A view infront of Somnath Temple
A view infront of Somnath Temple

Somnath Temple, one of the ‘Jyotirlinga Temples’ is situated near Veraval in Saurashtra of Gujarat state, India. And was earlier known as “Prabhas Patan”. The Somnath Temple is built in the Chalukya (known as Fire tribes) style, represents the skill of the Sompura Salats. This temple reaches the height of 155 feet and Kalash (the pot like structure) on the top with the weight of 10 tons. Originally this temple was built by Lord Som (the god of moon) as a dedication to Lord Shiva. Somnath Temple has been desecrated several times by the Muslim invaders.

An aerial view of Somnath Temple
An aerial view of Somnath Temple

The temple was attacked for the first time by Junamad, the Sindh Subedar and plundered numerous items from the temple. Ghajni Mohammed, completely destroyed this temple on 1025 AD and plundered treasures worth of 18 Crores and lot of people were killed. In 1783 AD Sadhvi Alalya Devi Holkar, a great devotee of Siva, built a new temple for Somanath and the temple was recently renovated by Sardar Vallabhai Patel in November 1951. A Statue of Sardar Vallabhai Patel will be found in the front of the temple as a sign of honor to his contribution towards the temple.

A classic view of Somnath Temple
A classic view of Somnath Temple

Specialties

The word Somnath refers to “The protector of Moon God”. This temple is considered as the primary temple because the Lord present here is said to be Swayanbhu (self-born), and the lord is believed to be always awake. Somnath temple is the first Jyotrilinga among the twelve Jyotrilinga temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The 12 Jyotrilinga Temples are:

  1. Somnath Temple
  2. Mallikarjun Temple
  3. Mahakaleshwara Temple
  4. Omkareshwar Temple
  5. Vaidyanath Temple
  6. Bhimashankar Temple
  7. Rameshwaram Temple
  8. Nageshwar Temple
  9. Vishwanath Temple
  10. Trimbakeshwar Temple
  11. Kedarnath Temple
  12. Grishneshwar Temple
A seashore view of Somnath Temple
A seashore view of Somnath Temple

Lord Somnath is also called by the names such as Bhairaveshwar, Shravanikehswar and Shrilingeshwar, in Sat Yug, Treta Yug and Dwapar Yug and so on. The primary deity of this temple is Lord Somnath (Lord Shiva), and the temple is a wonderful mixture of art and history. According to the mythology, the Lord Som (the god of Moon) built this temple in Gold, Lord Ravan made it in silver, and Lord Krishna made it from Wood and the King Bhimdev of Anhilwad made the temple from stone.

A closeup view of Somnath Temple
A closeup view of Somnath Temple

Lord Som constructed this temple by the advice of Lord Brahma to build temple to honor Lord Shiva, as He was cured from His illness caused by the curse of King Daksha Prajapati (Father-in-law of Lord Som). The curse was for the reason that Lord Som married the twenty seven daughters of King Daksha Prajapati but partially showed more love on Rohini and was not paying proper attention to His other 26 wives. And the twenty six wives of Lord Som was disappointed and complained to their father. This temple is said to be most sacred where the river Saraswati meets the sea in this place.

A view of decoration with lights on Somnath Temple
A view of decoration with lights on Somnath Temple

Festivals

  • Maha Shivratri – celebrated in the month of March
  • Kartik Poornima – celebrated in the month of November or December
  • Navratri – celebrated twice every year in the month of October or November
  • Holi – The festival of colors, celebrated in the month of February or March
  • Diwali – celebrated in the month of October or November

Pooja Timings

  • Darshan of god – 6.00 am to 9.00 pm
  • Aarti – 7.00 am, 12.00 noon and 7.00 pm
  • Jay Somnath (Sound and delight) – 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm

 

By Road

State transport buses and private luxury coaches connect various centers of Gujarat to Somnath.


By Train

Veraval, (5 kms.) is the closest Railway station.


By Air

The nearest Airport is at Keshod, (125 kms.) which is connected with Mumbai.

  • Ahalyabai Temple
  • Bhalka Tirth Temple
  • Shashi Bhushan Temple
  • Triveni Sangam Ghat (confluence of three holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati)
  • Golokdham Tirth Temple
  • Harihar Mahaprabhuji’s Bethak Temple (84 temples)
  • Prachi Tirth Temple

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