Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of multiple projects in Somnath, Gujarat via video conferencing. The projects inaugurated include the Somnath Promenade, Somnath Exhibition Centre, and the reconstructed temple precinct of Old (Juna) Somnath. During the event, the Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of Shree Parvati Temple. Senior BJP leader Lal Krishan Advani, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy along with CM of Gujarat Vijay Rupani were also present on the occasion.
The Prime Minister congratulated devotees all around the world and paid respect to Sardar Patel, who demonstrated unwavering determination to restore India’s ancient glory. Sardar Patel linked Somnath Mandir with the spirit of Independent India.
PM Modi said that it is “our good fortune that we are taking forward the efforts of Sardar Saheb in the 75th year of Independence and imparting new splendour to Somnath Temple. The country is moving forward taking inspiration from the blend of modernity and tradition in life.’’
Gujarat has witnessed the effects of combining modernity and tourism from close quarters due to initiatives like the Statue of Unity and the renovation of Kutch, said the Prime Minister. ”It has been a demand of every time period that we seek new opportunities in religious tourism and improve the linkages between pilgrimage and the local economy,” the Prime Minister pointed out.
PM Modi further said that the reconstruction of the Somnath temple is due to centuries of strong resolve and ideological continuity. ‘Great men like Rajendra Prasad Ji, Sardar Patel, and KM Munshi faced difficulties for this campaign even after independence. Still, finally, Somnath Mandir was developed as the divine pillar of contemporary India in 1950. The Country is heading towards amicable solutions to difficult problems. A bright pillar of the glory of modern India is coming up in the form of Ram Mandir’, he added.
Emphasizing Bharat Jodo Andolan
The PM said that our thinking should be to learn from history in order to improve our present and create a new future. Referring to his mantra of ‘Bharat Jodo Andolan’, PM Modi said that this is not just geographical connectivity but connected by thoughts also. ‘‘This also is a pledge for connecting the building of future India with our past’’, said the Prime Minister.
He said, ‘’From Somnath and Nageshwar in the west to Vaidyanath in the east, from Baba Kedarnath in the north to Shri Rameshwar, at the extreme southern end of India, these 12 Jyotirlingas serve to link the whole India. Similarly, the arrangement of our four dhams, the concept of our Shaktipeeths, the development of various pilgrimages at several parts of the country, outlines our faith, and an expression of the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat.’
Developing tourist circuits on 15 themes
PM Modi informed that the Tourism Ministry is constructing tourist circuits based on 15 themes as part of the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, creating opportunities for tourism in neglected areas. Developments in hilly areas like Kedarnath, tunnels, and highways for Char Dhams, development projects in Vaishno Devi, high-tech infrastructure in the Northeast region are bridging the distances.
Similarly, under PRASHAD Scheme, which was launched in 2014, is developing 40 important places of pilgrimage out of which 15 have already been finished. Three projects totalling more than 100 crore rupees are now under construction in Gujarat. Connections between pilgrimage sites are being prioritized.
The Somnath Promenade is built under PRASHAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive) Scheme at a cost of about ₹ 47 crore. The Somnath Exhibition Centre, developed in the premises of ‘Tourist Facilitation Centre’ which displays the exhibits from dismantled parts of the old Somnath temple and its sculptures are having Nagar style temple architecture of the old Somnath.
Click on the link below to watch the full event- https://youtu.be/Kc4J2G3qk4U