BHOJSHALA COMPLEX (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Art & culture)

News-CRUX-10     12th March 2024        

Context: The Madhya Pradesh High Court here on Monday directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to carry out a scientific survey of the medieval-era Bhojshala complex in Dhar district.

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

  • About: It is the premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation. 
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Culture
  • Founded in: 1861
  • Father of Indian Archaeology: Alexander Cunningham
  • Function: The organization is responsible for the management and preservation of over 3650 ancient monuments, archaeological sites, and national heritage.
  • Heritage Preservation: Engaging in a range of activities, the organization conducts surveys of antiquarian remains, explores archaeological sites, and undertakes excavation projects. 

Bhojshala complex:

  • About: Bhojshala is an ASI-protected monument believed by Hindus to be a temple of Goddess Vagdevi, while the Muslim community regards it as Kamal Maula Mosque.
  • Religious Practices: Hindus are permitted to worship inside the Bhojshala complex every Tuesday, whereas Muslims are allowed to offer namaz at the site every Friday, as per an ASI order from April 7, 2003.
  • Historical Transformation: Raja Bhoj, the paramount ruler of the Parmar dynasty, initially built a college at Dhar, which later became known as Bhojshala, attracting students from distant places for education.
  • Conversion of the Temple: The remnants of the Bhojshala or Saraswati temple were eventually repurposed into a mosque by a Muslim ruler, who renamed it Kamal Maulana Mosque, marking a significant historical transformation.