New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday took note of the deterioration and erosion of Shivalingam at the ancient Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain and directed that devotees should “do no rubbing” of the lingam. 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. Passing a slew of directions to preserve the Shivalingam at the ancient temple, a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra directed the temple committee to implement the best methodology to prevent any further damage. The top court said that it should be ensured that no visitor or devotee rubs the Shivalingam at any cost. “If it is done by any devotee, accompanying Poojari or Purohit shall be responsible for not stopping the rubbing. No rubbing of Shivalingam to be done by anyone except during traditional puja and Archana performed on behalf of the temple,” said the bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Krishna Murari. The bench, which delivered its judgment on the issue related to the temple, referred to reports of a committee consisting of experts of Archaeological Survey of India and Geological Survey of India and also that of the temple committee. “To preserve the Shivalingam, we direct that: (a) any devotee should do no rubbing of the Shivalingam,” it said. The bench noted that the expert team had visited Ujjain on January 19 last year and its report indicated that there was the erosion of Shivalinga after the last inspection and it is a continuing process. It directed that 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 Shivlinga and the steps to be taken to preserve the temple structure, including Chandranageshwar Temple”. It directed the committee to do a yearly survey and submit a report in the court.
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