- Babri Masjid, also called the Mosque of Babur or Baburi Mosque, formerly Masjid-i Janmasthan, was a mosque in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.
- According to inscriptions on the site, it was built in the year 935 of the Islamic calendar (1528–1529 CE) by Mir Baqi, possibly an official serving under the Mughal emperor Babur.
- Along with the mosques at Sambhal and Panipat, it was one of three mosques said to have been constructed in the 16th century upon Babur’s orders.
- It was destroyed in 1992 amid decades of tensions over the site between Muslims and Hindus.
- The mosque was constructed in a style developed under the Lodi dynasty that preceded the Mughals: a single aisle arrangement of three domed bays along the wall of the qiblah (the direction of the sacred shrine of the Kaʿbah in Mecca).
The Babri Masjid dispute
- The location of the mosque has been a source of contention between Muslims and Hindus.
- The Hindus believe that the masjid was built on top of Ram Janmabhoomi, the site they believe to be the birthplace of the Hindu deity Rama.
- There are also claims that a temple dedicated to Lord Ram existed at that site before the construction of the masjid.
- The first recorded instance of conflict over the site between the religious communities was in 1853.
- In 1855, a boundary wall was constructed to avoid further disputes.
- The idols of Ram Lalla were placed “surreptitiously” under the central dome of the Babri Masjid in 1949.
- In the ensuing controversy, the site was closed off to both communities, but the images were not removed.
- The Masjid was demolished in December, 1993, by a group of Hindu kar sevaks (volunteers).
- Following a series of litigations, in 2019 the Supreme Court entrusted the site exclusively to Hindus.
Why in News?
Foundation stone was laid for construction of a Ram temple at the Ram Janmabhoomi site on August 5, 2020.
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