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Twelve Jyotirlingas (Dwadasha Jyotirlinga) Darshana - 01. Somnath Temple, Gujarat

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Twelve Jyotirlingas (Dwadasha Jyotirlinga) Darshana - Somnath Temple, Gujarat
The Somnath temple is dedicated to Someshwara, another name of Lord Shiva with moon on his head. The temple is situated in Saurashtra. It is believed that Somraj, the Moon God himself had originally built the temple out of gold. Somnath is the first of all the 12 jyotirlingas. Though the temple is of Hindu origin, the Architecture has Jain influences. The Somnath temple has been destroyed six times and have been rebuilt. The temple faces the east direction. Externally the Somnath temple resembles the Rudramala temple at Siddhapur. The dome of the temple is the biggest ever made in this century. The temple has large central hall with entrances on three sides, each protected by a lofty porch. The temple carvings and the sculptures speak about the great artistic endeavor made by the craftsmen of that era. At a certain interval in the balconied corridor is a deformed Nataraja statue.

Somnath is also known by different names like- Deo pattan, Prabhas Pattan or Pattan Somnath. It is believed that 2000 priests served the idol of the temple. The Somnath temple has a long history attached to it. The first temple of Somnath is believed to have existed before the christian era. The second temple was built by the Maitraka Kings of Vallabhi in Gujarat. The Pratihara King- Nagabhata II constructed the third temple. The fourth temple was built by the Paramara King Bhoj of Malwa and the Solanki King. Kumarpal built the fifth temple and was again destroyed by Mughal emperor Aurangazeb. The present temple is the seventh temple and has been rebuilt and taken care by Shree Somnath trust.

The first of the 12 Jyotirlingas, Somnath is naturally steeped in legend and held in high esteem by Hindus, especially those who worship lord Shiva as their guardian God. The Somnath temple is also known as 'the Shrine Eternal', as although the temple has been destroyed 6 times it has been rebuilt at the very same place, every single time!

While the present Somnath Temple was reconstructed - for the 7th time - thanks to the efforts of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Â the temple is now maintained by the Shree Somnath Trust which looks after the entire complex of Shree Somnath and its surroundings.

The name 'Somnath' means 'Protector of the Moon'. ('Som or Soma' = The moon, born from the eyes of Atri, son of Brahma; made the sovereign of plants and planets & 'Nath' = Protector, sovereign or father)

The Somnath temple is a testimony to an amazing mix of art and science and obvious history - Dramatic in build, the splendid architecture, intricate stone carvings and breath-taking sculptures in the Somnath temple, reflect the great artistic skill of the 'Sompuras', Gujarat's master masons. Uniquely, the Somnath temple is situated at such a place that there is no land in between the Somnath temple seashore till Antarctica! A calculation found inscribed on the sea-protection wall at the Somnath Temple! The 'Darshani' gates of the Golden Temple in Amritsar are in fact the Somnath Temple gates that were brought back by the army of the mighty Jat-Sikh King Maharaja Ranjit Singh from Afghanistan.


Skanda Purana, in a chapter on Prabhasa Khanda, describes the emergence of this Jyotirlinga. Legend goes that the moon was married to the 27 daughters of Daksha Prajapati. Amongst all his wives, he had special love towards Rohini and neglected the others. Seeing the negligence of Chandra towards his other wives Prajapati Daksha cursed Chandra that he would lose his beauty and radiance. But because of a moon devoid of radiance and beauty the entire world became lifeless. A disturbed Chandra, came down to Prabhasa with Rohini and worshipped the Sparsa Linga of Somnath after which he was blessed by Shiva to grow and shine in the bright half. As the moon regained his light here, this town came to be known as Prabhasa. Brahma, one of the trinity, installed the Brahmashila, and paved way for the construction of the temple. On the request of the Chandrama and other gods Bhagwan Shankar assumed the name Somchandra (Jyotirlinga) and resided there eternally. He became famous by the name Somnath in the three worlds. Since, it was the Prabhas Kshetra where Bhagwan Shri Krishna performed all his Lilas. In this temple there is a small cave in which a lamp burns continuously. The Skanda Purana describes the Sparsa Linga of Somnath as one bright as the sun, the size of an egg, lodged underground. The Mahabharata also refers to the Prabhasa Kshetra and the legend of the moon worshipping Shiva.It is believed that the Somnath temple here was originally built by Somraj, the Moon God himself, out of gold, and then rebuilt by Ravana in silver and then by Krishna in Wood, then by Bhimdev in stone.

