The somnath inspirationPosted: October 7, 2010
According to Hindu theology, Somnath Temple was first built with gold by Moon God, with silver by Ravana, with sandalwood by Lord Krishna, and with stone by Bhimdeva Solanki, Gurjar Ruler of Gujarat.
The Someshwar Mahadev Temple or Somnath Temple stands among the most important Hindu temples & pilgrimage center of India. The construction of the present day temple in Junagadh district began in 1947. It is the seventh temple built to commemorate the glory of Lord Somnath who is said to have known by different names such as Bhairaveshwar in the Satya Yug, Shravanikeshwar in Treta Yuga and Shrigaleshwar in Dwapar Yuga.
The following extract is from “Wonders of Things Created, and marvels of Things Existing” by Asaru-L- Bilad, a 13th century Arab geographer. It contains the following description of Somnath temple and its destruction: The following is a long quotation.
“Somnath: celebrated city of India, situated on the shore of the sea, and washed by its waves. Among the wonders of that place was the temple in which was placed the idol called Somnath. This idol was in the middle of the temple without anything to support it from below, or to suspend it from above. It was held in the highest honor among the Hindus, and whoever beheld it floating in the air was struck with amazement, whether he was a Musulman or an infidel. The Hindus used to go on pilgrimage to it whenever there was an eclipse of the moon, and would then assemble there to the number of more than a hundred thousand. They believed that the souls of men used to meet there after separation from the body, and that the idol used to incorporate them at its pleasure in other bodies, in accordance with their doctrine of transmigration. “The ebb and flow of the tide was considered to be the worship paid to the idol by the sea. Everything of the most precious was brought there as offerings, and the temple was endowed with more than 10,000 villages. There is a river (the Ganges) which is held sacred, between which and Somnat the distance is 200 parasangs. They used to bring the water of this river to Somnath every day, and wash the temple with it. A thousand brahmins were employed in worshipping the idol and attending on the visitors, and 500 damsels sung and danced at the door–all these were maintained upon the endowments of the temple. The edifice was built upon fifty-six pillars of teak, covered with lead. The shrine of the idol was dark. hut was lighted by jeweled chandeliers of great value. Near it was a chain of gold weighing 200 mans. When a portion (watch) of the night closed, this chain used to be shaken like bells to rouse a fresh lot of Brahmins to perform worship. “When the Sultan Yaminu-d Daula Mahmud Bin Subuktigin went to wage religious war against India, he made great efforts to capture and destroy Somnat, in the hope that the Hindus would then become Muhammadans. As a result thousands of Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam. He arrived there in the middle of Zi-l k’ada, 416 A.H. (December, 1025 A.D.). “The king looked upon the idol with wonder, and gave orders for the seizing of the spoil, and the appropriation of the treasures. There were many idols of gold and silver and vessels set with jewels, all of which had been sent there by the greatest personages in India. The value of the things found in the temples of the idols exceeded twenty thousand dinars.
The second temple, built by the Yadava kings of Vallabhi in Gujarat, replaced the first one on the same site around 649.
In 725 Junayad, the Arab governor of Sind, sent his armies to destroy the second temple. The Gurjara Pratihara king Nagabhata II constructed the third temple in 815, a large structure of red sandstone.
In 1024 A.D., the temple was once again destroyed by Mahmud Ghazni who raided the temple from across the Thar Desert. Ghazni was challenged by the king, Ghogha Rana, who at the ripe age of 90, sacrificed his own clan fighting against Ghazni The temple was rebuilt by the Paramara King Bhoj of Malwa and the Solanki king Bhima of Gujarat (Anhilwara) or Patan between 1026 and 1042. The wooden structure was replaced by Kumarpal (r.1143-72), who built the temple of stone.
In 1296 A.D., the temple was once again destroyed by Sultan Allauddin Khilji’s army. According to Taj-ul-Ma’sir of Hasan Nizami, Raja Karan of Gujarat was defeated and forced to flee, "fifty thousand infidels were dispatched to hell by the sword" and "more than twenty thousand slaves, and cattlle,beyond all calculation fell into the hands of the victors". The temple was rebuilt by Mahipala Deva, the Chudasama king of Saurashtra in 1308 A.D. and the Linga was installed by his son Khengar sometime between 1326 and 1351 A.D.
In 1375 A.D., the temple was once again destroyed by Muzaffar Shah I, the Sultan of Gujarat. About 1400 A.D. it was reconstructed by the local public
In 1451 A.D., the temple was once again destroyed by Mahmud Begda, the Sultan of Gujarat. It was reconstructed again.
In 1701 A.D., the temple was once again destroyed by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.Aurangzeb built a mosque on the site of the Somnath temple, using some columns from the temple, whose Hindu sculptural motifs remained visible.
Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore rebuilt the temple in 1783 A.D. at a site adjacent to the ruined temple which was already converted to a mosque.
The Deputy Prime Minister of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel came to Junagadh on November 12, 1947 to direct the stabilization of the state by the Indian Army and at the same time ordered the reconstruction of the Somanath temple.
When Sardar Patel, K. M. Munshi and other leaders of the Congress went to Gandhi with the proposal of reconstructing the Somnath temple,
Gandhiji blessed the move, but suggested that the funds for the construction should be collected from the public and the temple should not be funded by the state. He expressed that he was proud to associate himself to the project of renovation of the temple. But soon both Gandhi and Sardar Patel died and the task of reconstruction of the temple continued under K. M. Munshi.
The ruins were pulled down in October 1950 and the mosque was moved to a different location.
In May 1951, Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Republic of India, invited by K M Munshi, performed the installation ceremony for the temple. Rajendra Prasad said in his address "It is my view that the reconstruction of the Somnath Temple will be complete on that day when not only a magnificent edifice will arise on this foundation, but the mansion of India’s prosperity will be really that prosperity of which the ancient temple of Somnath was a symbol.". He added "The Somnath temple signifies that the power of reconstruction is always greater than the power of destruction".
The present temple is built in the Chalukya style of temple architecture or Kailash
Mahameru Prasad Style . and reflects the skill of the Sompura Salats, Gujarat’s master masons.The temple is situated at such a place that there is no land in straight-line between Somnath seashore till Antarctica, such an inscription in Sanskrit is found on the Arrow-Pillar called Baan-Stambh erected on the sea-protection wall at the Somnath Temple. This Baan-Stambh mentions that it stands at a point on the Indian landmass, which happens to be the first point on land in the north to the south-pole on that particular longitude.
taking inspiration from sri sardar patel and somnath , let us together build a grand RAM MANDIR in ayodhya , which was destroyed by the same people who had destroyed somnath.
jai somnath !
jai sri ram !!