Gyanvapi Masjid is built by emperor of Mughal dynasty Aurangzeb and is situated of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. It is named as Alamgiri mosque and later named as Gyanvapi Mosque. The Masjid is to the north of Dashaswamedh ghat which is near to Lalitha ghat along the river of holy Ganga.
The Gyanvapi mosque is built near the viswanath temple which is a holy temple for Hindus. This temple id demolished and reconstructed many times. of 1585 it is rebuilt and after that Aurangzeb ordered it to demolish and Gyanvapi mosque is reconstructed of 1669 which is present near the temple. The temple was built of 1780. The mosque is built over the remnants of kasha viswanath temple. Architecture of this Mosque looks like the both Hindu and Muslim cult and the blend of both Muslim and Hindu architecture is seen.
The story behind the demolition of viswanath temple of Varanasi is once Aurangzeb is passing over Varanasi and all the Hindu raja’s requested him to stop of Varanasi as their rani’s want to take a dip of holy ganga and want to take blessings if viswanath, the emperor agreed and they had a haul there. After the pooja everyone expect one Rani, the rani got missed and everyone started searching her. After a long search they found a ganesh statue which is moved and saw stairs which led to basement. To their horror they saw rani is dishonored state and crying just below the lord jagannath’s seat. When Aurangzeb came to know this he ordered to remove the statue of jagannath to be moved from that place and the place must be demolished to ground level and the mahant is punished. This story is believed by few people behind the demolition of temple and no one knows how true it is.
The minarets of the mosque are 71 meters high and used to dominate the Varanasi temple till 1948, when the floods came and are collapsed. Material from the collapsed part of the temple is used by the emperor for the construction of Gyanvapi Mosque. There is evidence of the mosque which shows Hindu temple foundation. The temple of lord Viswanadh is rebuilt of 1780 of Varanasi just beside the mosque and two structures exist since then which are separated by barricades of iron. The Gyanvapi which is well of knowledge is present of between the temple and the mosque. This well is believed by Hindus that the Shiva linga is present of th well before the temple was taken by the Mughal emperor.
As the mosque is constructed by Emperor Aurangzeb it has its own significance. The major attraction for the mosque used to be 71 meters high wall until it is destroyed by the floods of 1948. Only Muslims are allowed into the mosque and no other religion has access into this. Muslims consider this as holy place for worship and offer their prayers. During Fridays the mosque will be full of devotees who come to worship.
The mosque has threats from some of the Hindus and Hindu organizations like Viswa Hindu Parishad who consider it to be not sacred next to the temple. After the demolition of Babri Masjid by Hindus, which is built on the site of Hindu temple during the period of Aurangzeb security has been put to the Gyanvapi Mosque and Kashi Viswanath temple. Thousands of guards guard both the temple and the mosque everyday for the safety of both the devotees. The Mosque receives protection and is safe now under the security.
How to Reach There
Th connectivity of roads to Varanasi is good and to get there by road check the map from the city you want to reach.
There are direct trains to Varanasi from all the major cities of India. This mosque is only 5kms from the rail station of Varanasi
Direct flight is there from Delhi and some of the places of India. After reaching Varanasi it is easy to find the mosque of it.