Sompura Salat

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Salat are a Hindu, Brahmin community of Gujarat, which have branched off from Sompura Brahmin community.[1][2] They are also found in southern Rajasthan, specially in the Mewar region.[3] Their origin is said to be from Prabhas Patan famous for the Somnath temple. The term "salat" is derived from Shilavat, the old term for a temple architect.


They are group of people, who took artistic and masonry works as an occupation and branched off from Sompura Brahmin community.[2] They are considered as Brahmin community and have surnames like; Trivedi, Davey, Raval, Vyas, Acharya, Shukla, Bhatt etc.[2]However, Sompura Brahmin do not accept them as Brahmin.[1][2] They maintain clan exogamy as a strict rule for marriage.[1][2]

The community is vegetarian in diet and also avoid eating onions, garlic, white cucumber and lentils.[2]

They worship Ashapura Mata as their clan deity.[2] They are basically a Shivaite community and worship Shiva as chief deity, however, also observe all other Hindu festivals like Uthasini, Ramanavami, Janamashtmi, Holi, Diwali but Shivaratri and Navaratri are the main festival for the community.[2]


They are specialized in masonry works, artistic carvings and sculpting as well as artistic stone shaping works, especially in works of idol-making.[2] Among the notable architecture built by them are Hawa Mahal, the royal palace near Wadhwan built for the Sultanate of Gujarat and more recently the Somnath Temple built after independence of India.[2]

Restoration and building of temples[edit]

Hutheesing Jain Temple

Prabhashankar Oghadbhai[4] of Palitana, had been one of the leading designers of Nagar style of temples. He was awarded Padmashri. The design and building of the modern Somnath Temple,[5] known as Somnath Maha Meru Prasad, was executed by him. While their center of activity is in Gujarat and Rajasthan, they now undertake temple architecture in different part of India, as well as overseas. They follow texts written in 15th century such as Prasad Manjari, written during the rule of Rana Raimal by brothers Mandan and Nathji. They originally hailed from Patan, Gujarat and were invited to settle in Chittorgarh. During the past five centuries they have been involved in building and restoration of numerous Jain temples in Gujarat and southern Rajasthan, as well as temples built by Jains from there regions in other parts of India.[6]

In 1992, Chandrakant Sompura, grandson of Prabhashankar[7] had designed the Sompura Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar.[8] He was asked by Ashok Singhal, chief of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, to design and build the Ram Janmabhoomi temple.[9]

The world's largest Ram Temple, a proposed replica of Angkor Wat to be built in Champaran, Bihar, is being designed by Piyush Sompura[10]

C.P. Trivedi and Sons, founded by Chandulal P. Trivedi [11] from the Sompura clan, were responsible for the restoration of the Delwara Jain temples and the Jain temples at Jaisalmer Fort and the Amar Sagar lake. They also designed the Kirti Stumbh at Hutheesing Wadi in Ahmedabad, Oswal Jain Temple at Nairobi, Kenya, Jain Center, Leicester, UK,[12]Atma Vallabh Smarak, Delhi, and the Global Vipassana Pagoda at Gorai in northwest Mumbai. Hitesh Sompura in Mumbai is a qualified Architect from Mumbai who computerised and revolutionised Temple Architecture by writing English book "You & Architecture" and making many short documentary films explaining about Indian Temple Architecture. Awarded the “Best Architecture Award 2007” at London in 2007, built the first ever traditional Shikharbandhi Jain Temple in Europe, Rajesh Sompura is now having more than 35 glorious projects standing tall in India, UK, USA, Singapore, Bangkok, Nairobi and Tanzania.


The community is found thorough out Gujarat but largely concentrated in Saurashtra region.[2] Outside India, population is found in United Kingdom and United States of America.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Global Encyclopaedia of the Brahmana Ethnography edited by K.S. Krishna Rao. 2008. p. 467. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Gujarat, Part 3. 2003. pp. 1313–14. 
  3. ^ Folk Icons and Rituals in Tribal Life, Pramod Kumar, Abhinav Publications, 1984, p. 5-12
  4. ^ Kshirarnava, Prabhashankar Oghadbhai Sompura, 1967
  5. ^ Prasad Manjari, Prabhashankar Oghadbhai Sompura, 1965
  6. ^ A SHRINE turning into a work of ART Hindu, Mar 04, 2004
  7. ^ कैसा होगा प्रस्तावित मंदिर? आलोक जोशी, 15 मार्च, 2002
  8. ^ Akshardham architect sends up a prayer, PRESLEY THOMAS, Sep 29, 2002
  9. ^ 'No one says Jai Shri Ram to me anymore' Tina Parekh,, Apr 19, 2007.
  10. ^ चंपारण में बनेगा विश्व का सबसे वृहद राम मंदिर,, June 21, 2012
  11. ^ Lives of Indian Images, Richard H. Davis, p. xii, Princeton University Press, 1999
  12. ^ Jain Samaj Leicester, Our History