SOMNATH Tourism, SOMNATH Travel Guide, Gujarat

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About Somnath - Gujarat Tourism

Somnath is famous among tourists for being home to one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India. This religious town considered as very holy among Hindu pilgrims is located on the western coast of India. Somnath has high importance among religious tourists and pilgrims, who visit the magnificent Somnath temple to get blessings of Lord Shiva. The town of Somnath is also loved by travellers for its beautiful grey sandy beach that is located right next to the city temple.

According to the Shivapurana, Lord Shiva is quoted as saying 'I am omnipresent, but I am especially in twelve forms and places.' These 12 places are now known as 12 Jyotirlingas and Somnath is one of these 12 Jyotirlingas. As per mythological belief, the very old temple of Somnath was originally built in gold by Somraj, the Moon God, and then rebuilt by Ravana in silver and then by Krishna in Wood, then by Bhimdev in stone. The temple of Somnath is said to be destroyed five times and reconstructed for the sixth time on the same foundation.

The city of Somnath has high importance for Hindus with large number of legends attached with this temple town.  The city still holds high religious, historical and cultural value for visitors. This place has its mention in various religious books including Mahabharata and Puranas. It is also believed that the Saraswati River flows into the Arabian Sea here. Somnath is located at a distance of 79 km from Junagadh and 25 km from Chorwad.  

This beautiful town also has a very serene beach that makes travellers feel at ease. There is a large inflow of devotees to the Somnath temple during Kartik Poornima on full moon day in the months of November/December. The other religious tourist attractions in city are Lakshminarayan temple, Gita Mandir, Kamnath Mahadev temple, Surya Mandir, Triveni Ghat and Parshuram temple. There are also multiple tourist attractions around Somnath like beach town of Diu, ancient city of Junagadh, holy city of Girnar and Gir national park

Somnath History - Gujarat Tourism

Somnath is one of the most sacred of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of God Shiva. According to the legends, Soma or the Moon god was cursed by his father-in-law Daksha to be removed of his brilliance in the night. Soma then worshipped God Shiva to be blessed with recovery of the splendor for 15 days of month. To pay gratitude, Soma built the Somnath temple in gold over the previously existing Jyotirlinga. Later Ravana built the Somnath temple in silver and then Shri Krishna in wood. In the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna advised the Yadavs to visit Somnath temple to get absolution from Durvasa's curse.

The first historical temple in Somnath is believed to be built between 320 and 500 AD. The Somnath temple was frequented by pilgrims and was donated huge amount of wealth and jewellery by the tourists. The temple was destroyed and reconstructed during the initial centuries but little details are available about that.

In the 11th century, Mahmud Ghazni sacked the Somnath temple and took the temple treasures including the famous silver gate along with him to Afghanistan. The reconstructed Somnath temple was destroyed in 1297 AD by Allaudin Khilji's commander-inchief Afzal Khan, by Muzzafar Shah I in 1390, by Muhammad Begda in 1490, Muzzafar II in 1530 and Aurangzeb in 1706.

In 1783 Maharani Ahalyabai Holkar built another temple next to the original Somnath temple which was in poor condition. After independence Sardar Patel got the new temple reconstructed next to the 18th century construction by Holkar.


Gujarat - Places to Visit

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