Must Visit

Somnath Temple

3.5 / 5 57 votes


Weather:

Time Required: 2-3 hrs

Timings:

Darshan timing- 6:00 AM - 9:30 PM,
Arati timing- 7:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 7:00 PM,
Light and sound show- 7:45 PM

Entry Fee:

Light and sound show: INR 25,
Half-ticket INR 15
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Somnath Temple, Somnath Overview

The Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple is first of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. It is located on the western coast of Gujarat and is one of the oldest temples of the country. It has been mentioned in ancient texts like Shreemad Bhagavat Gita, Skandpuran, Shivpuran and Rig-Veda which signifies the importance of this temple as one of the most celebrated pilgrimage sites. The temple is located on the ancient Triveni Sangam or the confluence of three rivers - Kapila, Hiran, and Saraswati.

The temple is known as an eternal shrine owing to its perseverance against the test of time. It has withstood several destructions in the past and still has not lost its beauty. It is said that the temple was looted and destroyed as many as seventeen times by emperors like Mahmud Ghazni, Alauddin Khilji, and Aurangzeb.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the force behind the revival and reconstruction of the present-day temple in 1951 which still serves as a notable edifice of the original Somnath Temple. It attracts millions of devotees all throughout the year.

More on Somnath Temple


The literal meaning of 'Soma' is Moon God, and 'Somnath' is the protector of the Moon God. Legend has it that he was married to 27 of King Daksha's daughters, but he loved and was partial to only one of them. This upset the other girls who took the matter to their father. An infuriated Daksha put a curse on Soma, according to which, he would wane. Soma then constructed a Shivlinga at the Prabhas teerth and prayed to Lord Shiva for forgiveness and assistance who removed the curse but only partially hence causing the periodic waning of the moon. This is how the temple became dedicated to Lord Shiva who is the residing deity.

Reconstructed in the Chalukya style of architecture, it showcases the fine skills of the oldest and best temple architects or the Sompura Salats. An arrow pillar mentions that it is located at such a location that it is the first point of land in the north to the South Pole at that particular longitude.

The recesses of a balconied corridor also house a rather mutilated form of Nataraja, or the dancing Shiva. The flag atop the temple tower bear the symbols of Nandi and Trishul. Jain influence on the carvings and the overall design is clearly visible despite it being a Brahmanical temple.

The best time to visit Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple is from October to March.

Somnath is well connected by rail and road from main cities of Gujarat. Overnight buses available from Ahmedabad and Dwarka. The nearest airport is Keshod at a distance of 55 km. Nearest railway station is at Veraval at a distance of 7 km.

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