Ram Janmabhoomi (Hindi/Devanagiri: राम जन्मभूमि) is the "Birthplace of Rama." Rama is a major figure in Indian history and the Hindu religion where he is described as an avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism. The exact location of Rama's birth is not stated with any specific accuracy by the Hindu texts, but the term popularly refers to a tract of land in the North Indian city of Ayodhya. From 1512 to 1992 this was the site of the Babri Mosque which was surrounded on all sides by Sita Rasoi (Lord Rama's wife Sita Devi's Kitchen - actually a Temple and other Temples of Hanuman, etc) and the disputed structure sharing walls with Sita and Hanuman Mandir was destroyed when a political rally developed into a riot involving 150,000 people. The original Hindu temple was demolished or dramatically modified on the orders of the Mughal Emperor Babur and the mosque was built in its place.
A movement was launched in 1984 by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP party) to reclaim the site for Hindus who want to erect a temple dedicated to the infant Rama (Ramlala), at this spot. Many Muslim organizations have continued to express outrage at the destruction of the disputed structure and carried out the 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack in Ayodhya along with strong opposition to building of the proposed new temple even threatening the Head of current Ram Temple (at same spot since 1992). There were several later mosques in Faizabad district in which pilgrim city of Ayodhya falls. But, Ayodhya has almost negligible Muslim population though there are substantial Muslims 7 km away at District Headquarters - Faizabad. The Babri Mosque at Ayodhya where Muslims never offered Namaz since 1947 independence became famous due to the importance of the disputed site where Hindus have been offering Pujas to Lord Ramlala from even before 1947 independence. Since, 1948 Indian Government order Muslims were not even permitted to be near the site for at least 200 yards but locked the main gate and allowed Hindu pilgrims to enter through a side door. Also, the 1989 Allahabad High Court order opened the locks of the main gate and restored the site for eternity to the Hindus. However, when Hindus wanted modifications of the dilapidated Islamic style structure built by General Mir Banki on orders of Mughal invader Babur from Uzbekistan (Farghana town) and did Shilanyas (inauguration) of a proposed new grand Temple with Government permissions, there were Muslim unrests in many parts of India and Government moved court. Since, then the matter is sub-judice and this political, historical and socio-religious debate over the history and location of the Babri Mosque, is known as the Ayodhya Debate. Recently on court orders Archeological Survey of India dug the spot and found a previous ancient temple that was demolished or modified to create the later Mosque under Babur.
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