An obscure Paramara-era temple, constructed about a millennium ago during Udayaditya’s reign in what is present-day Madhya Pradesh’s Raisen district, has suddenly shot into the politico-religious limelight with a demand for its unlocking being followed hard upon by erstwhile Union minister Uma Bharati announcing on Thursday that she shall perform jalabhishek there – with water from Gangotri – on April 11, which will be the first Monday after Navratri. “I was in fact seeking a place where Lord Shiva has ‘manifested’ Himself. Suddenly, I chanced on a report published on Wednesday in a prestigious newspaper quoting eminent kathawachak Pandit Pradeep Mishra – who is in Raisen these days – saying that such a shivling is existent within the citadel there. I am ashamed over my ignorance in that context,” former chief minister Bharati wrote in social media while mentioning the “treachery” perpetrated by Sher Shah Suri on Raja Puranmal. Ms Bharati has directed her office to inform the district administration of her programme. “My libation will be for Raja Puranmal, his spouse Ratnavali, their two innocent sons who were slain, a daughter who was fell victim to savagery and the king’s soldiers who were killed. I shall seek forgiveness for my lack of knowledge,” she added. The Someshwar Dham Mahadev shrine, located atop an approximately 800-ft-high hill within the fortress, was thrust into the epicentre of an issue wherein comments were regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state Home Minister Narottam Mishra. Sehore-resident Mishra – who focusses on Lord Shiva and made headlines earlier – said that the four political leaders are ‘Sanatanis’ but Mahadev is locked up for decades. A video of the godman’s remarks went viral in social media on Wednesday. “If Shankar is in captivity during the tenure of a personage whose name is Shivraj then the latter’s rule is useless. The country attained freedom but the god is yet to be liberated. The shrine’s lock should be broken open and the deity freed. Mr Chouhan has the requisite strength. Let him prove his name,” Pt Mishra is heard saying. The place of worship is under the Archaeological Survey of India’s jurisdiction and was locked after Independence but opens for a space of merely 12 hours a year every Mahashivratri – arguably India’s sole Bhairav temple having such a unique arrangement since 1974. Every year, locals urge the government and the administration to allow daily rituals there. State Public Health and Family Welfare Minister Prabhuram Choudhary – associated with Raisen district – and ruling BJP MLA Rampal Singh, who is an erstwhile minister, only averred that due procedure will be followed. It is said that during Udayaditya’s period, queens prayed at the shrine, which has two lings. Bhopal, Raisen and Sehore districts adjoin one another.