As many as 21,000 couples today took part in the foundation stone-laying ceremony of a temple at Kagvad in the district, creating a unique world record.
The proposed temple at Kagvad, about 75 km from here, is of Maa Khodiyar, the deity of the Leuva Patel community.
A five-member team from the Guinness Book of World Records was present to witness the ceremony in which 21,000 couples took part. Lakhs of community members from across the country were also present, said Naresh Patel, president of Khodal Dham Trust, which is building the temple.
In a massive show of strength likely to create a political stir, an estimated 21 lakh Leuva Patels are expected to gather at Kagvad near Virpur in Rajkot district on Saturday for the shilanyas of their community deity Ma Khodal.
This is the first time that the politically influential Leuvas are presenting themselves as one single unit. Their arch-rival community, the Kadvas, have showed exemplary unity since the eighties and have made remarkable progress politically as well as economically, despite being comparatively smaller in number.
The Kadvas closed ranks in 1985 with a similar congregation near Unja in Mehsana district, which is the seat of their community deity Umiya Ma.
Now, the Leuvas plan to follow suit.
As many as 21,000 couples are likely to participate in the shilanyas pooja on Saturday. The organisers, Samast Leuva Patel Samaj, claimed a team of Guinness Books of World Records is coming to witness what could set a new world record.
Naresh Patel, an industrialist from Rajkot and a patron of the project, said community unity was very important for development of society. “So far, Leuvas were not united. Thanks to Ma Khodal, we all are coming under a single umbrella,” he said, adding that 21 lakh Leuva Patels from 21 states in India and seven countries will attend the function.
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