'Mandir Existed Before Current Structure': ASI Survey Report On Gyanvapi Mosque

'Mandir Existed Before Current Structure': ASI Survey Report On Gyanvapi Mosque

On January 16, the Supreme Court allowed an application by women Hindu petitioners seeking direction for cleaning the entire area of 'wazukhana' of the Gyanvapi mosque where the alleged 'Shivling' was found and ensuring that the space in question was in a 'hygienic' state

Abhishek SinghUpdated: Thursday, January 25, 2024, 10:00 PM IST
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Gyanvapi Mosque | File

Archaeological Survey of India's report suggests that a Hindu temple existed at the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi, advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side, claimed on Thursday.

While addressing a press conference, Jain said that the ASI survey points towards the presence of a large Hindu temple before Gyanvapi mosque was built.

“The ASI has said that the pillars and plasters used in the existing structure were studied systematically and scientifically for the enlargement of the mosque and constructing Sahan. Parts of preexisting temples, including pillars and plasters, were reused with little modifications. A minute study of pillars and plasters in corridors suggests that they were originally part of a preexisting Hindu temple for their reuse in the existing structure, Vyala figures carved on either side of the lotus medallion were mutilated and after removing the stone mass from the corners, that space was decorated with floral design. This observed patient is supported by two similar plasters still existing on the north and southern walls of the western chamber in their original place…," said Vishnu Shankar Jain.

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The Varanasi district court on Wednesday asked that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report be made public today and the hard copy be provided to both sides.

After the court's direction, advocate Hari Shankar Jain, the counsel for the Hindu side, claimed that "there is evidence to show that the mandir was demolished to make way for the construction of the mosque." 

Speaking to ANI on Wednesday, Advocate Jain said, "A lot of objections were raised to making the ASI report public. However, after hearing the arguments on both sides, the learned court ruled in favour of making the report available for both parties. The report will be made public and everyone will get to know what's in it."

Gyanvapi dispute

On January 16, the Supreme Court allowed an application by women Hindu petitioners seeking direction for cleaning the entire area of 'wazukhana' of the Gyanvapi mosque where the alleged 'Shivling' was found and ensuring that the space in question was in a 'hygienic' state.

The area of 'wazukhana' was sealed in 2022 following a Supreme Court order after discovering what was said to be a 'Shivling'.

The structure, which was claimed to be a 'Shivling' by the Hindu side and a 'fountain' by the Muslim side, was found in the mosque premises on May 16, 2022, during a court-mandated survey of the building located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

The 'Wazu' area is at the centre of the Gyanvapi mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple dispute in the case, with both sides staking claim to the structure discovered during the court-mandated survey.

(With inputs from agency)

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