Now, non-Hindus can’t enter Somnath temple sans permit
Authorities cited security concerns and protection of ‘sanctity’ of a religious place for the restriction, saying other religions do not allow non-followers to enter their sacred places.
“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,” said a notice put up by temple authorities at the main entrance gate.
The notice was put up outside the main <g data-gr-id="22">entrance-gate</g> of the temple last Monday. Daily thousands of devotees from across the country visit the temple, which is very heavily protected by police.
The famous Shiva temple, located near Veraval town of Gir-Somnath district, is governed by a trustee board headed by former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior BJP leader L K Advani are other trustees.
“The decision was taken by the Somnath Trust’s secretary (P K Lahiri) two to three days ago and we put a notice accordingly,” Vijaysinh Chavda, Deputy Manager of Somnath said. When asked about reasons behind barring the entry of non-Hindus in the temple without taking permission, Chavda said the decision has been taken due to security reasons.
Trustee Secretary of <g data-gr-id="27">Somanth</g> Temple and former IAS officer P K Lahiri <g data-gr-id="32">said</g> “Notice was put up after some people represented that entry needs to be regulated. I have put up that notice.” “Locals have noticed that non-Hindus are trying to enter and there were some issues from <g data-gr-id="28">security-guards</g> whether they should be allowed or not. We have decided to regulate it as per our old tradition,” he said.