Somnath Temple

About The Temple

Know About Somnath Temple Veraval In Gujarat

Located near the Veraval area in Saurashtra, lying on the western end of Gujarat, the Somnath temple is one of the prime Jyotirlingas, among the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Located exactly in Prabhas patan, it is the first shrine amongst the other twelve Jyotirlinga shrines. The term Somnath means, Lord of the Soma, where Soma refers to a title manifesting Lord Shiva. Tracing back to the construction history of the temple, it is found that the temple has undergone extensive devastation and subsequent constructions.

Period of latest construction

The most recent construction of the temple traces back to the year 1947 when Vallabbhai Patel went on a tour for the consolidation of Junagadh. He decided to chalk out a plan for the restoration of the building. Another noted minister, Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi, undertook the restoration work of the Temple after the death of Vallabbhai Patel. The representation or manifestation of the Lord in the somnath temple, is abstract in nature. As a result, the representation of the deity in the form of an idol essays the spirit of Lord Shiva as an infinite entity.

Architectural details of the temple

The present construction of the temple exhibits the architectural excellence of the Sompura Salats. They are among the best masons of Gujarat. The major tower of the temple has a measurement of 15 meters in height. Subsequently, at its top, you will find a flag pole, which is 8.2 metres tall. One of the most striking and important architectural features of the temple are the Baan Stambh. According to the historical inscriptions on the surface of the Bann Stambh, it is located at a unique point of the landmass, which is the first existing plot of land between Somnath seashore and Antarctica. There is no land in between that exists in a lateral direction.

Detailed description of structure

If you go by the somnath temple history, you will find that the present temple is the seventh construction. The architecture of the temple is a manifestation of the Chalukya Style of construction, which is also popular as the Kailash Mahameru Prasad style. The interior of the temple consists of an inner dome, Garbgruh, Sabhamandap and an arena Nrityamandap. The tower of the temple is 150 metres in height. There is a kalash placed at the top of the tower, which weighs approximately 10 tons. On the other hand, the Dhwanjdand is of 1 foot circumference with an altitude of 27 feet.

Time of festivities

Pilgrims and devotees of both national and international stature make it a point to visit the temple round the year. Apart from that, there are some special festive occasions like Mahashivratri, Golakdham Utsav, Diwali and Saurashtradeep Poojan that attract a huge flock of pilgrims and tourists. The deity is worshipped through Artis, which is carried out three times a day.

How To Reach

Travelling to the somnath temple Gujarat is not a tough job. The entire credit goes to the lucid transport facilities of the area, through railways, roadways as well as airways.

  • By Road: Reaching the temple through roadways is quite hassle-free. Bus services, as well as hired taxi services, are available in Gujarat that will take the pilgrims and devotees, straight to the temple.
  • By Rail: By far, taking the rail route to the temple can be considered as the wisest decision. Situated at a mere distance of 5 kilometers from the temple, the closest rail dome is the Veraval station.
  • By Air: It is quite obvious, that such a place of pilgrimage will attract a huge number of international devotees. International pilgrims can opt for the air route via passenger flights that operate from Bombay to Diu, on all days of the week, except Thursday.

Apart from the modes mentioned above, pilgrims can also hire autos at astoundingly cheap rates of around 40 to 50 Indian rupees for a local trip. Moreover, the trust board of the temple also organizes for a Somnath Tirth Darshan for local sightseeing. Alternatively, you can also hire an auto at affordable rates for a visit to the nearby places.

 

Nearby Attractions

There are some areas around the temple, which are of great religious and historical importance. Moreover, you can earn a vivid knowledge of the various legends of the history of somnath temple, by visiting these places.

  • Bhalka Teerth: Located at a distance of 5 kilometers from the Prabhas Veraval highway, this place is of great religious importance. The mythological legend of a hunter Jara mistaking the foot of Lord Krishna as a deer, and subsequently hitting him with an arrow, is established here. Construction of a temple and the existence of a Pipal tree remind pilgrims of the Holy saga.
  • Shree Golakdham Tirth: Situated on the banks of river Hiran, this sacred spot is at a distance of 1.5 kilometers From the Somnath temple. This place is famous for having the carvings of the footprints of Lord Krishna as he set on his ultimate divine journey.
  • Shree Parshuram Temple: This place is also famous for its religious relevance. Practicing penance for a prolonged period, Bhagwan Shree Parshuram received the blessings of Lord Somnath and was appeased from the curse of killing Kshatriyas. The place also houses an ancient Parshuram temple along with two Kunds.
  • Treeveni Sangam Snanghat: Historically, this particular place is among the most important places of salvation for Hindu devotees all around the world. Characterized by the union of the three rivers, Hiran, Kapila and Saraswati, this place offers a confluence of these rivers with the ocean.
  • Shree Veneshwar Mahadev Temple: In terms of both history and mythology, this temple bears the testimony of great significance. The divine memory of the devotion of Princess Veni is immortalized through the Veneswar temple. The prime deity of the temple is Lord Shiva.
  • Gita Mandir and the Laxmi Narayan Mandir: The palce contains eighteen marble pillars with the carvings of Shreemad Bhagawad GIta, which contains holy messages of Lord Krishna.

History Of Temple

History Of The Place

There are quite a few legends associated with the temple. The first one regards the somnath jyotirlinga. According to the mythological sources of the Shiva Purana, the entire world was divided into three huge pillars of light by Lord Shiva. It was a result of the battle for supremacy between the trio, Bhrama, Vishnu and Maheshwara, on the creation of the universe. While Lord Vishnu confided his defeat, Lord Brahma lied about his victory. Exempting Lord Vishnu, Lord Maheshwara cursed Lord Brahma, denying him a due position in the ceremonies.

Some mythological legends

The presence of other historical legends state that the temple was built by Chandra in complete gold. On the other hand, the other two constructors, Ravana and Lord Krishna, constructed the temple in silver and sandalwood respectively. Mythological Sources also state that Chandra or the Moon was cursed by Daksha for being partial to Rohini and turning a blind eye to his other 26 daughters. To relieve himself from this curse, Moon prayed devotedly to Lord Shiva at the Prabhas Teerth and received the blessings of Lord Somnath.

Historical accounts regarding the temple

According to the historical accounts, the temple had quite a series of construction and reconstruction. The period of the first construction is unknown; the second one was sometime around 649 C.E by the Seuna Kings. The third construction was undertaken sometime between 1026 and 1042 by Pramara King Bhoja of Malwa and Solanki king Bhimedev I. The devastation of the temple occurred in rounds; first by the forces of Mahmud of Ghazni, then Alauddin Khilji and later Aurangzeb. But undoubtedly, these subsequent devastations and construction of the temple indicates the presence of an eternal, divine force.