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Updated February 6th, 2024 at 10:53 IST

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Keshavdev Temple Razed to Build Mosque, Confirms ASI in RTI Reply

In an RTI response, the ASI has confirmed that the demolition of the Keshavdev temple took place at the disputed site by Mughal emperor Aurganzeb.

Shweta Parande
Krishna Janmabhoomi and Shahi Idgah Mosque
The Krishna Janmabhoomi temple and Shahi Idgah mosque in Mathura, UP | Image:ANI
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Agra: On February 4, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) confirmed the existence of a temple in the Shahi Idgah mosque premises adjacent to the existing Krishna temple in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. 

Now, in response to a right to information (RTI) query, the ASI has revealed important disclosures based on historical records from a November 1920 gazette as regards the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple complex in Mathura. 

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Mainpuri resident Ajay Pratap Singh had filed the RTI, to which a reply was sent from the office of the superintending archaeologist of ASI, Agra. Singh had enquired about information about “dismantling” of the Keshavdev temple, which was reportedly a part of the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple complex.

ASI on Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah mosque dispute

Quoting the 1920 gazette, the ASI said in its reply to the RTI on Krishna Janmabhoomi: “Portions of Katra mound which are not in the possession of nazul tenants on which formerly stood a temple of Keshavdev which was dismantled and the site utilised for the mosque of Aurangzeb...”.

However, the ASI did not mention the words “Krishna Janmabhoomi,” or Krishna temple, while confirming that the demolition of the Keshavdev temple took place at the disputed site by Mughal emperor Aurganzeb.

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Krishna Janmabhoomi and Shahi Idgah mosque case

The Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah case is about a disputed spiritual site in Mathura. Petitioners claim that the Shahi Idgah premises adjacent to the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple in Mathura had clear signs suggesting that it was once a Hindu temple, which was razed.

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The Allahabad High Court in 2023 had ordered a survey of the Shahi Idgah mosque premises.

Incidentally, the Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah dispute is the second temple-mosque dispute the High Court allowed to conduct a survey over.

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A leading daily reports Advocate Mahendra Pratap Singh, president, Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Mukti Nyas, as saying that he will “place the key piece of evidence before Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court of India”.

“On the basis of historical evidence, we had in our petition mentioned that Aurangzeb issued a decree in 1670 CE to demolish the temple. Following that, Shahi Idgah Mosque was built there. Now ASI in reply to the RTI query has attested the information. We’ll put forward ASI reply in HC during the Feb 22 hearing,” Singh said.

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Published February 6th, 2024 at 10:53 IST

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