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Bhojshala complex case: History, legality and other details | Know everything about the issue

The Bhojshala, built by Raja Bhoj and patronised by his successors, was converted into a mosque in the 14th century. Hindus and Muslims claim ownership. Now, the matter is in the court.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Dhar Updated on: March 11, 2024 16:55 IST
Bhojshala comlex
Image Source : X Bhojshala comlex

Madhya Pradesh's Bhojshala complex which has a link to Raja Bhoja (1000-1055 AD) hit headlines on Monday after MP High Court allowed a survey led by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at the disputed monument in the adjoining Dhar district. 

Earlier, on February 19, a Hindu organization approached the Madhya Pradesh High Court seeking a direction to the ASI to conduct a time-bound "scientific investigation" of the disputed monument of Bhojshala which it claimed to be a temple of Goddess Vagdevi (Saraswati).

Puja and namaz both take place in complex

Bhojshala is an ASI-protected monument, which Hindus believe is a temple of Goddess Vagdevi, while the Muslim community treats it as Kamal Maula Mosque. According to an ASI order issued on April 7, 2003, Hindus are allowed to worship inside the Bhojshala complex every Tuesday, while Muslims are allowed to offer namaz at the site every Friday.

What is Muslim side's stand?

The Maulana Kamaluddin Welfare Society, which is associated with the mosque inside the complex, objected to the Hindu group's application. On behalf of the society, it was submitted that a writ appeal on the Bhojshala dispute is already pending before the principal bench of the High Court at Jabalpur and the ASI's order dated April 7, 2003, was still legally in existence.

What is history of the Bhojshala complex?

According to Dhar district's official website, Raja Bhoj, the greatest ruler of the Parmar dynasty, built a college at Dhar. Later, this educational institute is known as Bhojshala, where students from far came to get education.

The remains of the Bhojshala or Saraswati temple were later converted into a mosque by the Muslim ruler renaming it Kamal Maulana Mosque. The mosque has a large open courtyard around which there is a verandah decorated with pillars and a prayer hall is located behind it in the west. The carved pillars used in the mosque and the exquisitely carved ceiling of the prayer hall were from Bhojshal. Valuable works engraved on the stones in the walls of the mosque have been recovered.

In these rocks, two hymns written in Prakrit language of the Karmavatar or crocodile incarnation of Vishnu are engraved. Two Sarpabandha pillar inscriptions, one containing the Sanskrit alphabet and the main endings of nouns and verbs and the other containing the individual declensions of the ten tenses and moods of Sanskrit grammar. These inscriptions belong to the 11th-12th century. Above this, two Sanskrit texts are engraved in Anustubha verse. In one of these, Raja Bhoj's successors Udayaditya and Narvarman have been praised. In the second article it is told that these pillars were installed by Udayaditya. There is no doubt that there was Raja Bhoj's college or Saraswati temple here which was developed by his successors.

The Bhojshala was originally a temple of Saraswati, which is referred to by the poet Madan in his play. The statue of Goddess Saraswati is currently in the Museum of London. A picture resembling the original statue has been carved by the artists of Dhar.

Also read: MP High Court allows ASI survey at 'disputed' Bhojshala complex in Dhar district


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