Norco City Council members in a unanimous 5-0 vote decided to block the construction of a Hindu temple on the grounds of not fitting the city’s ‘western theme and identity’
City Manager Andy Okoro plans to set up a resolving committee in the light of the recent misunderstandings in the media
The time for the process cannot be assumed as it highly depends on the recommendations made
Officials of Norco just moved one step closer to lacking a Hindu temple in its 3636 Norconian Drive. One won’t be entirely wrong if he thinks it was a culturally unbelievable step by the Norco city council to deny the leaders of a faith organisation from moving ahead with their plans of bringing in a Hindu temple to the town.
On July 6, 2016, the Norco City Council members unanimously decided to block the construction of the temple on the grounds of reasons such as, the temple doesn’t fit the city’s ‘western theme and identity’.
Adding to that, Councilmen Greg Newton and Ted Hoffman raised concerns about adequate parking, water drainage and the effect on residential vistas before voting against the temple. To a common man, it might all seem like religious discrimination done behind a cloak, reported the Press Enterprise Website.
“We were stunned when they denied us,” Patolia, also a chairman of the faith organisation, said this week. “They had already made up their minds not to allow it.” The supporters of the temple have already spent more than $200,000 on the 4-acre site, which is wedged between two Christian churches. Another reason added to the reject list by the city officials was about the proposed domed structure of the temple that falls beneath the city’s height allowance.
Ironically, the steeples of the Christian churches exceed city laws, reaching more than 60 feet into the air. Nevertheless, the developers appealed to reduce the building’s height by more than 10 feet and remove the traditional domed architecture that serves as a reflection of their religious expression.
Light at the end of the tunnel
However, all hope is not lost and a three-year effort is not assumed to go down the drain just yet. On July 20, a Corona resident filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union for similar reasons due to which City Manager Andy Okoro has recommended forming a committee to resolve the above issues.
In his report for August 3, council meeting Okoro stated his reasons for a resolving committee. The Press Enterprise states those reasons –“misunderstanding in the media regarding the reasons why the project was denied” and the “applicant’s willingness to make changes” to the project are the reasons for a second chance.
The Press Enterprise stated that the temple and cultural centre for the Swaminarayan Gurukul faith, a Hindu denomination, would have included a prayer room, covered patio, classrooms, kitchens and a tennis court. There would be Patrons daily yoga, prayers and meditation held in its enclosed area.
The proposed committee will be conducted in the presence of two city council members, two planning commissioners and temple representatives to oversee the architectural details and the temple’s effects on the local streets. The time for the process cannot be assumed as it highly depends on the recommendations made.
– prepared by Karishma Vanjani of NewsGram. Twitter: @BladesnBoots
Somnath Temple is believed to be the place where Lord Krishna ended his Lila and thereafter left for heavenly abode
The first Siva temple at Somanath is believed to have been built at some unknown time in the past
Gujarat was raided by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1024, plundering the Somnath temple and breaking its sacred jyotirlinga
Somnath Temple is a specimen of fine architecture of one of the 12 Jyotirlingas Shrines of Shiva. This place is believed to be the place where Lord Krishna ended his Lila and thereafter left for heavenly abode, therefore it is dubbed as Eternal Shrine. This legendary temple has been vandalized numerous times in the history but with the help of some Hindu Kings, the temple was reshaped each time.
Somnath Temple is located in Veraval on the western coast of Gujarat, India. The temple is popular due to various legends connected to it. The place is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot. Lord Shiva has a strong connection here and also known as shrine eternal.
Somnath Temple History
According to popular tradition, the first Siva temple at Somanath is believed to have been built at some unknown time in the past. The second temple has been built at the same site by the “Yadava kings” of Vallabhi around 649 CE. In 725 CE, Al-Junayd, the Arab governor of Sindh destroyed the second temple as part of his invasions of Gujarat and Rajasthan. In 815 CE, the Gurjara-Pratihara king Nagabhata II constructed the third temple, a huge structure of red sandstone.
The Chaulukya (Solanki) king Mularaja possibly built the first temple at the site sometime before 997 CE, even though some historians believe that he may have renovated a smaller earlier temple.
