Here's a timeline of the key events that shaped the Ayodhya land dispute over centuries
The Supreme Court of India will deliver its verdict in the Ayodhya title suit case on November 9 at 10.30 am.
The matter before the apex court is an appeal against the verdict delivered by the Allahabad High Court in 2010.
The High Court had, in the absence of a title, divided the 2.7 acre land at Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh equally between the three primary parties -- Bhagwan Ramlalla Virajman, Nirmohi Akhara and Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board.
In a 40-day marathon daily hearing on the matter, all parties had presented their arguments to a Supreme Court Constitutional Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices SA Bobde (CJI elect), DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.
As the matter is sensitive, adequate measures are being taken up by the Centre and the states to maintain law and order. Security has been beefed up in Ayodhya, as well as across Uttar Pradesh ahead of the top court’s ruling on the matter.
Security has been stepped up in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) and Mumbai, Maharashtra.
In a series of tweets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on November 8, appealed to the people that the priority should be to strengthen India's tradition of maintaining peace and harmony after the verdict is pronounced.
Here's a timeline of the key events that have shaped the dispute over centuries:
1525: Mughal emperor Babur invaded and conquered large parts of north India.
1528: Babur's general Mir Bagi came to Ayodhya, supposedly destroyed the pre-existing temple dedicated to Lord Ram and built 'Masjid-i-Janmasthan' (mosque at the birthplace) at the same site.
1853: The site witnessed its first event of religious violence.
1859: British administration built railings to separate the two places of worship. They allowed Muslims to use the inner area while the outer area was given to Hindus. This practice continued for nine decades.
1949: An idol of Lord Ram was secretly placed under the main dome of the mosque. Later, the government declared shut the gate as a precautionary measure.
1950: A suit was filed in the Faizabad court seeking rights to perform puja there. Another suit was filed to seeking continuation of the religious rituals and keeping idols in the structure.
1959: Nirmohi Akhara, a stakeholder in the dispute filed another suit, seeking direction from the court gets charge of the disputed site.
1984: Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) forms a committee under the leadership of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani with the sole aim of setting free the supposed birthplace of Lord Rama by constructing a temple in honour of the lord.
1991: BJP comes into power in Uttar Pradesh even as the Congress was in the Centre.
1986: A district court ordered reopening of the site for Hindu worshippers after which the Uttar Pradesh government acquired land surrounding the site for devotees' convenience.
1992: On December 6, kar sevaks (activists) stormed the mosque compound and demolished the Babri mosque in an event that resulted in riots and communal tension across the country.
1993: Centre took over 67 acres of the land around the site and sought the top court’s opinion on whether a Hindu place of worship ever existed there before the mosque was built.
The same year, the Ayodhya Act 1993 was passed which also allowed a lone priest to worship in the makeshift temple built at the site.
2003: The Allahabad High Court asked Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to carry out an in-depth study and an excavation survey of ascertain what was under the site.
ASI report indicated the presence of a 10th century temple under the site and human activity at the site dating back to the 13th century BC. Muslim groups immediately disputed the ASI findings pointing towards the lack of evidence. However, the report was upheld by the High Court.
2010: Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court ordered partition of the site occupied by the Babri Masjid into three equal parts, among Nirmohi Akhara, Ram Lalla (the deity) and the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board.
2011: The Supreme Court stayed orders of the High Court and ordered all sides to maintain the status quo.
2014: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) added construction of the temple in its 2014 General Election manifesto. The BJP also came to power in the Centre.
2015: Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) launched a nationwide campaign to collect stones for construction of the Ram temple. Later in the year, two trucks of stones arrived in Ayodhya. However, then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav blocked the stones from getting closer to site.
2017: Supreme Court urges stakeholders to find an out-of-court settlement. Then Chief Justice JS Khehar also offered help to settle the fight amicably.
In a separate demolition case, the apex court ordered reopening the criminal conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders such as former deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti.
2017: The Shia Waqf Board filed an application in the top court according to which the Ram Temple would be built in Ayodhya and a mosque would be built in Lucknow. However, the move is facing stiff opposition from the Sunni Waqf Board.
2017: Supreme Court moves hearing of appeals to February 2018.
Feb 2018: Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board questioned the court about the hurry and requested that the hearing be put off till July 2019.
September 2018: SC declines to refer the case to a five-judge bench. Case to be heard by a newly-constituted three-judge bench on October 29.
October 29, 2018: SC adjourns hearing in the case till January 4, 2019.
January 4, 2019: Court defers hearing till January 10.
January 10, 2019: Justice UU Lalit, one of the five-judge Constitution Bench, recused himself from the hearing, after which the SC rescheduled the hearing to January 29.
January 29, 2019: The court postpones its hearing as Justice SA Bobde, one of the five-judge Constitution Bench for the case, is not available. The date of the next hearing remains to be declared
February 15, 2019: SC decides to hear a fresh plea against the 1993 central law on land acquisition near the disputed site at Ayodhya.
March 2019: SC appoints a mediation panel headed by Judge (Retd.) FMI Kallifulla for an out-of-court settlement.
August 2019: The mediation panel fails to reach an amicable settlement. The top court begins hearing on August 6.October 15, 2019: After hearing the case for 40 days on day-to-day basis, the court reserved its order.Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.