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Current Affairs

Gyanvapi mosque

Date: 14 May 2022 Tags: Holy Places

Issue

A Varanasi Court has allowed resumption of video survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque, which is located adjacent to Kashi Vishwanath temple.

 

Background

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.

 

Details

  • 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.

 

Disputed sites

  • 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.