New Delhi, Sep 1 : Taking note of deterioration and erosion of the ‘Shivalingam’ at the ancient Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that “no visitor or devotee should rub the Shivalingam at any cost”.
A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari, passing a slew of directions to preserve the Shivalingam, said: “If it (rubbing of the Shivalingam) is done by any devotee, accompanying Poojari or Purohit shall be responsible for stopping the rubbing. No rubbing of Shivalingam to be done by anyone except during traditional Puja and Archana performed on behalf of the temple.”
The top court observed that the rubbing of curd, ghee, or honey on the Shivalingam by devotees is also a cause of erosion. “It would be appropriate that only pouring of a limited quantity of pure milk is allowed by the committee. Whereas in the traditional puja to be done on behalf of the temple, all pure materials can be used,” said the top court.
The bench also directed the temple committee to ensure that the pH value of Bhasma during the Bhasma Aarti is improved and Shivalingam is preserved from further deterioration.
The apex court directed the temple committee to ensure that the pH value, which is used to specify the acidity or basicity, of ‘Bhasma’ during ‘Bhasma Aarti’ is improved and the Shivalingam is preserved from further deterioration. “The temple committee shall provide pure milk from its resources to the visitors and devotees for offering and make arrangements for that. The committee should ensure that no impure or adulterated milk is offered to Shivalingam and concerned Poojari/Purohit to ensure compliance,” said the bench.
The bench passed the directions citing reports of a committee consisting of experts of Archaeological Survey of India and Geological Survey of India and also that of the temple committee. The bench noted that the report of the expert team, which visited the temple on January 19, 2019, indicates that there was erosion of Shivalingam after the last inspection, and it is a continuing process. The last inspection was made earlier in 2018. The time gap was short when the inspection was made.
However, the facts remain that there was some erosion of Shivalingam. The court also directed that an expert committee shall visit the temple and submit a report by December 15, 2020, as to the steps to be taken to prevent deterioration of Shivlingam and the steps to be taken to preserve the temple structure, including Chandranageshwar Temple”. Also, the committee would submit a yearly survey and submit a report.
“The Temple Committee shall provide water from Koti Thirth Kund filtered and purified and further maintain the required pH value”, said the bench. The court also directed the Ujjain Smart City Ltd to undertake Mahakaal Rudrasagar Integrated Development Approach (Phase I and Phase II) forthwith and submit to the court a detailed project report and the time frame within six weeks.
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