it for mausoleums and mosques of Muslims. For example, artist James Rattray (1818-1854) refers to the mausoleum of Ahmad Shah Abdali as a temple. “Temple of ‘Ahmed Shauh’, King of Afghanistan”. 2

The proper name of that gate of Kandahar city was “Idgah” gate. Idgah means the mosque or site where Eid prayers are offered. You can see a mosque marked in the map he has shared, in adjacence to the so called “temple gate”.

The four principal gates of the Kandahar city in 1880 were ‘Kabul’, ‘Shikarpur, ‘Herat’ and ‘Idgah’. The two minor gates were ‘Top Khana’ and ‘Bar-Durrani.

True Indology correction
history of kandahar
Eidgah gate, Kandahar city, 1880. Photo by Benjamin Simpson.

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