Nirmohi Akhara

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Nirmohi Akhara (English: "Group without Attachment")[1] is a religious denomination. It is one of the fourteen akharas recognized by the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad and belongs to the Vaishnava sampradaya.


Nirmohi Akhara was established by Ramananda. It is a wealthy sect that owns many temples and mathas in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Bihar. Members are expected to lead simple and austere lives of celibacy and to accept Rama as their God. They have renounced the material world for the company of Rama. They are sadhus, Bharatiya holy men often given to asceticism. New recruits are mainly in their teens and can be from any Indian caste. They are put through a grueling schedule to master the Bharatiya scriptures (Vedas and Upanishads) as well as certain martial arts. In former times, members of the sect had a mandate to provide protection to the followers of Rama and were given rigorous training in archery, swordsmanship, and wrestling. Portions of this curriculum are still observed, though it is more moderate in practice.

Certain adherents have garnered public attention, since 1949, in connection with the Ayodhya debate, when a suit was filed on their behalf to reclaim the disputed site of the Babri Mosque.[2] They have claimed in court that there is no mosque referred to as "Babri Masjid" at the disputed site in Ayodhya.[1]


Nirmohi Akhara filed a suit in 1885[clarification needed (see talk page)] with the sub-judge of Faizabad, seeking consent to construct a temple to Rama in the Ram Chabutra, the area adjacent to the unauthorised structure. The sub-judge held that two large religious structures in close proximity could potentially be a "threat" to public order. Permission was denied by the court, though the Nirmohi Akhara has since kept up its effort to reclaim the land and construct the temple.[3]

In 1989, the Nirmohi Akhara filed a lawsuit against the Uttar Pradesh State government, claiming that they had been worshiping the deities installed at a temple at the then disputed site since ancient times, and requesting the Court to hand the management of the temple over to them.[4]

On 30 September 2010,[5] a Lucknow panel of three judges of the Allahabad High Court pronounced the verdict on the case, deciding to give a third part of the land to each party, namely the Sunni Waqf Board, Ram-Lalla Deity, and the Nirmohi Akhara. The Ram-Lalla Deity retained its present position and the Nirmohi Akhara received the areas referred to as the Sita Rasoi and Ram Chabutara.[2][6]


  1. ^ a b Who Are the Nirmohi Akhara? Wall Street Journal - 30 September 2010
  2. ^ a b "Disputed site in Ayodhya is Ram's birthplace: High Court". Hindustan Times. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Welcome to Frontline : Vol. 29 :: No. 15". Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Allahabad High Court Judgement summary" (PDF). pp. 15/17. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Decision of Hon'ble Special Full Bench hearing Ayodhya Matters". Retrieved November 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ "Who is Nirmohi Akhara". The Asian Age. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2012.