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The Prime Minister recently inaugurated the new Circuit House near Somnath Temple at Veraval. Which of the following statements are correct regarding Somnath Temple?

  1. Somnath Temple is one of the Jyotirlinga shrines.
  2. A description of Somnath Temple was given by Al-Biruni.
  3. Pran Pratishtha of Somnath Temple (installation of the present day temple) was done by President S. Radhakrishnan.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation

The correct answer is (a) 1 and 2 only

  • Statement 1 is correct: Somnath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. As per Hindu texts like Shiva Purana, Skanda Purana etc, Somnath is revered as the first of the 12 Jyotirlingas.
  • Statement 2 is correct: The 11th century Arab scholar Al-Biruni has given a vivid description of the Somnath Temple in his book “Tarikh Al-Hind” mentioning its grandeur and riches.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: The present Somnath Temple was reconstructed in 1951. The installation ceremony (Pran-Pratishtha) was performed by the then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad on 11th May 1951.

Learn more about Somnath Temple:

  • Somnath Temple is located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat.
  • The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and houses one of the 12 Jyotirlingas which are sacred shrines of Lord Shiva.
  • As per Hindu texts, the first temple at Somnath was built by the Moon God with gold in Satyuga. It was reconstructed several times after being demolished by Muslim invaders like Mahmud Ghazni, Alauddin Khilji etc.
  • The present temple was reconstructed from 1947-51 after Independence under the initiative of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The reconstruction was done in traditional Chalukyan style of temple architecture.
  • Somnath Temple is an important pilgrimage and tourist site. The place is also known for Triveni Sangam (confluence of 3 rivers) and temples like Bhalka Tirth, Geeta Mandir etc.
  • Somnath Temple was added to the list of National Monuments by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 2019.

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