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Sunday, April 9, 2023

Somnath Temple | What is the History of this First Jyotirlinga of Gujarat?

Somnath Temple

Somnath Temple | What is the History of this First Jyotirlinga of Gujarat?

About Somnath

Somnath means Lord of Soma (Moon). Out of twelve Jyotirlinga in India Somnath is the first Jyotirling. These Jyotirlingas are ones where Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of Shivling. A Hindu temple located in Prabhas Patan, Veraval in Gujrat state of India. Somnath Temple was reconstructed several times in the past since it has been attacked many times. It is one of those places which overwhelmed the devotee's desire to meet Lord Shiva. The very first Jyotirlinga was built by Lord Soma ( Moon)

How Somnath Jyotirlingas was formed and What is the history of Somnath Jyotirlingas?

Having said that Lord Soma was married to 27 daughters of Prajapati Daksh but he loved only one daughter. When Prajapati got to know the truth then he cursed Lord Soma to his death. After his curse, Lord Soma started losing out his shine every day. Later, Lord Soma started to worship Lord Mahadev and Lord Mahadev saved Lord Soma from the Prajapati Daksha curse. Later, Lord Soma built a temple for Lord Mahadev and named him Somnath.

Somnath Temple was attacked and destroyed by many rulers but it was rebuilt again and again after its destruction. Recently the temple was restructured by Sardar Vallabhai Patel.

How to reach Somnath Jyotirling?

Somnath Jyotirlinga is located in Prabhas Patan of Verawal district of Gujarat State of India. It can be reached via Air, Rail, and Road.

By Air

Rajkot and Diu are the two nearest domestic airports to reach Somnath Temple. The distance from Rajkot to Somnath is 99 km and from Diu is 80 km. Surat International Airport is another airport which is located at a distance of 550 km from Somnath.

By Train

Veraval is the nearest railhead to reach Somnath Jyotirling. Veraval being the busiest station provides services to major express trains. Once you get down at the railway station then the temple is located 9 km from the railway station. Local autos are available charging 150 INR to 200 INR.

If you are traveling from Mumbai then there is only one train Sourashtra Veraval Express that leaves from Bandra Mumbai daily at 1:40 pm. Another train runs only on Tuesday that leaves from Panvel railway station.

By Road

The bus is the ideal and easy way of transportation. You can travel the way you want and that too as per your budget. The roads are well connected to the other states of India. You might want to take a road trip to Somnath from various places. Being a national highway the roads are in good condition.

Traveling Around Somnath Temple

Wherever you travel without your own vehicle then traveling around your destination is the biggest problem isn't it?
But let me tell you friends if you want to explore the places around Somnath Temple then it is better to hire a private auto for 3 hours. He will take you around the tourist places of Somnath and might charge you around 400 INR to 500 INR for an auto. You must have bargaining skills to fix local auto.

Top Things to Do around Somnath Temple in Gujarat

Visit to Main Somnath Temple

The temple re-energizes your soul when you even look at it. The beauty of the temple is magnificent but this beauty can only be felt. Once you step inside the temple no matter how strong you are, you will melt down in front of God for sure. The main temple is situated on the edge of the Arabian Sea coast and exactly parallel to Somnath Beach. The security at the entrance is a little strict. Mobile phones, Cameras, and purses are not allowed inside the main temple. There are digital lockers outside the temple to keep your belongings.  It is better to visit the temple either in the morning or in the evening.

Somnath Temple
Veer Hamirji Gohil Statue

Witness Beautiful Somnath Temple Laser show

When you visit any historical holy place then you become eager to know the history of that place, isn't it? Then you start connecting its history with its original architecture. A laser show at the main temple will take you through the history of Somnath Temple. Once you finish with the evening Aarti head towards the small museum opposite the exit gate. The charges for the last show are 30 INR per head.

Somnath temple
Somnath Temple Laser Show is Surrounded by the Temple itself

Explore Somnath Beach

A perfect place to spend your evening time. Somnath Beach is well known for its sunset. If you are photogenic and want to click some beautiful pictures of Somnath Temple then you should definitely visit the beach point. There is one way that is parallel to Somnath Temple and it gives a glimpse of the temple. There is even a small garden for kids. The beach is closed in the afternoon.
The beach entry ticket is 5 INR

Somnath Temple
Somnath beach with Lord Hanuman Statue but swimming is restricted here

Sightseeing near Somnath Temple

The area of Somnath Temple is surrounded by many small temples and having said that the history of these small temples is connected with lord Krishna. One can approach any private rickshaw that will take you around the places like Bhalka Tirth, Panch Pandav Gufa, and Surya Temple. The auto charges are around 500 INR to 700 INR.

Somnath Temple
One of the best place to witness sunset

Somnath Temple
Digi Locker counter to keep phones and cameras

Best Time to Visit Somnath Gujarat

The holy places in Maharashtra can be visited at times. Some prefer to explore within their comfort zone whereas some prefer to explore at any time. If you want to explore the places around Somnath then better to visit during winter from October to February month. The climate is pleasant and cool Breeze will reenergize you. Avoid visiting during heavy monsoons. The summer here shines sunny and you will witness less crowd in summer.

Places to Stay near Somnath Temple

Somnath is the place of lord Shiva and there are many devotees of him across the world. Every year a large group of tourist flock here and hence there are many hotels and guest houses within a 5 km range. The start ranges between 500 INR to 5000 INR depending on your budget. If you are a budget traveler then you better choose to book your stay from Yatra Dham having most of their stay within a 2km range from the Main temple of Somnath. Some of the suggestions are the Balaji guesthouse and the Lilavati guest house. If you are a solo traveler then these guest house offers you a dormitory kind of stay charging 200 INR to 300 INR per bed. It is always better to book early and leave for the journey.
To book your stay at Somnath trust guest house visit the Somnath site.

Food Availability Around Somnath Temple

No doubt, every state has its own taste in cuisine, right? the food of Gujarat state is delicious and has different variety of taste buds. I would suggest not missing food provided by Somnath Temple Trust. It is situated right next to the main temple. It is prepared considering all hygienes and safety. This trust provides food to its devotees without charging a single rupee of money. Many restaurants around the temple serve food as per availability.

Free food timing-11 pm to 2 pm and 7 pm to 11 pm 

Few Important things to Know Before You Go

  • Mobile Phones, Cameras, and Purse are not allowed inside the main temple
  • There are Digi lockers and Baggage counters on a free as well as paid basis to keep your phones and cameras. It is right next to the entrance gate.
  • The Washroom and Bathroom facility is available on a paid basis.
  • Do not carry your phone in the temple by any chance.
  • Learn the skill of bargaining if you plan to hire an auto for site seeing.
  • Do not litter the area around you.

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