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Somnath Temple History, Somnath Jyotirlinga in Gujarat, Somnath Temple Yatra

Somnath Temple History, Somnath Jyotirlinga in Gujarat, Somnath Temple Yatra

Dwadash Jyotirlings - Somnath - Introduction



The first Jyotirling of Shiv is installed in Somnath, also known as Prabhash Patan and Dev Patan.
This city in the state of Gujarat is situated on the coast of the Arabian Sea. It was a prominent port and a religious centre, famous even in the ancient times.
The city is a classic evidence of the destructive and creative sides of human nature which, in the words of India’s first President Dr Rajendra Prasad, goes to prove that creative powers are stronger than destructive powers.
Somnath is considered as a Hariharatmak pilgrimage. It is here where Shri Kirishna left his mortal body and where the Pandavas completed his last rites.
A number of evidences associated with the Harappa civilization have been found from the Hiranya River region.






Mythological Beliefs

Mythological Beliefs: 
The religious significance of Somnath has been described not only in Shiv Puran, Skand Puran, Ling Puran, but also in Rigved, Mahabharat, and Ramayan.
 In the Skand Puran, Shiv says to Parvati that, in this region he has been residing in different kalpas under different names like Mrityunjay, Amritesh, Anamb, Kritiwas etc.
The Shiv Temple in Somnath has been built by different people in different Yugas. During each of these times, Shiv was also known by different names.
Devta (God)
Temple builder
Object made by
Sat Yug
Chandra (Som)
Treta Yug
Dwapar Yug
Kali Yug
According to Shiv Puran, all those desires are fulfilled with which one visits Somnath.
The Puranas suggest that when Chandradev (Moon God) in spite of marrying the 27 daughters of King Daksh favoured only Rohini and neglected the other queens, he was cursed to wane by King Daksh. Later, at Brahma’s suggestion Chandra and Rohini worshipped Shiv in this region, who was pleased and relieved Chandra of the curse. Since Chandra achieved enlightenment here, the place is also called Prabhash. Later, Chandra built a temple for the Jyotirling, whose foundation was laid by Brahma himself which is now called Brahm-shila and the temple is known as Somnath.
The Prabhash region is one where Shiv coexists with Vishnu and Brahma. Here, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiv reside with all their elements (tatvas).
In the Skand Puran, Shiv tells Parvati that worshipping Somnath destroys Grih-dosh, Bhoot-dosh and all ailments.

Historical Facts

The aces of Harappan Civilization have been found the Hiranya region and the area has been refeered to as Prabhash Patan in Rigved.
During its entire history, Somnath has been a symbol of perennial creation and destruction.
The belief about the first temple here is that it was built by Chandradev (Moon God) which was destroyed by the early years of the Christian calendar. Later, the Maitrak kings of Vallabhi built a second temple on the same spot which was destroyed by the Arab invader, Junaid.
King Nagbhatt II of the Gurjar-Pratihar dynasty built a temple in 815 A.D. which was destroyed by Mahmud Gazni in 1025 A.D. But soon a new temple was rebuilt by the Solanki king, Bhim, at the same place.
In 1297 A.D., the Generals of Alauddin Khilji - Alap Khan and Nusrat Khan - looted the Somnath. A new temple was rebuilt by King Mahipal.
In 1394 A.D., when Jafar Khan formed a new sultanate in Gujarat, he attacked the temple thrice.
In 1547, A.D., the Portuguese attacked and destroyed the temple.
The last attack on Somnath was carried out by Aurangzeb in 1706, who built a mosque, here.
Post independence, Sardar Patel initiated the reconstruction of the temple. In 1951 A.D., the pratishtha of the Shivling was done by the first President, Dr Rajendra Prasad. After the completion of the construction, then President, Dr Shankardayal Sharma dedicated it to the nation.

Main Places To See

Main Places To See: 
Somnath Temple:
Built in the Solanki style, this temple is called Kailash Mahameru-Prasaad. The first Jyotirling of Shiv is installed here. A 10 ton kalash rests atop the 155 feet tall temple. A direction guide on the temple wall informs that nothing lies in between the temple and the Antarctica.
Ahilyabai Temple:
Built by Queen Ahilyabai of Indore, this temple has the Shivling situated beneath the ground and can be reached by steps. The temple has the idol of Ahilyeshwar.
Prachi Triveni:
It is the confluence point where the waters of Saraswati, Kapila, and Hiranya Rivers flow into the ocean.
Balram Gufa:
This cave is situated a little ahead of Prachi Triveni is. It is believed that Balramji took the form of Sheshnag and left his body for Paatal (netherworld).
Bhalka Teerth (Veraval):
There is a huge peepal tree to the west of the temple. It is believed that at this place, Shri Krishna was hit by an arrow shot by a hunter. There is a Kardameshwar Shiv temple and a Kardameshwar pond situated here.
Geeta Mandir:
This is the place where Shri Krishna is believed to have left his mortal body.
Sutra Peda:
To the east of the Somnath temple are situated the temples of Lord Varah and Surya. It is believed that Chyavan Rishi’s ashram was also situated here.
Panch Pandav Gufa:
Here the Pandavas performed meditation.
Situated at some distance from the temple, the museum is open on all days except Wednesdays. One can find the remains of the ancient Somnath Temple in the museum. Besides, water from all important rivers and oceans of the world is also preserved here.

