Sunrays keep their date with the cave temple

Sunrays keep their date with the cave temple

Hundreds of devotees thronged the historic Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple in the City to witness the rare phenomenon of sunrays falling on the Shivalinga in the sanctum sanctorum on Sankranti day on Tuesday.

Like on every January 14, this time too a beam of sunrays passed through the two windows of the south-facing cave temple and sliding down through the horns of Nandi touched the Shivalinga. The entire activity lasted for two minutes and 46 seconds.

Sreekantha Dixit, the Assistant Archaka (priest) of the temple said: “This time, the sunrays passed inside the temple premises at 5.14 pm as there was slight change in ‘lagna.’ More than 50,000 devotees offered their prayers today.” The festival, celebrated across the country, is marked by the change of the sun’s directions from the Lower Hemisphere (Dakshinayana) to the Upper Hemisphere (Uttarayana).

On three days

Scientists Jayanth Vyasanakere and Shyalaja of the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium who have done a study on the temple found that sun rays fell on the Shivalinga not just on Sankranti (Pongal) but also on November 30 and December 1, every year. 

Further, they discovered that Suryapana (sun disc) and Chandrapana (moon disc) monolithic sculptures located parallel to each other at the front yard of temple were placed for astronomical observations in the medieval period itself. 

But only in the recent times, the scholars found that the two discs are installed in alignment with the summer solstice sunset which explains the significance of the sunrays phenomenon that occurs on January 14.

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