On Friday (August 20), Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of several projects in Somnath in the Saurashtra district of Gujarat. The event, organised via video conferencing, was attended by Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani, Union Home minister Amit Shah and MoS for Tourism Shripad Naik.
During the virtual event, PM Modi emphasised that the Somnath Temple represents the identity of new India. He said, “We need to strengthen religious tourism. This will also provide employment to youth. They (youth) will also get knowledge about our past. Faith can’t be crushed from terror. We should learn from the past. I express my sincere gratitude to all members of Somnath trust and Somanth devotees across the world who made this possible.”
It must be mentioned that PM Modi is the Chairpersom of the Somnath Temple trust. PM Modi laid the foundation of four projects in Somnath including a promenade, an exhibition centre, and two restored temples namely Ahliya Bai temple and Parvati temple.
Reportedly, the Parvati temple construction in Sompura Salats Style has a proposed budget of ₹30 crores. A Garbha Griha and a Nritya Mandap will also be built along with the temple premises. It will be spread over 1650 square meters and will have a height of 71 ft.
Reportedly, the Somnath promenade has been built at a cost of ₹47.55 crores under the PRASHAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive) scheme. The promenade is a 1.48km long walkway that stretches along the seacoast. It will also help in the protection of the temple walls. It must be mentioned that devotees can experience the beautiful landscape, children’s games, ancient religious paintings, and the decorative lights that will dot the promenade.
Besides the Parvati temple and the promenade, one of the four key projects includes an exhibition gallery/museum. It has been built at a cost of ₹1.3 crores and will provide historical insights into the glory and beauty of Somnath. The museum will also exhibit dismantled parts of the old Somnath temples and sculptures with Nagar style temple architecture.
The reconstruction of the old Somnath temple, which was developed by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar in 1783 AD, has been done at a cost of ₹3.5 crores. Reportedly, the temple premises also houses about 15 shops. Also referred to as Ahilyabai temple, it was constructed by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar after discovering the temple in ruins. The redevelopment by Shree Somnath Trust, headed by PM Modi, has been done to increase the capacity of the structure and to ensure the safety of the devotees.
Many prominent personalities like former Gandhinagar MP, and veteran BJP leader LK Advani, Home Minister Amit Shah, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani and others also attended the virtual event.
PM Modi hails the symbolism of Somnath Temple
Speaking at the event, PM Modi added that the Somnath Temple had been attacked and destroyed many times in the past, but no matter how many times the invaders tried to demolish it, it was raised again and again. He highlighted that the powers that break, the terrorist elements that think that they can establish an empire by forcing the world into submission, can never succeed. Human faith and humanity always triumph over atrocities, the PM added.
Shiva always lets creativity rise from ruins, Shiva is eternal: PM Modi
ये शिव ही हैं जो विनाश में भी विकास का बीज अंकुरित करते हैं, संहार में भी सृजन को जन्म देते हैं।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 20, 2021
इसलिए शिव अविनाशी हैं, अव्यक्त हैं और अनादि हैं।
शिव में हमारी आस्था हमें समय की सीमाओं से परे हमारे अस्तित्व का बोध कराती है, हमें समय की चुनौतियों से जूझने की शक्ति देती है: PM
Hailing the cultural and religious significance of Somnath and the 12 Jyotirlings of India, PM Modi stated that it is Lord Shiva who lets the seeds of development sprout and grow even from the ruins of destruction. It is Shiva who nurtures creation in the midst of destruction, and hence, Shiva is indestructible, he is beyond the limits of time and life cycles.
Equating the rise of the Somnath Temple with the characteristic of Lord Shiva himself, PM Modi added that our faith in Lord Shiva lets us realise that our consciousness has an existence beyond the limitations of time. Our faith in Lord Shiva lets us brave the challenges of the current time and continue to exist, like our faith.