PM Narendra Modi with Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel at the inauguration of the redeveloped Kalika Mata Temple, at Pavagadh hill, in Panchmahal on Saturday. (ANI Photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today unfurled a traditional flag on the famous Mahakali temple in Gujarat's Panchmahal district, 500 years after Sultan of Gujarat Mahmud Begda destroyed the 'shikhara' or spire of the temple and set up a dargah on the premises of the temple.
The dargah of a Muslim saint was shifted to an alternative site with the consent of its caretakers a few months ago and the 'shikhara' has been restored as part of the redevelopment of the 11th century temple situated on the Pavagadh hill.
Speaking on the occasion, PM Modi said, "For five centuries and even after 75 years of Independence the flag atop Ma Kali temple was not unfurled, today it is being done," PM Modi said.
"The flag unfurled at the temple is not just a symbol of our spirituality, but it says that centuries change, eras go by, but our faith remains eternal,'' the Prime Minister said.
He observed that the flag unfurled at the temple is not just a symbol of our spirituality, but shows that our faith remains strong despite the passage of centuries. The centres of faith and spiritual glory of India are now being re-established, he explained.
PM Modi said that the dream of lakhs of devotees was fulfilled today when the temple stands in full glory as it was in the ancient times.
"It is one thing to dream, while conceptualising something is different. But when you see that the dream has become a reality, it gives you a feeling of satisfaction," PM Modi said.
"You have seen that a grand Ram temple is being built at Ayodhya. The Kashi Vishwanath temple complex has already been rebuilt and the same is the case with the Kedarnath temple. Our centres of faith and spiritual glory of India are being re-established. The rebuilding of Ma Kali temple at Pavagadh is part of the same 'gaurav yatra'," PM Modi said.
"Along with the development of these centres of spirituality, it is important to develop infrastructure for the development of religious tourism. One can see that this UNESCO heritage site of Pavagadh-Chapaner will be one of the tourist attractions of the country," he said.
"After we developed infrastructure for Char Dham Yatra, you have seen this year that lakhs of people are visiting those places in Uttarakhand in just a few weeks this season," PM Modi said referring to a large number of devotees visiting Kedarnath and Badrinath.
PM Modi inaugurated the redeveloped Mahakali temple, which is nestled within Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site, and attracts millions of devotees every year.
The redevelopment, which included widening of the steps leading to the temple from the foot of the hill and landscaping of the surrounding area, entailed an investment of Rs 125 crore.
The new temple complex is built over three levels and spread over 30,000 square feet.