Curbs on non-Hindus in Somnath

Curbs on non-Hindus in Somnath

Following Puri Jagannath Temple in the east coast, non-Hindus will find it much harder to enter the historic Somnath Mahadev Temple in the west.

Shri Somnath Trust, which manages the temple affairs, has put up a notice at Somnath Mandir’s entrance stating non-Hindus wishing to have a darshan at the temple should take prior permission.

The new signboard put up by the Trust purportedly read: “Shri Somnath main Jyotirlinga pilgrim place is sacred for Hindus. It should be noted that Non-Hindus will be allowed to enter for darshan in this sacred pilgrim place only after they contact and take permission from General Manager’s office – Shri Somnath Trust, Prabhas Patan.”

The FAQ section at the temple website www.somnath.org too states that “To Enter Temple, Non-Hindus have to take prior permission from Trust’s General Manager. But no one is permitted to enter the main Sanctum Sanctorum except the Priests.”

On the question can anyone make a prayer? the website states, “A Person who has faith in Hinduism can offer his/her prayer.”

First among the 12 Aadi Jyotirlings in the country, Shree Somnath temple has been highlighted as a symbol of tyranny against the Hindus as Mohammad of Ghaznavi attacked the shrine 17 times.

Former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel is the Chairman and Managing Trustee of Shree Somnath Trust, which has Prime Minister Narendra Modi and L K Advani among its board of trustees. Modi was appointed trustee in 2009.

Attempts by this correspondent to reach out to General Manager of Somnath Templedid not fructify but he has reportedly justified the curb.

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