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Mahabeer Temple, Afghanistan

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Mahabeer Temple, Afghanistan

In the busy streets of Shor Bazar in the city of Kabul in Afghanistan lies an old neglected structure of what is known as the Mahabeer Temple. Since the spread of hardline islamic movement, most of the non islamic places of worships have been destroyed. The idols were either taken away by the locals who moved away from the place to migrate to other states or the idols which could not be carried away were either destroyed, parts broken or even sold off to the collectors of antiquities.

Now there lies only a vacant, dilapidated building of what it was once known as the Mahabeer Temple. It could not be ascertained whether the temple belonged to Lord Mahavir, the 24th Jain Tirthankar or to Lord Hanuman. Most of the temples of Lord Hanuman are known as Hanuman Temple and very rarely as Mahabeer or Mahavir Temple. There also exist one temple called the Mangalwar Temple which could be attributed to Lord Hanuman, so there remains a strong possibility that this could be a Jain temple with the principal idol of Lord Mahaveer. It is a historic fact that the last crowned king to give up his kingdom and take Muni deeksha was Chandragupt Maurya whose territories extended from the corner of India to Afghanistan. At that time Afghanistan was a part of India (Bharat Varsh) and so there is nothing strange if Jainism like other religions spread over there too. He became a disciple of Acharya Bhadrabahu and crowned his son Bindusaar as his heir. Bindusaar was also a Jain follower and it is believed that he constructed several temples and this could be one of them or even constructed after him since the Jainism was already spread in the area.

It is not known who was the principal diety of this temple but either way it was a Jain temple which is now totally destroyed.