The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) recently completed the construction of a 75 feet high Shikhara atop Galteshwar Mahadev temple in Gujarat’s Kheda district. A 52 gajj Hindu religious flag was hoisted on the Shikhara on the auspicious occasion of Somvati Amvas (new moon), the last day of the holy month of Shravan.
Galteshwar temple’s Mohandasji Maharaj, Nadiad Santram temple’s Nirgundasji Maharaj, Satyadasji Majaraj and other saints were present to grace the occasion of religious flag offering and unfurling.
Commenting on the development of the temple, Ramdes Maharaj who looks after the temple said that the restoration process had begun three years ago. He also informed that the permission to restore the temple was given immediately after former Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi moved to Delhi to become the Prime Minister.
Minister of State in Centre Devusinh Chauhan, Gujarat Vice President Gordhan Zadafia and Nadiad MLA Pankaj Desai offered a new flag to the temple on Tuesday, crediting PM Modi for the reconstruction.
ગળતેશ્વર મહાદેવના શિખરની ધજાનું પૂજન રાજ્ય કક્ષા કેન્દ્રીય સંચાર મંત્રી દેવુસિંહ ચૌહાણ કર્યું pic.twitter.com/mD8ysdMW71— News18Gujarati (@News18Guj) September 7, 2021
About the temple
The Galteshwar Mahadev is an ancient Solanki era temple built in the 12th century located on the Sangam (confluence) of the rivers Mahi and Galati in a small village of Sarnal. ASI says that its style and sculpture resembles the ancient Somnath Temple.
There are 40 pillars that support the assembly hall built on an eight-pointed star-shaped plinth. A beautiful mix of Malva and Chalukyan style, the walls of the temple have been carved with exquisite figurines including that of various gods, gandharvas, humans, rishis, horse riders, elephant riders, chariots and the various events of human life.
As per ancient folklore, it is believed that the Shivlinga emerged after intense penance by great sage Gallvi Muni who urged the sacred river Ganga to flow over the Shivlinga. Happy with his penance, the Ganga came down in form of River Galti, bathing the Shivlinga and then merging with River Mahi. Locals believe that even today the Ganga flows under the ground of the Galteshwar Mahadev temple.
The temple has been protected by ASI and comes under the Monuments of National Importance but had been without a Shikhara since time unknown.
The temple attracts thousands of devotees because of the proximity to the major pilgrimage of Dakor.