Somnath Jyotirling


Somnath Jyotirling

 यत्र गंगा च यमुना । यत्र प्राची सरस्वती ।
यत्र सोमेश्वरो देव: तत्र माममृतं कृधी । इन्द्रायेन्दो परिस्त्रव ।।
Shree Somnath is first among the twelve Aadi Jyotirlings of the God Shiva. Somanath is situated between 20.53’N latitude and 70.24’E longitude on the south west coast of India in the Sourashtra province of Gujarat State, on the shores of Arabian Sea. The  shore  temple of Somnath is  believed  to  have  been  built  in  4  phases-in  gold  by Lord Soma,  in  silver  by  Ravi,  in wood  by  lord  Krishna  and  in stone  by  King Bhimadeva. The present temple, built in 1951, is the seventh reconstruction on the original site. Somnath means "The Protector of (the) Moon God". This pilgrimage is one of the oldest and finds its reference in the ancient texts like Skandpuran, Shreemad Bhagavat, Shivpuran etc. 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.


According to Prabhaskhand of Skanda Purana : Chandra married the twenty seven daughters (stars) of Daksha, but was very partial and showed lot more love and affection to rohini. The remaining twenty six wives not only felt neglected but also insulted. They were disappointed with their husband and went and complained to their father Daksha. Daksha was upset to see his daughters suffer thus, and tried twice to convince his son-in-law to change himself, but in vain. Later then Daksha was so angry that he cursed him, saying, "Thou shalt wane!" The moon, who used to shine in full splendor every night till those days then , started to shrink. The Devas (Celestial gods) were very sad at Chandra’s plight and went to Brahma. The Creator, in order to find out a remedy for this condition of Chandra and get a solution for redressing the curse. Brahma told them that the only way out was to worship Vrishabhdhwaj Shankar at Prabhas Kshetra Mahamrityunjay. Chandra went on a penance for six months and prayed to Lord Shiva, at the end of which Shankara appeared before him. He gave Chandra the boon that in a month, he would grow for fifteen days in one half and in the other half he would keep loosing one Kala (shade) per day and decrease in size. He was pleased with the Devas and in order to increase the prestige of the place, Lord Shiva Himself came to be known as Someshwar, meaning famous moon (Soma). The Devas established a Someshwar Kund there. By taking a holy dip in this pond or Kund, it is believed that one would obtain release from all the sins. Chandra or moon is also called Som. That is why this JyotirLinga has become famous as Somanath. Chandra or moon looks very bright here. Therefore, this place is also known as “Prabhasapattana”.


Troubled times and Hindu Resilience in rebuilding the grat temple of Somnath
This grand temple of Somanath came under the attack of the Muslims several times. In the year 722, Junamad, the Sindh Subedar attacked it for the first time and looted innumerable items from its treasure.

The beautiful statue of Somanath, can be seen from the center because of the miraculous magnetic power. Ghajni Mohammed, destroyed this statue on Friday, the 11th of May 1025 AD. From then onwards, Ghajni Mohammed came to be known as the “Statute Destroyer” (Iconoclast). On that day, he plundered and looted a treasure worth 18 crores.

In 1297 AD, Allauddin Kkhiji sent his Sardar Altaf Khan to Somanath on a mission of destroying and putting down the Somanath Mandir. The Somanath Temple was subjected to series of attacks starting in 1479 AD by Mohammad Begada, Mujaffar Shah, II, in 1503 AD, and finally by Aurangazeb, known to be the most intolerant towards other religions, in 1701 AD, where in, the temple was totally destroyed, plundered and looted in a most horrible way. A large number of people were killed mercilessly and a lot of money stolen.

In 1783 AD Sadhvi Alalya devi Holkar, a great devotee of Siva, built a new temple for Somanath after India become independent, the lion of Gujarat, Sardar Vallabhai Patel renovated the Somanath Temple on the advice of Kakashaheb Gadgil of Maharashtra with its revived Indian architectural beauty for which it became an unique example. It drew the attention of the world.

The Somanath JyotirLinga statue was reinstated (Pran Pratishta) on Friday the 11th May 1951 at 9.46 A.M. It was done by the then President of India, Honourable Dr. Rajendra Prasad, to the tune of the Veda chanting of Vedamurti Tarka Teertha Lakshman Shastri Joshi, in a grand manner.
 Somnath temple ruins (1869)

This primary JyotirLinga located in India, is the cynosure of all Indian pilgrims. It is always crowded with lakhs of devotees. A large number of Sadhus and pious men can be met there. With the offerings of devotees, the Somanath Temple’s grandeur is revived. In spite of being subjected to destruction by intolerants, the faith of Indian devotees, dedication and their love was never destroyed. Shri Somanath JyotirLinga stands as the legendary example of the same.
The temples 15th memorial and the ancient monument located on the sea side of Kahiavad near Prabhaspattan. There are many famous mythological stories attached to them. The sun temple is the most ancient of all. There is no presiding deity in it, but the architecture of temple is so exquisite, that even by seeing the ruins one can imagine.
Saint Agastya, is supposed to have drunk the entire sea near Prabhasapattan. Mythological heroes like Janamejaya, Pandavas, Ravana are supposed to have visited Prabhasapattan Teerth. In the month of Magha (sometime in February) on the day of Shivaratri, Somanath JyotirLinga festival is celebrated with great aplomb.

