The row took a new twist in December 1949 when idols of Ram were sneaked into the mosque, leading to daily Hindu prayers. The present case kicked off in January 1950 in a court in Faizabad, Ayodhya's twin town.
The emotive movement took a volatile turn in the 1980s when Hindu groups began mobilizing the community so as to build a grand Ram temple at the Babri mosque site. It quickly escalated Hindu-Muslim tensions.
The issue led to the worst eruption of Hindu-Muslim violence after India's 1947 independence when Hindu mobs demolished the Babri mosque in December 1992, leaving over 2,000 people dead across the country.
Hindu activists quickly erected a makeshift temple on the ruins of the mosque.
Image: Journalists tussle at the media centre, specially prepared for the briefing on the Ayodhya verdict, at the Collectorate in Lucknow on Thursday.