Meenakshi Jain’s “The Battle for Rama” presents European observations from 1776-1960 suggesting the Mughals dismantled a Hindu temple at Ayodhya, later building the Babri Masjid on the site.

Highlights:

  • 1776: Joseph Tieffenthaler described Hindus worshiping a cradle and doing rituals around the future mosque site. No mention of Muslim prayer.

  • 1799-1838: Edward Thornton and R.M. Martin noted the mosque’s construction using pillars from a destroyed temple and black stones bearing traces of Hindu idols.

  • 1862-63: Alexander Cunningham confirmed the area’s historical significance as Rama’s birthplace.

  • 1870-1877: Patrick Carnegy and W.C. Benett detailed specific Mughal demolitions of Hindu temples at Ayodhya.

  • 1905-1960: H.R. Nevill and the UP District Gazetteers documented the use of desecrated temple materials in the mosque’s construction, causing Hindu resentment.

The author argues these accounts refute claims that the Babri Masjid stood on vacant land, highlighting Hindu grievances over the site’s disputed history.

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