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A trip to Somnath

Zee TV’s magnum opus, Shobha Somnath Ki, which goes on air later this month, tells the story of how Mahmud of Ghazni’s invasion was suppressed by Shobhana — the show’s lead protagonist.

tv Updated: Jun 06, 2011 15:44 IST
Nikhil Hemrajani

Set in 11th century Gujarat, Zee TV’s magnum opus, Shobha Somnath Ki, which goes on air later this month, tells the story of how Mahmud of Ghazni’s invasion was suppressed by Shobhana — the show’s lead protagonist. Prominently featuring the Somnath Temple, which has been destroyed and rebuilt six times, the set has been constructed over a nine-acre plot in Amgaon, Maharashtra, and took a year and a half to complete.

The Palace of Pathan is based on a 1,000-year-old reference design. The creative producer of the show, Vikas Kapoor mentions that since there was no existing record of the original palace, the replica was built around multiple designs of ancient palaces in Gujarat around 1000 and 1100 AD. According to legend, the actual palace of King Vallabhdev directly overlooked the Somnath Temple. One could view the Shivling inside the temple from a particular window within the palace.

The most outstanding part of the TV set is the Somnath Temple. It is an exact replica of the original temple in Saurashtra, Gujarat. According to history, Mahmud of Ghazni finally ransacked the temple in 1024 AD. “We made seven designs of the temple and each of them always resembled the third eye of Lord Shiva. That was one very peculiar and awe-inspiring phenomenon that we noticed during the making of the show,” Vikas says.

The Tripura Sundari Mandir will feature popular film villian and theatre actor Sadashiv Amrapurkar as the tantric worshipper, Rudra-bhadra. Here’s where devdasis (temple dancers), flesh trade and black magic took place. The ground plan of this temple is based on the Bhairavi Yantra, a 2000-year-old design.

Mahmud of Ghazni’s army entered the kingdom of Bharuch from this corridor. Mahmud specifically targeted Hindu temples, for these were the centres of wealth, economy and ideology for the Hindus. But according to legend, Mahmud couldn’t ransack the Somnath temple during the time of Shobhana, who sacrificed her life to deceive him of his plan.

Watch it on Zee TV starting June 20 at 8 pm every Monday to Friday.