Somnath temple in Gujarat
Gujarats Somnath temple is in the news on account of Rahul Gandhi listed as a non-Hindu in its register. The Congress Vice President sparked a row after his visit to the popular temple. Gujarat is on edge on account of its upcoming elections and both Congress and BJP are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that their election campaigns are spot on. (ALSO SEE Do you know why Tirupati Balaji temple is one of the richest temples in the world?) While politicians from both sides continue arguments over Rahul Gandhis religion, lets take a look at the prominent temple in the middle of this controversy. Here are 5 interesting facts you must know about Gujarats Somnath temple. Also Read - Statue of Unity Put up ‘For Sale’ For Rs 30,000 Crore on OLX to Fight COVID-19, Case Registered
Somnath temple is one of the twelve jyotirlingas of Shiva in India. In fact, it is believed to be the first jyotirlinga shrine in the country.
Somnath temple has been destroyed and reconstructed several times in the past. Its present structure was built in May 1951. The temple was constructed in the Chaulukya style of Hindu temple architecture. Also Read - Coronavirus: Total Positive Cases Climb to 1024, Death Toll Reaches 27, State Borders Sealed | Top Points
Image: Anhilwara/Wikimedia Commons
Indian activist and writer K.M. Munshi has written a book on the several destructions and reconstructions of Somnath temple. It is titled The Shrine Eternal which is also a sobriquet given to the temple. Also Read - 'Stand Together With Govt But Sudden Lockdown Created Immense Panic', Rahul Gandhi Writes to PM
Somnath temple is located at a Triveni sangam which means the confluence of three rivers Kapila, Hiran and Sarasvati. This makes it a significant pilgrim spot for Hindus.
There are several legends associated with the Somnath temple. It is believed that the site of the temple is one of the twelve places where Shiva appeared in a fiery column of light making it one of the twelve jyotirlinga shrines. It is also believed that the Moon god Soma had once lost his lustre due to a curse and bathed in the waters by this temple to regain it.
With such great significance for Hindus, it seems natural that a politicians visit to the temple will spark some controversies. Regardless of the outcome of the elections, the Somnath temple will continue to be a popular and significant place to visit in Gujarat.