Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Somnath Temple One of India’s 12 Jyotirlingas In Gujarat

Somnath Temple One of India’s 12 Jyotirlingas

Somnath Temple in Gujarat, India

About :
Somnath temple stands at the shore of the Arabian ocean on the western corner of Indian subcontinent in Gujarat State.        This pilgrimage is one of the oldest and finds its reference in the ancient texts like Skandpuran, Shreemad Bhagavat, Shivpuran etc. The hymn from Rig-Veda quoted below mention the Bhagvan Someshwar along with the great pilgrimage like Gangaji, Yamunaji and Eastward Saraswati. This signifies the ancient value of this Tirthdham.

Somnath Dev

                                                                  Legend has it that the Kala bhairava Shivalinga (Bhairavanatha) here was worshipped by the moon, and hence is referred to as Somanatha. The Skanda Purana describes the Sparsa Linga of Somnath as one bright as the sun, the size of an egg, lodged underground. The Mahabharatha also refers to the Prabhasa Kshetra and the legend of the moon worshipping Shiva. Legend goes that the moon was married to the 27 daughters of Daksha Prajapati but was partial to Rohini his favourite. An angered Daksha cursed him to wane into nothingness. A disturbed Chandra came down to Prabhasa with Rohini and worshipped at 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  Patan very near to Veraval.

  In  the Shiva  Purana  and Nandi  Upapurana, Shiva  said, `I  am  always present everywhere  but  specially  in  12  forms  and places as  the  jyotirlingas`. Somnath is one of  these 12 holy places. This is the first among the twelve holy Shiva Jyotirlings.

The  shore  temple of Somnath is  believed  to  have  been  built  in  4  phases-in  gold  by  Lord Soma,  in  silver  by  Ravi,  in wood  by  lord  Krishna  and  in  stone  by  King Bhimadeva.

The glory and wealth of Somnath was described by the Arab traveller
Al Biruni and his accounts prompted a visit by Mahmud of Ghazni who ransacked and destroyed the temple in 1025 AD. It was immediately rebuilt by King Bhima of Gujarat and King Bhoja of Malwa. This temple was destroyed again by Alaf Khan, the general of Allauddin Khilji in the year 1300 AD. It was rebuilt again by King Mahipala of the Chudasama dynasty. This shrine was destroyed again and yet again in 1390, 1490, 1530 and finally in 1701 by Aurangazeb. It was rebuilt with perseverance each time after it was destroyed. In the year 1783, Queen Ahilyabhai Holkar built a new temple nearby, and in 1951, the president of India re-installed the Jyotirlinga of Shiva on the same Brahmasila on which earlier temples had been built.


Timing :

  • Timing for Darshan at Somnath Temple : 6.00 AM to 9.30 PM
  • 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

Getting There :

How would you like to travel? 


The nearest airport is at Rajkot that is connected by flights from major cities of India.

The nearest railhead is Veraval (7 km) connecting several important cities in India.


Somnath is connected by good motorable roads to all places in Gujarat.
Somnath is:

Distances From...

    304 km from Ahmedabad
    261 km from Bhavnagar
    238 km from Dwarka
    246 km from Jamnagar
    85 km from Junagadh
    188 km from Rajkot

Short Details :
  • Temperature: Summer: 36.4-16 C, Winter: 31-11 C
  • Season: November to March
  • Clothing: Tropical
  • Languages spoken: Gujarati, Hindi and English
  • STD Code: 02876


Nearest Places To Visit :

Ahilyabai Temple
Built by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar, the shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Bhalka Tirth
Legend has it that this is the place where Lord Krishna, mistaken for a deer, was wounded by an arrow of a Bhil tribal and left his mortal body. The hunter mistook his partly visible foot for a deer and shot an arrow piercing his heel which was his vulnerable spot.

This is the holy place where Lord Krishna, having been injured, passed the last moments of his life under a pipal tree.  A temple has been built here.

Junagadh Gate
This is the entrance gate of the town of Somnath.

An archaeological museum, showcasing relics of previous Somnath temples.
Other places of importance in Somnath are Baldevji’s Cave, Daityasadan, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Mahakalika Temple, Maha Prabhuji’s Baithak, Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple, Shashibhushan Mahadev Temple, Surya Mandir and Veneshwar Temple.


Shree Somnath Trust,
Somnath Prabhas Patan - 362 268
District : Junagadh, Gujarat.
Ph. No. : +91-2876-231212 (Tann G.H.)/ 233033(Lilavati G.H.) / 233533 (Sagar Darshan G.H.)

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