Was Lord Venkateshwara's second wife Bibi Nanchari really a Muslim?

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  • The actual Bibi Nachair is said to be a Muslim devotee in the Madhura Bhakti tradition of Cheluva Narayana of Melkote.
    – user1195
    Feb 6 '15 at 9:41
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    It is my understanding that Lord Venateswara's incarnation was thousands of years ago....The Muslim religion did not come to India until approximately 600 A.D.....the time periods don't match.... Feb 7 '15 at 4:49
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    @moonstar2001 There is also Thulukka Nachiyar, the Muslim princess who fell in love with Ranganatha, the deity of Sri Rangam. Feb 7 '15 at 7:59
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    @SwamiVishwananda The claim is not that Venkateshwara married a Muslim woman while he was moving about on the Earth originally. At that time he just married Padmavathi. Rather, the claim is that much later, a Muslim woman became devoted to Venkateshwara, so Venkateshwara appeared before her and married her. It's akin to how Vishnu is said to have married Andal, the female poet-saint. Feb 7 '15 at 8:06
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    @Annonymous The story is not saying that at the time of Venkateshwara, he married a Muslim princess. It's saying that long after the time of Venkateshwara, there was a Muslim princess who fell in love with Venkateshwara, so Venkateshwara appeared before her and married her. Sep 16 '15 at 14:46


Bibi Nanchari was really a Muslim. She is not a second wife of Venkateswara as per scripture, but she is a Madura bhakthi devotee of Venkateswara like Andal.

This question requires historical references rather than scriptural references. There are several variants of a same story regarding Bibi Nachiar.

One of the story is mentioned in the book 108 Vaishnavite Divya Desams Vol 2 published by TTD under the category of Temple Literature . The story is as follows

History records that between the 12th and the 16th centuries, Muslims raided the Hindu temples in South India, very many times. Srirangam temple was also one of such temples ravaged by successive Muslim invaders. Many of the acharyas, the sages, the seers and the common people had to make a lot of sacrifices in order to protect the ‘utsava murthi’, the processional idol, endearingly called Namperumal. The 'koil olugu’ recognises clearly two Mohammedan invasions of Sri-rangam. On each occasion, the utsavar viz.Azhagia Manavalan was removed from the temple for safe keeping. It is believed that during the first sack of the temple, a Nawab at Delhi invaded Thondai Mandalam and Chola Mandalam. The marauders entered Srirangam temple through the northern gateway of the third enclosure. There is an interesting story regarding the removal and the restoration of the utsava vigraham. It is said that a woman of Karambanur (near Srirangam) had the habit of taking her meals only after worshipping the God at Srirangam. When the idol was removed by the Mohamedans, she is reported to have followed the army upto Delhi and entered the Sultan’s palace in disguise. There she found, that the daughter of the Sultan had taken a fancy for the idol of Lord Ranganatha and was keeping it all the time by her side.The woman returned to Srirangam,informed the people of the place (“stalattars”) of the incident and earned for herself the name of “Pin senra Valli” i.e. the person who dutifully followed the God. The ’stalattars’ therefore decided to bury the image of Sriranga Nachiar in the Temple beneath a ’bilva’ tree near Her shrine. They closed the shrines in the temple and went to Delhi as suggested by Pin Senra Valli. They pleased the Sultan with their songs and dances and got in return the idol which they desired from the Sultan. But the Sultan did not bargain for the reaction of his own daughter who had by then developed a great love for the image. Unable to be separated from the idol, the daughter of the Sultan, a Muslim lady, made her father permit her to follow the idol. In the meantime, the temple servants who got the idol from the Badshah dispersed, so as to confuse the army which mayfollow them. Three of them belonging to the Kodavar community, an uncle, the brother-in-law and a nephew were entrusted with the sacred idol. They went to Thiruvengadam hill and hid themselves with the idol in a lonely cave in the midst of the thick jungles. The Mohamedan party accompanied by the Sultani thus missed them. They reached Srirangam. But the idol had not reached Srirangam. Unable to bear the pangs of separation from her favourite idol, the Sultani is said to have died in Srirangam. This devotee of Lord Ranganatha, though belonging to a different faith, is duly honored even to- day. Her shrineis to be seen in the northwestern corner of Arjuna mantapam. Even today, her association with Namperumal is celebrated and someof the strange customs followed in the temple bear a distinct stamp of the pratice of the Muslims. She is worshipped as Bibi Nachiar. The image of the princess is painted on the wall and the daily offering at this shrine is wheat bread!

  • Good information. Up voted. Jul 13 '20 at 11:08
  • :) .................................
    – hanugm
    Jul 13 '20 at 11:33

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