ASI Report on Gyanwapi Survey Released: Pictures of Idols, Hindu Symbols Emerge

The scientific survey report conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) states that “a Hindu temple existed prior to the construction of the existing structure.”

Pictures of Shivling, Hindu idols, and symbols have emerged, evoking a wave of excitement among the devotees who have been demanding a survey for ages.

The Archaeological survey submitted the report to the court in a sealed cover last month. Copies of the report were given to both parties on 25 January as per the court’s order. 

In July 2023, the district court of Varanasi assigned the ASI to carry out a scientific investigation of the mosque to determine if it was built on top of a pre-existing Hindu temple structure.


How The Scientific Survey Was Conducted?

The process involved the use of ground penetrating radar (GPR), which involves the use of electromagnetic energy signals to collect data about what lies beneath the ground surface. Other methods employed included differential global positioning systems (DGPS) and dating techniques. DGPS makes use of differential correction techniques to enhance the accuracy of GPS location data, while dating involves determining the age of ancient objects.


The Takeaways From ASI’s Report

  • The pre-existing structure was probably destroyed in the 17th century, during the reign of Aurangzeb

The report mentions a loose stone with an inscription engraved on it, which records the construction of the mosque during the reign of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb between the years 1676 and 1677. ASI has a photograph of the loose stone, which was taken in the year 1965-66. The report also noted that during the recent survey, it was found that “the lines relating to construction of the mosque and its expansion have been scratched out”.

  • Devanagari, Telugu and Kannada inscriptions with names of deities

According to the report, a total of 34 inscriptions were documented during the survey. These inscriptions were found on the stones of pre-existing Hindu temples, which were reused during the construction or repair of the current structure. 

The inscriptions were written in various scripts, such as Devanagari, Grantha, Telugu, and Kannada. The report stated that a total of 34 inscriptions were recorded during the survey. 

Names like Janardana (another name for Vishnu), Rudra- (another name for Shiva) and Umeshwara were found in the inscriptions.

  • Parts of the pre-existing temple were reused for the expansion of the mosque 


An analysis was conducted on the pillars and pilasters (rectangular columns) situated in the corridor, revealing that they were a constituent of the former temple.

  • Sculptural remains in cellars indicate that there existed a large Hindu temple

The report observed that in the eastern area of the platform, pillars from the former temple were repurposed to construct cellars. These cellars and the platform were built in front of the mosque to provide ample space for a large congregation during prayers, as mentioned under the section titled ‘Sculptural Remains in Cellars’.

Additionally, idols of many deities and Hindu symbols were found inside the basement, followed by the discovery of a large shivling inside the ‘wazukhana’ of the mosque.


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