GYANVAPI MOSQUE (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 - Indian Art & Heritage)

News-CRUX-10     25th July 2023        

Context: A local court directed the ASI to conduct a scientific investigation of the Gyanvapi complex, adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple, to determine whether it was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple. 

  • But the survey will not cover the “wuzukhana (ablution pond)” area of the complex, which has been sealed following a Supreme Court order in May 2022.
  • The Supreme Court has refused to put a stay on the videographic survey of the Maa Shringar Gauri Sthal at the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex, ordered by a Varanasi civil court.

Gyanvapi Mosque

  • The Gyanvapi Mosque is located in Banaras, Uttar Pradesh, India.
  • It is a popular belief that the Gyanvapi Mosque was built in 1669 by the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb by demolishing the ancient Vishweshwar temple.
  • In Saqib Khan’s book ‘Yasir Alamgiri’, it is also mentioned that Aurangzeb had demolished the temple in 1669 by ordering Governor Abul Hassan.
  • Then about a century later, Ahilya Holkar, the queen of Indore built a new Kashi Vishwanath temple next to the mosque in 1780.
  • It is considered the most significant shrine of Lord Shiva by many. 
  • It is one of the more prominent of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva, Vishveshvara or Vishvanath, that is also mentioned in the Skanda Purana.
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