Let’s know about Ayodhya’s Excavations and Brief History
Untold History that Our temples were demolished during Mughals era and mosques were made on them.
I will talk about Ayodhya’s location, History of Ayodhya, Archaeological excavations and complete timeline of Babri Masjid and Ram Mandir issue.
Ayodhya city is situated on the banks of holy River Sarayu ( or Ghaghara River ) in the state of Uttar Pradesh.The city is believed to be the birth place of Lord Rama.Buddhist and Jain historical texts mention that religious leaders Buddha and Mahavir also lived in the city .This city rich of temples is demolished by Mughal Emperor Babar and mosque was constructed on a place where it is believed that a Hindu temple existed.
History of Ayodhya:
As mentioned in Ramayana , Ayodhya ( means : Invincible ) is believed to be the birth place of Lord Rama .Ayodhya was the capital of Kingdom of Kosala .Then during Buddhist times (6 – 5 th century BCE) Shravasti ( a city in Kosala kingdom ) became its capital.Many historical writings indicate that Ayodhya is identical with Saketa, where Buddha lived for some years.During this time a large number of monasteries were built which was later proved when Buddhist Stupas and articrafts were found in archaeological excavations.
Ayodhya was included in Delhi sultanate then in 16 th century it came under Mughal empire.Afterwards it became a subordinate of British East India Company in 1764.Finally it was joined with the Agra Presidency in 1877 to form the North-Western Provinces and later the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, now Uttar Pradesh state.
• In 1862–63 Alexander Cunningham ,(founder of Archaeological Survey of India ) conducted a survey of Ayodhya to discover Buddhist monuments based on Xuanzang’s writings.He wrote that Hindu and Jain temples are of modern style and they were built on ancient temples which were destroyed.He also found many Buddhist monuments and recognized it to be a Buddhist center.
• In 1889–91, an ASI team led by Alois Anton Fuhrer conducted another survey and his reports were in line with Cunningham’s .He wrote that Ayodhya had three Hindu temples at the time of Muslim Conquest:
Janmasthanam ( where Rama was born );
Svargadvaram ( where Rama was cremated )and
Treta-ke-Thakur ( where Rama performed a sacrifice ).
According to him, Babri Mosque was built at the place where Lord Ram was born in 1523 CE.
• Awadh Kishore Narain of Banaras Hindu University led an excavation in 1969 -70 ,he observed many Buddhist monument remainings.
• Another ASI led excavation was carried out by Professor B.B.Lal in 1975–76.They found terracotta image of a Jain ascetic and also rows of pillars bases which were built to hold a bigger structure than mosque but after informing to the court excavation was stopped and not revived for next 12 years.
B.B Lal in his book , Rama: His Historicity Mandir and Setu, he wrote that on the piers of Babri Mosque there were inscriptions of Hindu dieties.
K.K. Muhammed (a member of B.B. Lal’s led team),in his autobiography wrote that they found a Hindu temple during excavation.
• In July 1992, eight archaeologists went to Ramkot hill (where Babri Mosque was located) and found religious sculptures , statue of Lord Vishnu and Shiva -Parvati .They also claimed that mosque was built on a temple.
• In 2003 ASI excavation was carried out by a tam of 131 labourers, including 52 Muslims they found walls constructed in different directions,many pillar bases and pillars with figurines these constructions resembled the temples in North India. Many remainings belonging to Gupta, Kushan, Shunga were also found. It claimed that there is a big structure underneath the mosque which is not part of a Muslim culture.
DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.