Portal:Uttar Pradesh/Selected article/2009/December

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Babri Masjid

File:Babri rearview.jpg
A view of the Babri Mosque, pre-1992.

The Babri Mosque (Hindi: बाबरी मस्जिद, Urdu: بابری مسجد‎), Babri Masjid or Mosque of Babur was a mosque in Ayodhya, on Ramkot Hill ("Rama's fort"). It was destroyed in 1992 when a political rally developed into a riot involving 150,000 people, despite a commitment to the Indian Supreme Court by the rally organisers that the mosque would not be harmed.

The mosque was constructed in 1527 by order of Babur, the first Mughal emperor of India. Before the 1940s, the mosque was called Masjid-i Janmasthan ("mosque of the birthplace"). It is alleged Babur's commander-in-chief, Mir Baqi, destroyed an existing temple at the site which commemorated the birthplace of Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and ruler of Ayodhya. The Babri Mosque was one of the largest mosques in Uttar Pradesh, a state in India with some 31 million Muslims. Although there were several older mosques in the city of Ayodhya, an area with a substantial Muslim population, including the Hazrat Bal Mosque constructed by the Shariqi kings, the Babri Mosque became the largest, due to the importance of the disputed site. The political, historical and socio-religious debate over the history and location of the Babri Mosque and whether a previous temple was demolished or modified to create it, is known as the Ayodhya Debate.