Rajkot, July 4 : The historic temple of Somnath in Gujarat is all set to become a 'golden temple' by 2010.
The Sri Somnath Temple Trust is carving and gold plating the Sabha Mandap (hall of gathering) for the devotees.
"The interior, which leads the devotees into temples is being decorated with gold and meenakari. After seeing this beautification work, the devotees approached us and requested us to gold plate the whole of temple, " said Ashok Sharma, Secretary, Somnath Temple Trust.
Besides, the outer structure of the temple is also being painted with fungus resistant paint to allow the porous Bella stones, which make up the structure, to breathe.
The special anti-fungus coating protects it from the adverse weather conditions. At the same time, the coating will not block the breathing of the Bellas based structure.
The outer coating would protect the temple for the next ten years from fungus attack.
Located on the shore, the temple has to bear continuously saline and humid wind.
The new work has already impressed the visitors and many feel like coming back again. "The gold plating at some places inside the temple will further enhance the grandeur of the temple. We will have to come here more often in order to experience its full grandeur ," said Ravi, a devotee.
The Somnath Temple is known as 'the shrine eternal' since it has been attacked on several occasions but continues to exist.
It was destroyed six times and subsequently rebuilt every time. The most notable attack was by the invading Turks led by Mahmud Ghazni and centuries later by the Mughal Ruler Aurangazeb.
It was reconstructed for the seventh time in 1947, which lasted till 1995.