The Varanasi district court has allowed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct an archaeological survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque which has been erected over the erstwhile Kashi Vishwanath temple.
A suit had been filed in the district court by a local lawyer, VS Rastogi, claiming that the Gyanvapi Mosque stands on land where Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had pulled down a portion of the 2,000-year-old Kashi Vishwanath Temple and built Gyanvyapi Mosque there and thus the land be handed over to Hindus.
While the suit itself was contested by the Gyanvapi Mosque Committee, the Varanasi District Court has now allowed an ASI archeological survey of the complex. According to reports, all expenses of the survey are to be paid by the government.
The remnants of the ancient Hindu temple could be seen on the walls of the Gyanvapi mosque now. The temple was an earlier restoration of the Kashi Vishwanath temple which was destroyed and rebuilt several times in history.
The present Kashi Vishwanath temple was built on a suite adjacent to the Gyanvapi Mosque in 1780.