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Did Maha CM Offer Saffron ‘Chadar’ at a Mosque? Here's the Full Context

The shrine is visited by people from the Hindu and Muslim community.

4 min read
Did Maha CM Offer Saffron ‘Chadar’ at a Mosque? Here's the Full Context
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A video showing Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde performing a prayer at a place of worship is going viral on social media with a claim that he offered a saffron-coloured 'chadar' at a mosque.

The claim states that Shinde went a step ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi by offering saffron 'chadar' instead of a green one.

An archive can be seen here

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

(Archives of similar claims can be seen here and here.)

What's the truth?: The video is from inside a shrine, which is at the Malang Gad Fort in the Thane district of Maharashtra and Shinde went there to offer prayers on 5 February.

  • People from both Hindu and Muslim communities have been frequenting it for decades. While Muslims refer to the structure as Haji Maland Dargah, Hindus call it Machhindranath Temple.

  • The shrine has been a disputed issue after late Shiv Sena leader Anant Dighe claimed that the shrine was not a dargah but a temple in 1986.

  • The claim is misleading as this is not the first time that a saffron chadar was offered at the shrine. We found several videos that show people offering a saffron chadar at the shrine.


How did we find out the truth?: We performed a reverse image search on some of the keyframes of the video and that led us to a tweet shared by Shinde on 5 February.

  • The tweet carried four photos of Shinde and it mentioned "Machhindranath Temple" as the location.

  • It stated that Shinde visited the temple on the occasion of Malang Gad Yatra.

Shinde visited this temple in Kalyan on 5 February 2023.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

Reports about Shinde's visit: Outlook, The Print and Marathi language daily, Lokstatta, reported about Shinde's visit to this place of worship in Thane.

  • We also came across a report by news agency, Press Trust of India, published on 5 February.

  • It stated that a fair was also organised on the occasion of Magh Poornima at the Malang Gad Fort near Kalyan in Thane district, where Shinde performed 'maha aarti'.

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>Shinde performed 'maha aarti' inside the temple.&nbsp;</p></div>

    Shinde performed 'maha aarti' inside the temple.&nbsp;

    (Source: Altered by The Quint)

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>Shinde visited the temple for the first time after becoming the CM of Maharashtra.</p></div>

    Shinde visited the temple for the first time after becoming the CM of Maharashtra.

    (Source: Altered by The Quint)

Is the shrine a temple?: According to the information from state and central government websites, the shrine is dedicated to Baba Malang, a sufi saint who came to India in the 12th century AD.

  • "Haji Malang, in true syncretic tradition, was one of the few dargahs where a Hindu vahivatdar (traditional priest from the Hindu Karandekar family) and a Muslim mutavalli (claiming to be distant kin of the saint), had both been officiating at religious rituals," reads the description of the dargah on Maharashtra government website.

  • We found a report in Sabrang, published in 1999, that said that Shiv Sena leader from Thane and Shinde's political mentor Anant Dighe had stirred up a controversy and claimed that it was actually the site of a 700-year-old Machhindranath temple.

  • Dighe took the then CM of the state Manohar Joshi and thousands of Shiv Sainiks to offer aarti on the occasion of Magh Purnima on 3 February 1996.

  • The article further added that Dighe and his supporters also visited the shrine every year on the occasion of Eid.

What about the legal status?: A 1954 judgement by the Supreme Court refers to the shrine as a dargah.

  • The judgment also noted that people from all faiths offered their prayers at the dargah.


What do locals say?: We spoke with a local from the area, who also dismissed the claim.

  • "The dargah is visited by both Hindu and Muslim people. People from the Hindu community refer to it as a temple and offer aarti and a saffron chadar, while those from the Muslim community offer a green chadar," the local said.

  • We found several videos and photos that show people offering saffron chadar at the shrine and conducting arti.

  • We also found videos of people offering green chadar at the shrine.

Conclusion: Therefore, it is misleading to claim that Shinde offered a saffron 'chadar' for the first time. The shrine is being visited by both Hindus and Muslims for decades.

(Editor's Note: An earlier version of the story incorrectly referred to the shrine as a temple. However, we found that the people from both communities visit it and offer prayers according to their religion. The error is regretted.)

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Topics:  Temple   Fact Check   Webqoof 

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