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‘Satyayug’ to ‘Kaliyug’: History of Somnath Temple

The renovated Somnath temple was inaugurated on May 11, 1950, by President Rajendra Prasad.

old somnath-01 A picture of the old somnath temple . [Photo credit Somnath Temple Trust] [to go with leena misra story] A picture of the old somnath temple. (Source: Somnath Temple Trust)

Ancient texts say Somnath temple was first built by Raja Somraj in gold in the Satyayug, then by Raavan in silver in Tretayug, in wood by Krishna in Dwaparyug, and finally in stone by Bhimdev Solanki in Kaliyug. Archaeological findings indicate the temple was rebuilt at least three times before Mahmud Ghaznavi’s raid in 1026. It was later attacked thrice more.

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On November 13, 1947, Deputy PM Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel vowed to rebuild Somnath (the temple in ruins above). Architect Prabhashankar Sompura was picked, and limestone quarried from Chorwad (28 km from Somnath) was used for constructing the temple in the ‘Nagar’ architectural style. This style connects structures without the use of metal.

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The temple was inaugurated on May 11, 1950, by President Rajendra Prasad. In 1970, a statue of Patel was inaugurated by Satya Sai Baba in the temple precinct.

Currently, the Shree Somnath Trust is building a Ram temple 2 km from Somnath. The temple has a land bank of 1,000 acres, of which 400 acres are in Diu.

First published on: 27-09-2015 at 12:18:21 am
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