Somnath to be a Golden Temple by 2020
Gujarat’s Golden Temple. That’s what the historic Somnath temple is all set to become in 2020. One of the major pilgrimage centres for Hindus, it will get major makeover with Somnath Temple trust planning to spend around Rs 100 crore for an ambitious carving and gold-plating project.At present renovation work is going on a large scale at the temple. Work of making Sabha Mandap with gold plating has already started along with carving work as part of beautification of the entire structure. Interior and gardening work is also in full swing.There are 200 pillars in and around temple. All these pillars would be carved first and then gold plating work followed by silicon plating would be done. Already 50 pillars have been carved and gold plating of these pillars will be initiated shortly. The inside part of the temple where ‘Shivling’ is installed (Garbh Gruh) is already carved and gold plated.The cost of carving per pillar is around Rs. 1.71 lakh while expense for gold plating of a pillar is Rs 11 lakh.Initially, interior parts of the temple would completely gold plated from the funding of trust as well as donation and in second phase exterior part will also studded with gold with a view to retain the old glory to the temple.History has it that entire Somnath Temple was studded with gold and precious gems from outside as well as inside. Afghan ruler Mohammad Ghazni attacked the temple several times and looted all the treasure.The temple was renovated for first time in 1947 by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and later in 1995.