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Remembering Babri Masjid’s architectural history

By Siddharth Gupta
Updated on :
Remembering Babri Masjid 26 years after its demolition

More famous for its demolition, the Babri Masjid is believed to have been constructed in 1528-29 AD. Located in Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh, the mosque used to be one of the largest mosques in the state.

While a major section of the historians believe that the mosque was constructed by Mir Baqi on the instructions of Babur, some right-wing groups believe otherwise. Official records show that before 1940s, the mosque was known as ‘Masjid-i-janmasthan’, which roughly translates to the mosque of the birthplace.

The mosque represented Tughlaq style of architecture, which is in consonance with developments that later took place in the Delhi Sultanate era. It closely the architecture of Jaunpur Sultanate. The mosque carried patterns and styles which resembled the skills of the architects from the Jaunpur family. The architect to Lord William Bentinck, Graham Pickford is remembered to have remarked the advancement of acoustics in the mosque, as one could hear the sounds deployed 200m away.

In 1992, this mosque was demolished by Kar Sevaks and various Hindu extremist organisations who believed that the land ‘rightfully’ belonged to Hindus, as “it had been the birthplace of Lord Rama”.

One of the most important landmark events in Indian history, the demolition of the mosque on December 6, 1992, is painfully remembered by people as one of the most damaging events to the secular fabric of the country. In the violence that pursued, thousands of lives were lost.

Even though the title dispute is pending in the Supreme Court, the agenda form an electoral vantage point for many political parties in the region.

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