BJP president Amit Shah was among the thousands of devotees who today offered prayers at the Somnath temple on the 67th anniversary of its reopening, post reconstruction, on May 11, 1951.

Shah, who prayed on the eve of the crucial Karnakata Assembly polls tomorrow, was accompanied by state BJP president Jitubhai Vaghani.

Vijay Chavda, general manager of the Shree Somnath Trust told PTI that several programmes, religious and social, were held to mark the temple’s 68th Foundation Day.

“These programmes included Maha Aarati, Laghu Yagna, medical camps, homage to Sardar Patel and a cleanliness drive under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Thousands of devotees visited the temple today,” he informed.

Shah, who is one the trustees of the Shree Somnath Trust, was invited to take part in the 68th Foundation Day of the existing temple, a BJP release said.

Shah, along with his family members, performed various religious rituals at the temple and then left for Delhi, the release added.

The reconstruction of the temple, razed and plundered several times through history, was first mooted by Sardar Patel during his visit to Junagadh on May 13, 1947.

Rajendra Prasad, the country’s first President, had performed the “linga prathishtha” (idol consecration) on May 11, 1951 after the reconstruction was completed.