Shri Rama, considered an manifestation of god Vishnu, is a widely worshiped Hindu deity. According to the ancient Indian epic, Ramayana, the lord Rama was born in Ayodhya on January 10 at 12.05 hours, 5114 BC according to scientific calculation, this became and known as Ram Janmabhoomi or Ram’s birthplace. In the 15th century, the Mughals emperor invade Ayodhya and constructed a mosque, the Babri Masjid, on Ram Janmabhoomi. Hindus always believed that the mosque was built after razing a Hindu temple and ultimately proved in Indian court as well as archeological survey of the place.
In 1611, an English explorer William Finch visited Ayodhya and recorded the “ruins of the Ranichand (Ram Chandra) castle and houses”. In their he made no mention of a mosque. In 1634, again Thomas Herbert described a “pretty old castle of Ranichand (Rama Chandra)” which he described as an antique monument that was “especially memorable”.
In 1717, the Moghul Rajput ruler Jai Singh II purchased land surrounding the site and his documents show the place as a mosque.The Jesuit missionary Joseph Tiefenthaler, who visited the site between 1766-1771, wrote that either Aurangazeb or Babur had demolished the Ramkot (place of Rama) fortress, including the house that was considered as the birthplace of Rama by Hindus. He further stated that a mosque was constructed in its place, but the Hindus continued to offer prayers at a mud platform that marked the birthplace of Rama. In 1810, Francis Buchanan visited the site, and stated that the structure destroyed was a temple devoted to Rama, not a house. Many succeeding sources state that the mosque was constructed after demolishing a temple.
History of Ram Janmabhoomi Movement
Building Ram temple in Ayodhya was not a easy task it has a long struggle which started in 1850. In 1853, a group of armed Hindu ascetics belonging to the Nirmohi Akhara taken the Babri Masjid site, and claimed ownership of the structure. Subsequently, in 1855 the civil administration stepped in, and separated the mosque premises into two parts: one for Hindus, and the other for Muslims.
In 1883, the Hindus launched an attempt to construct a temple on the “Ram janma sthanam” platform. But the administration denied them the permission to do this; hence they took the matter to court. In 1885, the Hindu Sub Judge Pandit Hari Kishan Singh dismissed the lawsuit. Subsequently, the higher courts also dismissed the lawsuit in 1886, in favor of status quo. In December 1949, some Hindus placed idols of Rama and Sita in the mosqu. As thousands of Hindu devotees started visiting every month at the place, the Government declared the mosque a disputed area and locked its gates. After that , multiple lawsuits from Hindus and related organizations had been filed, asking for permission to convert the site into a place of worship.
In the 1980s, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and many other Hindu nationalist groups and political parties launched a campaign to construct the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir (“Rama birthplace temple”) at the site. The Rajiv Gandhi government allowed Hindus to access the site for prayers after the court order to do so. On 6 December 1992, Hindu nationalists called as Car-Sevak demolished the mosque, resulting in communal riots and police actions leading to over 2,000 deaths.
In 2003, the Archaeological Survey of India conducted excavations of the site on court orders. The ASI report indicated the presence of a 10th-century north Indian style temple under the mosque. Muslim groups and the historians supporting them disputed these findings, and dismissed by considering them as politically motivated. The Allahabad High Court, however, upheld the ASI’s findings. The excavations by the ASI were heavily used as evidence by the court that the predating structure was a massive Hindu religious building.
In 2009, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its election manifesto, repeating its promise to construct a temple to Rama at the site.
In 2010, the Allahabad High Court ruled that the 2.77 acres of disputed land be divided into 3 parts, with 1⁄3 going to the Ram Lalla or Lord Rama represented by the Hindu Maha Sabha for the construction of the Ram temple, 1⁄3 going to the Muslim Sunni Waqf Board and the remaining 1⁄3 going to a Hindu religious denomination Nirmohi Akhara.
The five judges Supreme Court bench heard the title dispute cases from August to October 2019. On 9 November 2019, the Supreme Court ordered the land to be handed over to a trust to build the Hindu temple. It also ordered to the government to give alternate 5 acre land to Sunni Waqf Board to build the mosque. On 5 February 2020, the trust known as Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra was created by the Government of India.