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Somnath Temple

Somnath Temple: The first Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva

Dargah of Saint Moinuddin Chishti

Nestled peacefully in the western coast of Gujarat, the Somnath Temple is revered for being one of the first temples to house one of the twelve jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The term 'Somnath' signifies the 'protector of the Moon god.' The temple is also called by other names such as 'Somnath Pattan,''Prabhad Pattan', 'Deo Pattan' and the 'eternal shrine.'

It is believed that the first temple of Somnath was built before 1st century AD. Later, it was a Vallabhi King who built the second temple of Somnath in between 480-786 AD. Presumably, the Pratihara king Nagabhattta II, later revamped the architecture of Somnath Temple. The time for praying in the temple was informed through the ringing of bell, which had been attached to a golden chain. The Chalukya style of architecture is one of the main attractions of the temple. Even Indian mythological books like Mahabharata and the Puranas mention the Somnath Temple in their sacred scriptures.

The main attractions of the Somnath Temple

Somnath Temple: Presumably, the contruction of the shore temple of Somnath took four distinct phases. Lord Som himself built the entire temple in gold, while Lord Ravan built it in silver, followed by Lord Krishna who built it with wood and finally, King Bhimadeva who used wood to construct the temple. Six different Muslim intrusions make the chequered history of the temple. The current architectural style of the temple signifies the Kailas Mahameru Prasad style. Sardar Shri Vallabhbhai Patel played an integral role in the restoration of the existing temple.

The temple consists of Garbhagriha (a small shrine or sanctum), Sabha Mandap (hall used for religious gatherings) and the Nrityamandapa.

Dargah of Saint Moinuddin Chishti

Vallabhghat: It is a beautiful sunset point located within the temple, named after Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Bhalka Teerth: This sacred pilgrimage site is located on the Prabhas Veraval highway. It is assumed that Lord Krishna was struck by an arrow at Bhalka Teerth. Today a majestic and enticing idol of Lord Krishna can be easily seen in Bhalka Teerth.

Triveni Ghat: Revered for its frequent mention in the puranas and the vedas, the Triveni Ghat is known for the confluence of three rivers- Kapil, Kiran and Saraswati. Few of the well known temples located near to Triveni Ghat are Suraj Mandir, Gita Mandir and Laxmi Narayan Mandir.

Excursions from Somnath Temple: Travellers can explore near by areas such as the Veraval Beach ( 5km), Chorwad Sarai (26 km), Gir National Parl ( 75 km), Junagadh ( 87km) and Dwarka ( 229 km).

Dargah of Saint Moinuddin ChishtiShopping in Somnath: Pilgrims buy little idols and pictures of Lord Somnath during their trip to Somnath Temple. Tourists also buy hand made dolls which are sold here.

When to visit: The best time to visit Somnath is in between October to February. Pilgrims visit Somnath to celebrate Mahashivratri and Somnath Mahadev Fair.

How to visit:
Air: The nearest airport to Somnath is in Diu, which is 90 kms away.
Rail: The nearest railway station is in Verval which is 5 kms away.
Road: Luxury buses are available from Diu to Somnath.

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