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Modi to hoist flag atop Gujarat temple after dargah shifts amicably

Source: PTI
June 17, 2022 19:54 IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Saturday unfurl a traditional flag on the famous Mahakali temple in Gujarat's Panchmahal district, after a dargah which stood atop the temple was shifted with the consent of its caretakers.

The shikhara or spire of the temple was destroyed by Sultan Mahmud Begada nearly 500 years ago. It has been restored now as part of the redevelopment of the 11th century temple, situated on the Pavagadh hill.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate the redeveloped Mahakali temple. He would also unfurl the traditional red flag on the newly-built shikhara, said temple trustee Ashok Pandya.

 

The temple is nestled within Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site, and attracts millions of devotees every year.

It is believed that Sage Vishwamitra installed the idol of Goddess Kalika in Pavagadh.

The original spire of the temple was destroyed by Sultan Mahmud Begada during his invasion of Champaner in the 15th century, said Pandya.

Soon after, a dargah or shrine of Sadanshah Peer, a Muslim saint, was built on top of the temple, he said.

"To hoist a flag, a pole on a spire is needed. As there was no spire, no flag was put up all these years. When the redevelopment started a few years ago, we requested the caretakers of the dargah to allow it to be shifted so that the spire could be rebuilt," Pandya said.

As per folklore, Sadanshah was a Hindu -- Sahadev Joshi -- who embraced Islam to please Begada. It is also believed that Sadanshah played a role in saving the temple from complete destruction.

"We had an amicable settlement and the dargah was relocated to a place close to the temple," Pandya said.

The redevelopment, which included widening of the steps leading to the temple from the foothill and beautification of the surrounding area, cost around Rs 125 crore. Of this, the temple trust contributed Rs 15 crore, Pandya said.

The new temple complex is built over three levels and spread over 30,000 square feet, he added.

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