The Somnath temple located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat, India, is the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. The temple is considered sacred due to the various legends connected to it. Somnath means "Lord of the Soma", an epithet of Shiva.
Somnath Temple is known as "the Shrine Eternal". This legendary temple has been destroyed and rebuilt several times by Islamic kings and Hindu kings respectively. Somnath is related with release of Chandra (Moon God) from the curse of his father-in-law Daksha Prajapati. The research based on ancient Indian classical texts show that first Somnath Jyotirling Pran-Pratistha was done on the auspicious third day of brighter half of Shravan month during the tenth Treta yug of Vaivswat Manvantar. Swami Shri Gajananand Saraswatiji, Chairman of Shrimad Aadhya Jagadguru Shankaracharya Vedic Shodh Sansthan, Varanasi suggested that the said first temple was built 7,99,25,105 years ago as derived from the traditions of Prabhas Khand of Skand Puran. Thus, this temple is a perennial source of inspiration for millions of Hindus since time immemorial.
The later sources of history account for several desecrations by Muslims invaders during eleventh to eighteen century A.D. The temple was rebuilt every time with the reconstructive spirit of the people. The modern temple was reconstructed with the resolve of Sardar Patel who visited the ruins of Somnath temple on November 13 1947. Then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, did the Pran-Pratistha at the existing temple on 11 May 1951.
Other spots in the temple are Shri Kapardi Vinayak and Shri Hanuman Temple in addition to Vallabhghat. Vallabhghat is a beautiful sunset point. The temple is illuminated every evening. Similarly, the Sound & Light Show “Jay Somnath” is also displayed every night during 8.00 to 9.00, which allows the pilgrims an ethereal experience in the backdrop of grand Somnath temple and the holy wave sounds of the Ocean.
There are 3 aarti daily; in the morning at 07:00, at 12:00 and in the evening at 19:00.
It is also believed that this is the place where Krishna ended his lila on earth and left for his heavenly abode
From Diu Airport the temple is around 80 Km. Other nearby airports to Somnath are Porbandar Airport (PBD) that is 118 kms and Rajkot Civil Airport (RAJ), which is 164 kms away. From Veraval Junction it is 7 km and from Somnath Railway station it is about 2.4 Km. Temple is just 300m from Somanath Bus Stand.
Auto and cycle rickshaws are available in Somnath, but it is best to have your own transport. The rickshaws will charge you around Rs.150 for six places (temple) journeys and take two hours to complete.
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