Somnath Temple Attacks
Gujarat was raided by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1024, plundering the Somnath temple and breaking its sacred jyotirlinga. Ghazni took away the wealth of almost 20 million dinars. As per historical records, the damage to the temple by was quite negligible because there are records of pilgrimages to the temple in 1038, which has no much mention of any damage to the temple.
But claims are there that Mahmud had killed 50,000 devotees who tried to defend the temple. The temple at the time of Ghazni’s attack appears to have been a wooden structure, which is said to have decayed in time.
According to an inscription of 1169, Kumarapala rebuilt it in “excellent stone and studded it with jewels,”
Then in 1299, the Somnath Temple was invaded by Alauddin Khalji’s army, led by Ulugh Khan. They defeated the Vaghela king Karna and sacked the Somnath temple. Legends state that the Jalore ruler Kanhadadeva later recovered the Somnath idol and freed the Hindu prisoners, after an attack on the Delhi army near Jalore. However, some other sources state that the idol was taken to Delhi, where it was thrown to be trampled under the feet of Muslims.
The Somnath Temple was rebuilt by Mahipala I, the Chudasama king of Saurashtra in 1308 and the lingam was installed by his son Khengara sometime between 1331 and 1351.
In14th century, Gujarati Muslim pilgrims were noted by Amir Khusrow to stop at that temple to pay their respects before departing for the Hajj pilgrimage.
In 1395, the temple was again destroyed for the third time by Zafar Khan, the last governor of Gujarat under the Delhi Sultanate and later founder of Gujarat Sultanate.
In 1546, the Portuguese who were based in Goa attacked ports and towns in Gujarat including Somnath Temple and destroyed several of its structures.
Somnath temple to Dwarka
Dwarka is an ancient city in the Indian state of Gujarat. It is very near to Somnath temple and due to its relevance to Hindu pilgrimage; people do tend to visit this place also.
The magnificent Temple of Dwarka has an elaborately tiered main shrine, a carved entrance and a black-marble idol of Lord Krishna.
The road distance between Dwarka and Somnath is 231 km and the aerial distance from Dwarka to Somnath is 210 km. One can also cover the distance through train which is almost 398km distant.
Here are some facts that are attached to this sacred and architecturally marvellous temple.
The present-day Somnath Temple was built in five years, from 1947 to 1951 and was inaugurated by then President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad.
Somnath Temple said to have been safely hiding the famous Syamantak Mani within the hollowness of Shivalinga, the Philosopher’s stone, which is associated with Lord Krishna. The stone is said to be magical, which was capable of producing gold. It is also believed that stone had alchemic and radioactive properties and thus it remains floating above the ground.
The temple finds its reference in the sacred texts of Hindus like Shreemad Bhagavat, Skandpuran, Shivpuran and Rig-Veda. This signifies the importance of this temple as one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in India.
According to records, the site of Somnath has been a pilgrimage site from ancient times as it was said to be the junction of three rivers, Kapila, Hiran and the mythical Saraswati. The meeting point was called as Triveni Sangam and is believed to be the place where Soma, the Moon-god bathed and regained his lustre.
According to Swami Gajanand Saraswati (a Hindu scholar), the first temple was built 7, 99, 25,105 years ago as derived from the traditions of Prabhas Khand of Skanda Puran.
The temple is said to be located at such a place that there is no straight-line land between Somnath seashore till Antarctica continent. In a Sanskrit inscription, found on the Arrow-Pillar called Baan-Stambh is stated that the temple stands at a point on the Indian piece of land, which happens to be the first point on land in the north to the south-pole on that particular longitude.
According to the text of Skanda Purana, the name of Somnath Temple will change every time the world is reconstructed. It is believed when Lord Brahma will create a new world after ending the one we are living, Somnath will acquire a new name of Pran Nath Temple.
On the walls of Somnath Temple, the sculptures of Lord Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu can be seen.
According to another reference in the Skanda Purana, there are about 6 Brahmas. This is the era of 7thBrahma who is called Shatanand.
The flag mast on the peak of Somnath Temple is 37 feet long and it changes 3 times a day.
The saga of Somnath temple is related to moon god and curse of his father in law Daksha Prajapati.
Non-Hindus doesn’t require any special permission to visit Somnath Temple. The decision was taken in view of security issues.Now, pack your bags and begin your journey to one of the most the sacred places of India.