Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided Monday over the inauguration of a controversial Hindu Temple. 

Located in Ayodhya in northern India, the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir is built on a contested holy site, according to NBC News

The site was the home of a 16th century mosque, the Babri Masjid, until 1992, when Hindu nationalist mobs destroyed it, CNN reported.

Why was the temple built on a former mosque site?

Modi and his political allies spent years calling for the construction of a Hindu temple on the site of the former mosque.

Construction was greenlighted in 2019 after an India Supreme Court ruling on the issue, NBC News reported. Now, officials hope the temple can bolster tourism in the state of Uttar Pradesh by becoming a “Hindu version of the Vatican.”

Tourism contributes to about 7% of India’s economy with nearly $200 billion in revenue, according to Reuters.

Officials expect 100,000 devotees to visit daily when the temple is complete, The Associated Press reported.

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The inauguration of the temple is also Modi keeping a “promise” he made that spurred him to his current role in 2014, Foreign Policy reported.

Modi is seeking a third term in elections expected this spring.

Who is the temple dedicated to?

The temple is devoted to Lord Ram — one of Hinduism’s most revered deities, according to CNN.

“Some Hindus believe that Lord Ram was born on the exact site of Babri Masjid, and that the mosque had replaced a Hindu temple that was destroyed by Muslim invaders,” NBC News reported.

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