Indian Temple which Deserves Much More than Leaning Tower of Pisa, One of the Seven Wonders


Dr Rajesh Jauhri,
Senior Journalist, Thinker, Writer, Orator, Social Scientist 

In the annals of architectural marvels, the Leaning Tower of Pisa stands tall, quite literally, as a symbol of European engineering prowess and historical significance. It is 57 meters tall and leans around 4 degrees. However, overshadowed by its fame lies a better architectural marvel and remarkable structure, the Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple in Varanasi of Bharat. Despite its towering height of 74 meters and a lean of 9 degrees, surpassing Pisa's tower in both size and tilt, this majestic temple remains largely unrecognized on the global stage. Pisa’s tower proudly finds itself amongst the seven wonders while on the other side, Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple doesn’t find its mention even in the History and Geography books of Bharat. This article is not written to blame any foreign body or organization for this but to show the real face of the historians that were at the centre stage from the era of Muslim invaders to British colonial rule and then during Post Independence era for about 55 years.

If the world knows about it now, I won’t give credit to any historian or any scholar of the present day but to the mighty Social Media as when pictures and videos of this temple were posted, circulated and forwarded on various social media platforms, people from North to South and West to East came to know about it. This Temple boasts a rich history that predates many renowned structures worldwide. While the Leaning Tower of Pisa dates back to the 13th century, the origins of the Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple trace back even further, reflecting the timeless heritage of Indian architecture.

Despite its grandeur, architecture and historical significance, Ratneshwar Mahadev has been overlooked, both globally and within India itself. This oversight can be attributed to various factors, including the dominance of foreign narratives in shaping historical discourse and the negligence of indigenous heritage. Throughout history, India has witnessed successive waves of invaders, each leaving their mark on the land and its cultural heritage. From Muslim conquests to British colonialism, external forces, overshadowing indigenous achievements such as this one, have often controlled the narrative of Indian history.

Furthermore, the interpretation of history by so-called eminent scholars like Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib, often labeled as leftist historians, has further marginalized the recognition of India's architectural treasures. Their focus on certain periods and perspectives has resulted in the neglect of vast segments of Indian history, including its architectural splendors of Vijaynagar Empire and grand temples spread throughout the Indian sub-continent.

Lack of recognition for Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple is an example of the broader issue concerning the underrepresentation of India's architectural and cultural heritage and unmatchable indigenous knowledge tradition on the world stage. Despite being home to numerous architectural jewels which are far ahead in every aspect, surpass famous structures in other parts of the world, India's contributions to this field has been grossly overlooked and downplayed.

Today, our country needs to rectify this and I believe that we must not leave everything to the government for this. We will have to apply concerted efforts to raise awareness about our rich architectural heritage and ensure that they get the right place in the annals of world History and Geography. We must not only celebrate iconic structures like Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple but also shed light on all lesser-known gems and architectural marvels scattered across the length and breadth of the country. We must not only work for garnering international recognition but we must foster a sense of pride and appreciation for our architectural legacy amongst our own people also.

Concluding it, I can only say that Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple stands as a testament to India's rich architectural heritage, surpassing the Leaning Tower of Pisa in terms of Angle of Leaning, Height, Size and Historical Significance.