Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Somnath Temple Veraval Taluka - Junagadh District's Proud

Somnath soon to attain its former glory as ‘golden temple’

Best time to visit :- November to March.

How to reach there :-

By Air: Nearest airport Keshod- 55 km.

By Rail: Nearest railhead is Veraval.By Road: Somnath to Veraval- 7 kms,Bombay- 889 kms, Ahmedabad- 400 kms, Bhavnagar- 266 kms, Junagadh- 85 kms, Porbandar- 122 kms.

The historic temple of Somnath, which is also one of the jyotirlingas located in Prabash Patan in Junagadh district, is all set to regain its lost glory as a ‘golden temple’.

According to folkore, the temple was first built on the shores of the Arabian Sea by Chandra, the Lord of Moon. It was destroyed six times and subsequently rebuilt every time. The temple is also unique in the sense that it has been constructed in a location with unhindered sea clearance till the Antarctica.

Now the Shree Somnath Trust, the guardian authority of the temple has begun carving and gold plating work on the Sabha Mandap — the place where devotees stand for darshan.

Besides, the outer structure of the temple is also being painted with fungus resistant paint to allow the porous bella stones, which make up the structure, to breathe.

The temple was destroyed and looted many times, the most notable being the ones by the invading Turks led by Mahmud Gazni and centuries later by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. It was reconstructed for the seventh time in 1947, which lasted till 1995. In the last decade, little renovation work has been undertaken.

The trust, which began beautification and cleanliness of the temple and its vicinity two years ago, now has for the first time taken up the job of outer coating and carving for the pillars.

“It’s said that it was a ‘golden temple’. We have begun to restore the yellow metal from the Sabha Mandap. The entire mandap and its two pillars now would be gold plated,” said Ashok Sharma secretary of the Somnath Temple Trust. There are a total three mandaps — Garabh, Sabha and Nritya. Garbha Mandap is where the Jytorilinga is located, while Nritya Mandap is where dance was performed.

Also, this would be the first time that carvings would be done on the pillars. “We have the photographs of the old structure. Our aim is to get the similar carvings done on the pillars of the Sabha Mandap. The carvings were originally gold plated and had designs of flowers and Hindu religious symbols. The present temple, Kailash Mahameru Prasada, is built in the Chalukya style of temple architecture and reflects the skill of the Sompuras, Gujarat’s master masons,” said Sharma.

“The outer coating would protect the temple for the next ten years from fungus attack. Located on the shore, the temple continuously has to bear saline and moist wind. It’s a special kind of a coat that is fungus resistant and at the same time would not block the breathing of the bellas,” he added.

1 comment:

  1. As for now, my list of destination is full and I sure will visit India. I've heard about the historic Taj Mahal on tv. I would love to go there and maybe Somnath Temple if they are not far from Taj Mahal.


Popular Posts