Now, non-Hindus can't enter Somnath temple without permit

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
  • Updated: Jun 04, 2015 01:21 IST

Gujarat’s famous Somnath temple where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a trustee has restricted entry of non-Hindus in the temple without prior permission from the temple management. The temple authorities have cited security concerns and protection of the sanctity of the place while issuing the order for people of other faiths.

“Shree Somnath Jyotirling is a pilgrimage for Hindus. Non-Hindus will have to obtain permission from general manager’s office (of the temple) to enter the sacred pilgrim-place,” stated in a notice put up by temple authorities at the main entrance gate.

“If you go to Parsi Agiyari, what they put outside on notice board is non-Parsis are not allowed inside. Can you enter Mecca city? Every religion has its right to regulate,” said PK Laheri, former IAS officer who is a secretary of the Somnath temple trust which is headed by former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel.

According to Laheri, disallowing entry of people of other faiths is common in all religion so there is nothing new in the direction the temple management has issued.

The Somnath temple has a unique place in Hinduism. The famous temple located on the coast near Veraval in Gujarat was desecrated and invaded by Mohmud of Ghazni and other Muslim invaders between 11 to 17th century. However, after every attack, the temple was rebuilt including the present structure which was built at the instance of the first home minister of India Sardar Patel and was inaugurated by the first president Dr Rajendra Prasad in May 1951.

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