SRI HANUMAN BADI (OLD), ALIGANJ, LUCKNOW, UTTAR PRADESH....

TWIN TEMPLES FOR HANUMAN IN ALIGANJ OF LUCKNOW
OLD HANUMAN MANDIR


[late] pandit sri d r tripati, delhi and sri sivananth, lucknow


Lucknow

Lucknow, capital of India's most populous state Uttar Pradesh. The city spread on both sides of the river Gomti, a tributary of the Ganga. The old lifestyle is well known for the elegance, hospitality and rich culture, but that evocative lifestyle is long gone by. Only its what's left is still found in the people's mannerisms and habits. Lucknow was abode of the Nawabs of Avadh, and their regal pastimes and pleasures were legendary. They refined their formal speech, were fond of song and dance, and nurtured Urdu verse as well as the Kathak school of courtly dances.

Their monuments excelled in the use of arches, pavilions and domes. Lucknow is also associated with its legendary hospitality, leisurely moods of life, fabled edifices steeped in history. Tremors of time have not effaced Lucknow of its cultural heritage and traditions, which once contributed in creating the city incomparable in its times.

Lucknow the Lakshmanpuri Hanuman Badi [old], Aliganj, Lucknow

Long before the Nawabs of Avadh, the city was known by the name Lakshmanpuri, the name it derived from Lakshman brother of Lord Sri Rama of Ayodhya.

This great city has a brilliant small temple built by the Nawabs for Lord Hanuman. Even today here people from both faith come to offer their prayer. This temple is situated in Aliganj in the out skirts of the city. In fact there are two temples for Hanuman in Aliganj, both attracting many devotees especially for the Bada Mangal.

LEGEND

Sri Ram Sevaks' ordeal.

It was a painful decision for Lord Ram to take. A decision that the Lord Ram had taken because of one single citizen had expressed doubt. But as per the rajdharma followed by the Lord Ram it was decided to send Mata Sita to forest. Sri Ram calls his brother Sri Laxmana and also Sri Hanumanji and tells them about his decision. He places the ordeal of leaving Sita mata in the forest to these two. Both of them felt as if the heaven had fallen, but their faith on the Lord Rama was so that they could not disobey the wishes of their Lord.

Sri Sita Mata and Lord Hanuman

Sri Lakshman and Sri Hanuman escorted Sita mata to the forest. All the three left the capital city of Ayodhya started moving towards the forest. Rishi Madvya was having his ashram on the banks of the river Gomti. There were lots of ponds with lotus flowering in them near by the ashram, making the atmosphere even more serine. When all these three were near the Rishi Madvya's ashram, the sun was about to set. Sri Lakshman was of the opinion that they could stay in the ashram for the night and proceed further the next day. But Sita mata wished it the other way.

As per the tradition it was felt that crossing a river means that the territory had been crossed. Therefore Sita mata wished that they crossed the nearby river Gomti, there by they will be fulfilling the wishes of Lord Rama of having left the territory of Ayodhya. It was then decided that Lakshman would perform his evening ritual in the ashram and join Sri Hanuman and Sita mata on the other side of the Gomti. Sri Hanuman had escorted Sita mata safely to the other bank of the river Gomti. Sita mata was requested by Sri Hanuman to be comfortable and Sri Hanuman stayed awake protecting Sita mataji. Sri Lakshman could not make it to the other side of the river Gomti and had to stay back on the Ayodhya side of the river for the night. Therefore Sri Hanuman had to stay awake throughout the night protecting Sita mata on the banks of river Gomti.

Hanuman Badi

The place where Sita mata had rested for the night on the banks of river Gomti under the protection of Sri Hanuman had got the recognition and was known by the name Hanuman Badi. Time to come the bhakthas of Lord Hanuman built a small temple on the spot for the Lord. This is the popular Old Hanuman temple of present Aliganj. During the fourteenth century this place 'Hanuman badi' was renamed as 'Islam Badi', by the then rulers.

During the reign of the Nawabs the administration of the Old Hanuman temple was taken over the rulers. During this time this temple had built a relation with the Badi Chawni of Ayodhya. Begam Aliya who is married to chatrakuwar family was a strong follower and devotee of the Lord Hanuman of this temple. She uses to visit the temple very regularly and was instrumental in the renovation of the temple during that time. She had a big tank built when the temple was renovated.

Grace of Hanuman of this Badi

During the year 1783 a Marwari trader had come with lot of kesar and kasturi to Lakshmanpuri for trading. He visited many places in and around Lakshmanpuri, to sell his commodities. Normally the kesar and kasturi are used in puja, therefore he also visited many places of worship to sell his goods. After two-three long days of trail he could not sell any of his material. He was tired and also astonished that such materials could not be sold in such a wealthy place like Lakshmanpuri. It was nearing the sunset and the trader had a wash and visited the nearby temple.

He had a peaceful dharshan of Hanuman and offered his prayers to Him. The trader pleaded with the Lord to do some thing so that he will be able to sell his goods and go back to meet his family in Marwar. He retired to the near by dharmsala for the night. The pleasant winds started blowing and the fragrance of the kesar and kasturi stored by him in dharmsala traveled along the mild wind for long distance. Nawab Wajid Ali Shah and his Begam were on their evening stroll, found the fragrance of the kasturi is irresistible. Immediately the deputy was summoned and asked to find out from where the fragrance is coming. It was traced to the Marwari trader who was resting in the dharmasala. He was produced before the Nawab and Begam. The Begam had bought all the kesar and kasturi the trader had for a good price.

The trader was so happy about the transaction and he was so grateful to the Lord for ending his woe so quickly. He again went to the Lord and offered his prayers. Later he had donated many things to the temple. Should we have to say that Lord is none other then Lord Hanuman and the temple is Old Hanuman temple of Aliganj?

The crescent and star seen on the temple tower is documented to have been installed after the 'punar uddharan' of the temple done during the time of the Begam. Begam Aliya was so devoted to the Lord Hanuman that her son Sahadad Ali Khan was named as Mangulu.


The temple is small and the Hanuman murthi is small, but it is seen to be believed that how Sri Hanumanji of Hanuman Badi the protector and rakshak, protects the devotees from any all evils hovering around them.


[ed 29.01.03]