Robert Montgomery Martin

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Temples in Madurai, illustration from vol. 3 of Martin's The Indian Empire vol. 3.

Robert Montgomery Martin (c. 1801 – 6 September 1868), commonly referred to as "Montgomery Martin", was an Anglo-Irish author and civil servant. He served as Colonial Treasurer of Hong Kong from 1844 to 1845. He was a founding member of the Statistical Society of London (1834), the Colonial Society (1837), and the East India Association (1867).

Quotes[edit]

  • The bigot by whom the temples were destroyed, is said to have erected mosques on the situations of the most remarkable temples; but the mosque at Ayodhya... is ascertained by an inscription on its walls... to have been built by Babur (...) The only thing except these two figures and the bricks, that could with probability be traced to the ancient city, are some pillars in the mosque built by Babur, These are of black stone, and of an order which I have seen nowhere else, and which will be understood from the accompanying drawing. That they have been taken from a Hindu building, is evident, from the traces of images being observable on some of their bases; although the images have been cut off to satisfy the conscience of the bigot.
    • Montgomery, Martin, The history, antiquities, topography, and statistics of eastern India 1838, [1] Quoted from Narain, Harsh (1993). The Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute: Focus on Muslim sources. Delhi: Penman Publishers. [2], and in Jain, M. (2017). The battle of Rama: Case of the temple at Ayodhya. ch 3
  • Unfortunately, if these temples ever existed, not the smallest trace of them remains to enable us to judge of the period when they were built; and the destruction is very generally attributed' by the Hindus to the furious zeal of Aurungzebe, to whom also is imputed the overthrow of the temples in Bena- res and Mathura. What may have been the case in the two latter, I shall not now take upon myself to say, but with respect to Ayodhya the tradition seems very ill founded. The bigot by whom the temples were destroyed, is said to have erected mosques on the situations of the most remarkable temples; but the mosque at Ayodhya, which is by far the most entire, and which has every appearance of being the most modern, is as- certained by an inscription on its walls (of which a copy is given) to have been built by Babur, five generations before Aurungzebe.
  • This renders the whole story of Vikrama exceedingly doubtful, especially as what are said to be the ruins of his fort, do not in any essential degree differ from those said to have belonged to the ancient city, that is, consist en- tirely of irregular heaps of broken bricks, covered with soil, and remarkably productive of tobacco ; and, from its name, Ramgar, I am inclined to suppose that it was a part of the building actually erected by Rama.
  • The only thing except these two figures and the bricks, that could with probability be traced to the ancient city, are some pillars in the mosque built by Babur, These are of black stone, and of an order which I have seen nowhere else, and which will be understood from the accompanying drawing. That they have been taken from a Hindu build- ing, is evident, from the traces of ima- ges being observable on some of their bases; although the images have been cut off to satisfy the conscience of the bigot. It is possible that these pillars have belonged to a temple built by Vikrama; but I think the existence of such temples doubtful ; and, if they did not exist, it is proba- ble that the pillars were taken from the ruins of the palace.
    • The history, antiquities, topography, and statistics of eastern India 1838, [3] Also quoted in quoted in Goel, S.R. Hindu Temples – What Happened to Them, Volume I (1990) 2nd edition

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