What Does Archaeological Evidence Tell Us About Ram Janmabhoomi – Babri Masjid?
Srijan Foundation organised a talk on Ayodhya Ram Mandir issue, kicking of a series of talks and interviews on this topic at INTACH, Lodhi Estate.
The speaker, Dr. Meenakshi Jain is Ph.D from Delhi Univeristy. She specialises in Cultural Studies. She is presently a member of the Governing Council, ICHR. Here is the snippet of her talk, where she describes the archaeological finding of ASI, from Ayodhya excavation site.
Now, since none of these things was settling the dispute, finally in 2003, the Allahabad High Court told the Archaeological Survey of India to please excavate at that site to see if there was a temple beneath Babri Masjid. The Allahabad High Court laid down very strict instructions for the ASI. It said that everyday representative from the Babri Masjid action committee and the Ram Janmabhoomi group, they should be present at the site, whatever you find everyday should be recorded in a register which would be signed by both the parties.
So, the ASI followed these rules and you all know that if found continuous occupation of that site from the second millennium B.C, that site was always a sacred site, it was never used for habitational purposes. What did they find there? In, I won’t go to the earlier portions, but I will just come to the circular shrine that they found in the post Gupta period, it was probably some kind of Shivling, was worshipped over there and the pranal from where the water will fall was still over there then they found in the 10th century, a huge temple was built at that site. Now, that temple according to the ASI was short lived, it did not survive for very long. Now, why did it not survive for very long, it is possible that it was destroyed because we have the case of Somnath where the temple is destroyed again and again.
So, was this 10th-11th century temple destroyed? It is very likely because the Turks were active in that area at this time. Then on the ruins of this temple, a big temple was built in the 12th century. That temple survived till the 16th century when it was demolished to make way for Babri Masjid. Babri Masjid had no foundations, it was built just on the top of the walls of the temple.