Lucknow: The Mankameshwar Temple, one of the oldest temples of Lord Shiva, has set an example of unity and brotherhood by hosting iftar for as many as 500 Muslims on Sunday in Lucknow. Noted clerics from both Shia and Sunni sects attended the event at the same time.
The Mankameshwar Temple, which is situated on the banks of Gomti River near Daliganj Bridge, became the first temple ever to have hosted an iftar in Lucknow. Devotees also offered namaz at the ‘aarti sthal’.
Speaking to News18, Mahant Devyagiri, the first woman chief priest of the temple said, “All religions promote love and brotherhood. Sometimes, Muslims also host 'Kanya Pujan' and put up 'Bada Mangal' stalls here.
“Religious heads like priests, mahants and imams should do their job and spread brotherhood and harmony. Serving people who fast from morning to evening is the noblest job to do.
“Three of our cooks along with workers of the temple started preparations for the Iftar since morning for more than 500 people who were expected to come to this first of its kind Iftar. The gathering was historic and it was a step to reinstate the city's harmonious traditions,” added the mahant.
The Mankameshwar Temple is said to be almost 1,000 years old and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Apart from its ancient significance, the temple is popular among locals for having the first woman mahant or chief priest, Arunima Singh, who was later christened as Mahant Devyagiri.
Maulana Fazl-E-Mannan of Teele Wali Masjid, who was also present at the event said, "Mahant Divyagiri invited me to the Iftar and we are lucky to be a part of such an event. This step is more than welcome, as it will boost communal harmony in today’s times."