After the completion of a video survey of Varanasi's Gyanvapi mosque, a court-appointed commissioner had claimed that a shivling was found during the said survey.
A mosque management committee member disputed the claim adding that the object found was part of the water fountain mechanism at the wazookhana (ablution pool).
Amid this, several social media users have shared unrelated pictures to claim that these images are from the mosque compound.
Three different photographs were shared in connection with the structure found during the mosque's survey.
The first one showing a white structure in a blue pool was shared claiming that it showed the structure that was being mistaken for a shivling, following which a section of the mosque was sealed.
The second photograph showing a top view of a round structure in one corner of a five-sided pool was shared with the same claim.
The third photo shows a large stone structure with a trident and snake, which was shared with Hindi text discussing the discovery of a shivling and the court's orders of sealing the area where it was found.
WHAT WE FOUND
We found that none of these photos were related to the Gyanvapi mosque, or the findings of the recently concluded video survey.
The first photo shows a fountain in the middle of a pool of water, with people squatting on the pool's boundary walls.
This photo carries the watermark of stock images website Alamy and bar at the bottom, which denotes the photo's identification number 'JH1MCR'.
Taking a cue from this, we looked up the image ID number on Alamy's website, and found that it was uploaded in 2016 with the title 'Ajmer Sharif dargah, Rajasthan. Ablution pool. India.'
The photo was also available on stock photo website Getty Images with the same description.
In this photograph, a small structure is seen at the corner of a five-sided pool of water inside a building.
We carried out a reverse image search on Google, and the results led us to a Wikimedia Commons page whose title noted that it showed 'Nakhoda-Ablution'.
The photo's description noted that it showed the ablution pool in Nakhoda Masjid, and was taken in July 2009.
We found photos of the mosque on West Bengal Tourism's website, where we were able to match a few details that confirmed that the photo was from Nakhoda mosque.
For instance, in both photographs, one can see a blue line running across a portion of the ceiling, and thin pillars around the fountain.
This photo shows a large stone structure, with a trident and snake on top, and has a staircase in front of it.
Using reverse image search, we found the same photograph on the government of Odisha's website for Baleswar (also known as Balasore) district. Here, the photo was titled 'Chandneswar Deity.'
Evidently, unrelated photos of mosques and a temple from different parts of India were shared in connection to the recent findings during a court-ordered survey of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
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