Dwarka Dham Yatra

Somnath Temple

The Somnath temple located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat, India and is the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. It is 231 km away from Dwarka. It is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot as 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 History

The Somnath temple is also known as “the Shrine Eternal”. This legendary temple has been destroyed several times by Islamic kings and rebuilt every time by Hindu kings. Most recently it was rebuilt in the year 1947, when Vallabhbhai Patel visited the area and mooted a plan for restoration. After his death, the rebuilding continued under Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi, another minister of the Government of India.

The jyotirlinga shrines are those places where Lord Shiva is believed to have appeared as a fiery column of light. Originally it was believed that there are 64 jyotirlinga and 12 of them are considered to be very auspicious and holy. Each of the twelve jyotirlinga sites has a different name of a different manifestation of Shiva. At all these sites, the primary image is a lingam which represents the beginning less and endless stambha pillar which symbolizes the infinite nature of Shiva.

Somnath has been a pilgrimage site from ancient times as it is a triveni sangam (the joining of three rivers — Kapila, Hiran and the mythical Sarasvati River). Soma, the Moon god, is believed to have lost his lustrous appeal due to a curse, and he bathed in the Sarasvati River at this site to regain it. The result is the waxing and waning of the moon, no doubt an allusion to the waxing and waning of the tides at this sea shore location. The names of the town Prabhas as well as the alternative names Someshvar and Somanath (“lord of the moon” or “moon god”) arise from this tradition.

Somnath Temple Timings

The temple is open daily from 6AM to 9PM for devotees and regularly there are 3 aarti daily; in the morning at 07:00, at 12:00 and in the evening at 19:00.

How to reach Somnath Temple

By Air – There are no regular flights connecting Somnath to other major cities. Nearest airport is DIU airport which is 63 km away from Somnath. The airport is in Daman and Diu. The next option could be Porbandar airport. It is 114 km away from Somnath.

By Train – Somnath is well connected to major cities by trains. The train station is in Veraval in Konkan. The station is only 5 km away.

By Bus – Buses are available from many cities to Somnath. Both state buses and AC buses are available.

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Published Date: September 18, 2016
Last Updated On: September 26, 2016
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