Social media has been abuzz recently with people sharing an image purportedly showing a 5,000-year-old temple which was discovered during road construction work in Ayodhya. The image depicts some construction debris along with a few old temple structures. Users are now sharing this photo writing, “This is told to be 5000 years old temple dis”Covered” while road widening in Ayodhya – “The Ram Janma Bhoomi”. Locals had built house upon this beautiful temple which “Covered” the temple all these while. Sources say many more temples will be uncovered in coming days. ”

This is told to be 5000 years old temple dis”Covered” while road widening in Ayodhya – “The Ram Janma Bhoomi”. Locals…

Posted by Aman Anand on Friday, December 18, 2020

The claim was earlier viral in June.

Along with this, many other Facebook and Twitter users posted the image and wrote that this is a picture from Varanasi where temples are now visible due to construction for a new road being built for the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor.

Many Temples were encroached/hidden/non-functional in the city of Varanasi where Lord Vishwanath resides. They are…

Posted by Navin Kumar Keerthi Prakash on Thursday, December 17, 2020

Fact-check

Alt News performed a reverse image search of this photo using Yandex and found a report by CNBC from May 13, 2019, that includes an image resembling the viral photo. This article discusses the construction of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor being built in Varanasi. It describes how locals were removed and their homes demolished for the construction of the corridor. Several other photographs of the construction process have also been published in the report. The temple seen in both images looks similar when examined carefully.

When we looked for video reports on the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor on YouTube, we found a NewsClick video dated May 18, 2019, which covered the impact of this construction work on local residents. A closer look makes it clear that the visual seen in this video at the 2:50 mark is where the image in question was taken from.

In addition to the temples seen in the video screenshot and the viral image below, the same tower, a small temple in the back, and nearby houses and windows are seen in both. Apart from this, two boards appear in the NewsClick video which read ‘Welcome to Vishwanath Dham’ in Hindi and English. Both pictures have been taken at different times, so the construction work is at different stages.

Apart from this, Amar Ujala published a story when construction work began on the corridor on January 5, 2019. The picture shown in this piece is quite similar to the viral picture. Amar Ujala was the first to report on the commencement of the work.

Alt News spoke with Tarun Pratap Singh, a journalist who has been reporting on the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor. “People have been living here for many years and they do not have any property papers. As local families grew, they started building homes surrounding the temple and as these buildings kept getting taller, these temples became obscured underneath. These are now visible since these homes have been demolished. All the temples had been there for years, and slowly became surrounded by residential buildings,” he said.

We also reached out to Sunil Verma, CEO of Shri Kashi Vishwanath Special Area Development Board (SKVSADB), who confirmed the same. “These temples were in people’s homes and they carried out personal prayers here. Now that the buildings have been demolished, the temple is open for all. Earlier, only the local people living around used to worship in them,” he informed.

The picture below shows the aftermath of the demolition around the temple. This image also resembles the picture that is going viral.

To sum it up, social media claims about a 5,000-year-old temple unearthed during road construction work in Ayodhya are false. The temple was uncovered upon demolition of homes for building the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor.

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A journalist and a dilettante person who always strives to learn new skills and meeting new people. Either sketching or working.