Places of Interest:

Prabhas Patan (Bhalka Tirtha) - "Bhalka" is the name of the village, and "Tirtha" indicates that it is a holy place. After the destruction of the Yadu and Bhoja dynasties in Dwarka, Lord Krishna left his palaces and came to this area called Prabhasaksetra. Uddhava accompanied him. When he was absorbed in deep thought, a hunter named Jara shot an arrow that accidentally hit Krishna?s foot, apparently wounding him.There is a temple built by the tree that is said to be the same tree under which Krishna was sitting. On the altar there is a white Deity of Krishna in a sitting posture. One can see the bottom of Krishna?s foot, pink colored with different auspicious symbols. Nearby is the hunter, Jara, with folded hands and one knee on the floor. This place is a few km east of Veraval on the road to Somnath.

Gita Mandir - is located at the confluence of three rivers, or Triveni Tirtha, about 1km south of the Somnath Temple by the sea. It is said that Lord Krishna walked about 4km from Bhalka Tirtha to this place after he was s hot in the foot by the hunter, and left the planet at this point. There are a few other temples here and the place where Lord Balarama is said to have left the planet.

Suraja Mandir - Its a very Ancient Temple and dedicated to the sun god, was half broken by Mahmud of Ghazni. It has some carving on it

How to reach :

By Air: The nearest Airport is at Keshod (47 km) while the nearest major airport to Somnath is at Diu, (90 km). Both the airports are connected with Mumbai.

By Rail: Veraval, the closest railway station, is well connected to major cities in Gujarat and Mumbai.

By Road: State transport corporation buses and private coaches run regular service to other cities in the region. Somnath is connected by a good road network to the other nearby places like Veraval 5 km, Mumbai 890 km, Ahmedabad 400 km, Bhavnagar 260 km, Junagarh 85 km, and Porbandar 122 km..

Somnath Temple at Veraval (Gujarat) is connected by road to both major cities of Rajkot and Bhavanagar by branches of NH-15.

Road route from Rajkot to Veraval on NH 15 is via - Gondal, Jetpur, Junagarh, Keshod (airport) to Veraval
Road route from to Bhavnagar to Veraval is by a scenic Expressway that passes along the coast, through - Trapaj - Mahuva - Una - Dholasa - Kodinar - Lodwa to Veraval.

Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Somnath is during winter in the months of October to March when the weather remains soothing and pleasant.


Timing for Darshan at Somnath Temple : 6.00am to 9.00pm
Timing for Aarti : 7.00 am, 12.00 Noon and 7.00 pm
“Jay Somnath” Sound and Light Show : 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm

» Guesthouse Facility :

Pilgrims can avail the guest house facilities of Shree Somnath Trust. Trust maintains a VIP Guesthouse, Eighteen other guest houses and an economical dormitory. The total number of rooms in the trust guest houses are in excess of Two hundred.

» Contact for Booking :
Shree Somnath Trust,
Somnath Prabhas Patan - 362 268
District : Junagadh, Gujarat.
Ph. No. : +91-2876-231212

» Dilip Chavda : Office Superintendent
Ph. No. : +91-94282 14901


Shree Somnath Trust
C / 12-A, Shree Om Villa Apartment
F.C.I. Godown Road,
Shahibaug, Ahmedabad -380 004
Phone and Fax No.: +91-79-22686335
Phone No.: +91-79-22686442,

The General Manager
Shree Somnath Trust
Prabhas Patan -382 268,
Ph. No.: +91-2876-231200
Fax No.: +91-2876-232694
Mobile : 98242 85667

Photo Gallery of Somnath Temple, Gujarat

Twelve Jyotirlingas (Dwadasha Jyotirlinga) Darshana - Somnath Temple, Gujarat
Twelve Jyotirlingas (Dwadasha Jyotirlinga) Darshana - Somnath Temple, Gujarat
Twelve Jyotirlingas (Dwadasha Jyotirlinga) Darshana - Somnath Temple, Gujarat
Twelve Jyotirlingas (Dwadasha Jyotirlinga) Darshana - Somnath Temple, Gujarat
Twelve Jyotirlingas (Dwadasha Jyotirlinga) Darshana - Somnath Temple, Gujarat
Twelve Jyotirlingas (Dwadasha Jyotirlinga) Darshana - Somnath Temple, Gujarat

Have Darshan of Somnath Temple, Gujarat from this video


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