Gyanvapi mosqueDate: 14 May 2022 Tags: Holy Places
A Varanasi Court has allowed resumption of video survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque, which is located adjacent to Kashi Vishwanath temple.
The court was deciding on a petition filed by five women who had requested permission to pray at a shrine behind the western wall of the mosque complex.
The Gyanvapi mosque is assumed to have been built in 1669 during the reign of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The name was derived from adjoining Well of Knowledge.
The emperor had ordered demolition of the existing Vishweshwar temple and the mosque was constructed on its ruins.
Construction of mosque
The temple’s plinth was not touched and it served as the courtyard of the mosque. One of the walls was made the qibla wall, which faces Mecca.
Materials from the destroyed temple were used to build the mosque. The Nandi bull in present temple premises still faces the sanctum sanctorum of destroyed temple.
The Vishwananth temple
The present temple was built in 18th century by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore, just outside the perimeter of the mosque.
There is a belief that original Shiv Lingam was hidden in the well before the temple was destroyed. This has rekindled the demand for conducting pooja inside mosque premises.
The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 ensures maintenance of status quo of all disputed worship sites as it was on August 15, 1947.
The law had exempted the Ayodhya disputed site but applies to Gyanvapi mosque and Shahi Eidgah of Mathura.