Revealed: The Truth Behind Kashi Vishwanath Temple’s Encroachment
The ongoing dispute between Hindu and Muslim petitioners over the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Benaras is similar to the Ayodhya case. Facts however show the presence of a temple before it was demolished by Mughal invaders
As the landmark judgement on the Ayodhya Ram Temple matter finally ruled in favour of building a Hindu shrine after a long-lasting legal and political battle, the Kashi Vishwanath temple dispute is next in line.
The argument is over the construction of the Gyan Vapi Mosque on the original site of the Lord Shiva temple. A historical document issued in 1669 during the regime of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, presented by the Hindu side during a court hearing, clearly states that the king had asked for the demolition of all idol worship and Hindu teachings during his time, including the iconic place of worship.
One of the biggest centres of faith for Hindus, the temple was first invaded by Qutbuddin Aibak in the 11th century, though people continued to worship the Shiva Linga (sacred stone) even after the damage. After a temple was built by a Hindu king in 1585, Aurangzeb had it fully razed and replaced with a mosque in 1669. The temple was finally rebuilt by a queen in 1780 near the Gyan Vapi complex. The Hindu side till date is demanding for the Gyan Vapi complex to be reviewed by the Archaeological Survey of India.
While the Hindu petitioners have asked for a temple to be built in the site that originally belonged to Shiva, the Muslim representatives are fighting against this claim. Though the ongoing trial commenced in 1991, the legal dispute goes back to 1936, when the Muslim petitioner asked for the entire Gyan Vapi complex to be considered a mosque. While this was denied, the Namaz was allowed in the complex.
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