Sunday, July 2nd, 2006, India E News
Bhopal – Offerings of milk, curd, water and other traditional materials on the sacred jyotirlinga at the famous Omkareshwar temple has been with banned to save the phallus-shaped symbol of Hindu lord Shiva from further erosion, officials said Sunday.
The Khandwa district administration took the decision Saturday on the advice of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), the officials said.
‘The damage is being caused due to the offerings made on the Shivlinga which is made of sandstone – comparatively soft material,’ said ASI deputy superintendent Ashok Kumar Pandey who had inspected the damaged lingam.
The jyotirlinga at Omkareshwar, 350 km from here, is one of the 12 major lingams in India and Nepal.
‘A crack had been found in the one-foot high shivlinga a few days ago and was repaired using a locally made paste but it did not prove effective,’ said Swami Tejanand, chief priest of the Omkareshwar Temple Trust that looks after the temple.
‘The jyotirlinga has suffered damage because a large number of devotees touch it every day during rituals,’ he said.
‘The trust is seriously considering the installation of a new jyotirlinga after submerging the existing Shivlinga in the holy Narmada river some time after August. Swami Jayendra Saraswati of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham is being consulted on the issue,’ the priest said.
However, Khandwa district collector Nikunj Kumar Shrivastava said the administration was consulting the ASI to preserve the lingam and there were no plans to install a new one.
Meanwhile, the temple trust is planning to place a transparent cover over the present shivling till a new one is installed.