Somnath temple is located near Veraval in Saurashtra, State of Gujarath, India. The current location of the temple was previously called by the name Prabhas Patan. Somnath temple is revered as one of the Jyotirlinga Temples. Somnath refers to “The protector of Moon God”. Somnath temple is considered to be the most sacred temple, where river Saraswati meets the sea at this holy place.
Somnath temple is constructed according to the Chalukya style, representing the super skills of Sompura Salats. The original temple was believed to be built by Lord Som, the god of Moon, as a dedication to Lord Shiva. The temple stands at an height of 155 feet.
Somnath temple has been damaged several times by the Muslim invaders. The Somnath temple was attacked for the first time by the Sindh Subedar Junamad, and took away more precious artefact from the temple. Later Ghajni Mohammed, entirely demolished the temple on 1025 AD and looted treasures worth of 18 Crores.
Finally, In 1783 AD Sadhvi Alalya Devi Holkar, the great devotee of Siva, built a new temple for Somanath (Lord Shiva). In November 1951, the temple was again renovated by Sardar Vallabhai Patel. As a tribute, a separate 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.
Fortes of Somnath Temple
Somnath temple is revered as one of the sacred Jyotirlinga temples, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Somnath temple is the first Jyotirlinga among the twelve Jyotirlinga temples. According to the mythology, Lord Shiva first manifested Himself as a Jyotirlinga. (Lingam – The Radiant Sign of The Almighty Lord Shiva). Somnath temple is admired as the primary temple as Lord Shiva here is said to be self-manifested, and He is believed to be always watchful.
The 12 Jyotirlinga Temples dedicated to Lord Shiva are:
- Somnath Temple
- Mallikarjun Temple
- Mahakaleshwara Temple
- Omkareshwar Temple
- Vaidyanath Temple
- Bhimashankar Temple
- Rameshwaram Temple
- Nageshwar Temple
- Vishwanath Temple
- Trimbakeshwar Temple
- Kedarnath Temple
- Grishneshwar Temple
Lord Somnath is also called by the names Bhairaveshwar, Shravanikehswar and Shrilingeshwar, in Sat Yug, Treta Yug and Dwapar Yug and so on.
The main deity Lord Somnath (Lord Shiva), and the temple is a wonderful mixture of art and history. The holy Kalasam (the pot like structure placed on the edge of the temple) on the top weighs about 10 tons.
History reveals that the temple was built by Lord Som (the god of Moon) entirely by Gold. Followed by the other deities.
– Lord Som from Gold
– Lord Ravan from silver
– Lord Krishna from Wood
– King Bhimdev of Anhilwad made the temple from stone.
The mythology says that Lord Som constructed the temple by the advice of Lord Brahma to build temple as a tribute to Lord Shiva as He got cured from His curse caused by the King Daksha Prajapati (Father-in-law of Lord Som). The curse was for the reason that Lord Som married all the twenty seven daughters of King Daksha Prajapati but partially showed more love on Rohini. And He did not pay proper attention to His other 26 wives. So the twenty six wives of Lord Som got frustrated and complained their father Daksha Prajapati.
- 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
- Maha Shivratri – March
- Kartik Poornima – November or December
- Navratri – October or November
- Holi – February or March
- Diwali – October or November
The nearest Airport is at Keshod, (125 kms.) which is connected with Mumbai.
Veraval, (5 kms.) is the closest Railway station.
State transport buses and private luxury coaches connect various centers of Gujarat to Somnath.