Main Festivals

Main Festivals: 
It is the biggest festival in Somnath and is celebrated in Magh month (February-March). On this day, the Shiv temples are decorated in a special way. The key celebrations take place in Somnath Temple and Ahilyabai Temple.
Kartik Mela:
A huge fair is held in Somnath on Kartik Poornima. On this occasion an amazing fusion of spiritualism and divinity is seen.
This is organized in the Geeta Temple in the month of Magh. It is the celebration of Krishna’s birth. Besides, other festivals like Holi (March), Navratri (October), Diwali (November) are also celebrated with great enthusiasm.

Where To Stay

Where To Stay : 
 Shri Ram Dharmshala
 Shri Bhatia Dharmshala
 Shri Kansara Bhavan
 Shri Somnath Guest House
 +91 - 2876 - 231 212 
 Fax  +91 - 2876 - 232 694
 Hotel Park
 Near Railway Station, Veraval
 +91 - 2876 - 242 702
 Mayuram Hotel
 Triveni Road, Near Bus Stand, Somnath, Gujarat
 +91 - 2876 - 231 286
 Hotel Rajdhani
 S F, Siddhivinayak Complex, Veraval
 +91 - 2876 - 223 281 / 241 344
 Safari Hotel and Resort
 Somnath - Veraval bypass, Veraval
 +91 - 2876 - 232 812
 Email  Safari-resort@yahoo.com
 Hotel Kesodwala
 T F, Bansidhar Complex, Bus Stand Road, Veraval
 +91 - 2876 - 242 830 / 31
 Fax  +91 - 2876 - 242 833
 Email  keshowala@sancharnet.in


 Geographical  Location  Height  Above  Sea Level  Average Annual Rainfall
 Latitude  Longitude  0 metres  350 cm
 21˚ N  70.26˚ E

Temperature is given in degrees Celsius.

 Month  Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec
Important Informations
Somnath is situated in Saurashtra in the state of Gujarat, on the coast of the Arabian Sea. Here the 3 rivers viz. Saraswati, Hiranya and Kapil meet.
Tourists visit all year round however the ideal time is between October and March.

General Information

General Information: 
 STD Code
 Puja Timings  7.00 a.m.-12.00 p.m., 4.00-7.00 p.m.
 Police  Assistance
 +91 - 2876 - 243 729  / 220 003
 Government Hospital, Somnath
 Currency  Exchange
 State Bank of India
 Somnath Industrial Estate
 Somnath - 396 210
 ATM Centre    State Bank of India
 Navyug Petrol Pump, Kalwa Chowk,
 Junagadh, Gujarat - 362 001
 State Bank of Saurashtra
 HP Auto Centre
 Opp. Dr Chikhalia Hospital, Bus Stand Road,
 Junagadh, Gujarat - 362 001
 ICICI Bank Ltd
 Ground floor, Marigold Complex,
 Raijibaug, Junagadh - 362 001
 Post Office
 Daman S.O.
 Taluka Daman, Dist. Daman, PIN - 396 210
 Tel: +91 - 260 - 2254353 
 Tourist Office
 Toran Tourist Bungalow,
 College Road, Near Circuit House,
 Opp. Light House, Veraval
 Tel: +91 - 2876 - 246 588 
 Hotel Sagar, Jalaram Restaurants and Hotel Toran
Marwadi Wasa is the most ideal place where for food is served on thali basis. Amul outlets are the best for milk products.

Travel Planner

Address (Click on "A" to locate): 
PDF File: 
Airports in the vicinity: 
 Main Railway Stations  Station Code
 Jamnagar  JMP
 Rajkot jn  RJT
 Veraval  VRL
 Porbandar  PBR
 Ahmedabad  ADI
 Bhavnagar  BVC
 Dwaraka  DWK
Road Distance from Destinations: 
 Dwarika  Batdwarika  30 KM
 Jamnagar  137 KM
 Rajkot  207 KM
 Ahmedabad  432 KM
 Porbandar  100 KM
 Bhavnagar  380 KM
 Somnath  Porbandar  122 KM
 Div  95 KM
 Rajkot  193 KM
 Junagadh  90 KM
 Ahmedabad  430 KM
 Bhavnagar  246 KM