Supreme Court Refuses Stay on Shahi Idgah Mosque Survey

On December 15, the Supreme Court declined to stay an order by the Allahabad High Court permitting a survey of the Shahi Idgah mosque in Mathura. The mosque is located at the site believed to be Krishna Janmasthan, the birthplace of Lord Krishna. The order stemmed from an application filed by Hindu petitioners, highlighting historical facts and Aurangzeb’s role in demolishing Hindu temples.

Historical Background

The Krishna Janmasthan site in Mathura holds historical significance dating back 2,000 years. Initially, it housed a Vaishnava temple built in the 1st century CE. Over the centuries, the region saw the rise and fall of Buddhist and Jain sites, surviving Mahmud of Ghazni’s raids in the 11th century.

Delhi Sultanate

The Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526) marked a period of destruction for Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain structures in Mathura. The decline contributed to the emergence of a new form of Vaishnavism, inspiring saints like Nimbarka, Vallabha, and Chaitanya.

Mughal Era

Under Akbar’s liberal rule (1556-1605), Mathura saw a resurgence in religious activity. Temples were restored, and land grants were made to various Vaishnavite sects. However, the temple at Katra site, built by Raja Veer Singh Deo, was ultimately destroyed by Aurangzeb.

Aurangzeb’s Actions

Aurangzeb’s reign saw a series of temple destructions, including the grand Katra Keshavdev temple. In 1670, he issued a royal farmaan for the destruction of Mathura’s Keshavdev temple, leading to the construction of the Shahi Idgah mosque in its place.

Post-Independence Developments

Mathura’s major temples were finally built after Independence. In 1815, the British East India Company auctioned land at the Katra Keshavdev site. Ongoing litigation revolves around the claim that this land included the Shahi Idgah mosque. The Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust, formed in 1951, facilitated the construction of the present-day temple, completed in 1983.



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