As news reports of an object resembling a Shivling being found at the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi spread online, several users took to social media platforms to share images claiming to show the object that was allegedly found in the mosque premises.
One of the images that is being widely shared shows an excavation site with what appears to be a Shivling being unearthed.
The second image shows a fountain that many Facebook and Twitter users are identifying as the ‘Shivling’ that the Hindu parties are claiming to be the idol of Lord Shiva that was found in the well of the Wazukhana (ablution pond).
Controversy Surrounding The Gyanvapi Mosque
As per the report of India Today, the Gyanvapi Mosque dispute started in 1991 when a petition was filed in the Varanasi court stating that Mughal emperor Aurangzeb built the mosque by demolishing a part of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in the 16th century. On the basis of the petition, some local priests sought permission to worship in the Gyanvapi Mosque area. Thereafter, the matter remained dormant for around 18 years but gained momentum after the judgment in the Babri masjid case in 2019. Recently, the Varanasi court ordered a video survey of the mosque premises. On May 16, during the survey, Hindu petitioners claimed that they found a Shivlinga inside the mosque, while the Mosque authorities have claimed that the object found is nothing more than a fountain.
First Viral Image
Upon a reverse image search of the viral image, we found some reports from May 2020 that carried the viral image. The reports revealed that the picture was clicked in Vietnam’s Cham temple complex, where an 1,100-year-old Shivling was found during excavation.
Newschecker also found similar reports in Navbharat Times and Hindustan Times. The External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar also tweeted similar pictures of the Shivling and applauding the work of the Archaeological Survey of India.
Second Viral Image
On a reverse image search, Newschecker found the image on the website of Getty Images and Alamy, which revealed that the image showed the fountain at the ablution pool in Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Rajasthan, and was clicked in 2016.
Newschecker found that the image is being shared as a satire, in view of the Mosque authorities’ claim that the object found was not a Shivling but instead a fountain. The object that was found can be seen in this AajTak report, which is completely different from the image of the fountain seen in the viral image.
Both images are being falsely linked to the Gyanvapi mosque dispute. The first picture is from Vietnam and the second one is from Ajmer Dargah.
Result: False Context/False
If you would like us to fact-check a claim, give feedback, or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at [email protected]. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill out the form.