SACRED PLACES AROUND SOMNATH: There are many temples and places of historical and religious importance around Somnath in Prabhasa Theertha, the seat of one of the twelve most revered Jyothirlingas.

Bhalika Teerth
This sacred teerth is located 5 km on Prabhas Veraval highway. The arrow of the poacher named Jara at this spot hit Bhagvan Shree Krishna. Bhagvan Shree Krishna was resting in meditation pose under a pippal tree when the poacher misread the foot of Bhagvan Shree Krishna as a deer and hit from a distance. Bhagvan generously pardoned the poacher and blessed him. This divined leela of Bhagvan Shree Krishna is immortalised by a beautiful temple and an ancient pippal tree. Bhagvan Shree Krishna then walked a small distance and arrived at the holy banks of river Hiran from where he took his last journey to his Neejdham.
The Lakshmi Narayan Mandir
Close by is the Golokdham Tirth in the Dehotsarg campus, on the banks of the Hiran River. From this spot, Lord Krishna took his final journey to Neejdham on 18th. February, 3102 BC at 2:27:30 hrs (as written in the notice board outside the temple) after being hit by an arrow at Bhalka Tirth by a tribal hunter named Jara.
Dehotsarg Tirth
The footprints of Lord Krishna, in marble, are housed in a separate enclosure, next to an ancient peepul tree. The Gita mandir, as well as the Lakshmi Narayan temple, are both here, next to one another.

The footprint of Bhagvan Shree Krishna is carved here to mark the divine memory of Shree Krishna Neejdham Prasthan Leela. Baldevji, the elder brother of Shree Krishna also took his last journey from here in his original serpent form. This is marked by an ancient holy cave called “Dauji-ni Gufa”.

Known as Parashurama Kshetra or Parashurama Tapo Bhoomi, this is a sacred spot at the holy banks of Triveni where, Lord Parashurama conducted his long penance and was relieved from the curse of Kshatriya killings. It is located at a distance of about 5 km on Veeraval highway. There is Parashurama temple and two kunds and also temples of Jaleshwar-Tapeshwar Mahadev and Jamadagneshwar Mahadev at this place.

 Shashibhushan Mahadev

It is located at a distance of 4 km on the Somnath-Veraval highway with a beautiful sea-shore. Lord Shashibhushan (Lord Shiva) with Bheedbhanjan (Savior form of Ganesh) is worshipped here. We can find Shiva Lingas on the sea side known as Baan Ganga Shiva Linga. The Jhara poacher (hunter) is said to have taken aim from this spot while hitting an arrow towards Lord Sree Krishna.

Veneshwar Mahadev Temple 

Rajputa Vaja clan was in charge of Somnath during the Muslim desecrations. The devotional episode of the princess Veni is said to have been depicted in the novel by Shri K.M. Munshi. The temple was outside of the fort wall of Prabhas Pattan at the time of holy war with Gazani. The soldiers of Gazani attempted an abduction of the princess Veni, an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva who used to regularly visit the temple to offer her services to the Lord Shiva. The traditions maintain that the Shiva linga spontaneously got divided and the princess got buried into it. The Shiva temple here is known as Veneshwar temple after the fond memory of the divine episode of Veni.
Triveni Sangam Ghat

Triveni Sangam Ghat in Somnath is at the confluence of three holy rivers Kapila, Hiranya and a mystical River Saraswati (also known as Gupta Saraswati) from where the rivers flow to the ultimate destination of Sea. This is a sacred place to take bath and it is believed that the bath in the waters at this Ghat offers relief from all curses and ills happened. It is considered to be a Moksha theertha. It is also a sacred place to pay homage to ancestors and offer Pitru tarpana. In Chaitra and Bhadrapada months of Hindu calendar huge crowds are seen here. The ghat has been named after Morarji Desai former Prime minister of India who was also the chairman of Shri Somnath Trust for several years. The Ghat has good arrangements for bathing and changing of clothes.

Sun Temple Somnath

It is a very ancient temple dedicated to the Sun God. The Sun temple of Prabhas Pattan has a sabha mantapa, sanctum sanctorum and intricate carvings.
Pandav Gufa
Next to the Sun temple there is Pandav Gufa, a cave associated with the Pandavas, at an elevated place dedicated to Pandavas. Inside there is an underground cave temple called as Hinglaj Matha Mandir, a form of Goddess Durga. Pandavas during their Vanavasa are said to have visited this place and worshipped this Goddess.

Kamanath Mahadev Temple
It is said that, this was the place where Rathi Devi wife of Manmatha also known as Kamadev did severe penance to get back the life to her husband. Earlier Manmatha who had disturbed Lord Shiva from his penance became a victim to his wrath and got converted into ashes. Pleased with Rathi Devi’s prayers and penance, Lord Shiva blessed her husband life back without physical body and fulfilled her desire. Thenceforth, Lord Shiva at this place came to be known as Kamnath Mahadev.

The Kamnath Mahadev temple, built about 200 years ago by a Mayurdhwaj King, is a renowned temple located in Somnath. There is a large temple complex with a holy pond and its water is said to have majestic healing powers. It is said that Mayurdhwaj King recovered from leprosy after taking bath in this place. There are idols of Adi Sankaracharya and Lord Nrusimha. Replica of Dwadasa Jyothirlingas is enshrined in this temple. Sankaracharya Mutt, Sharada Peeth is inside the temple complex.

Temple Timings

Timing for Darshan at Somnath Temple: 6.00 am to 9.00 pm
Timing for Aarathi: 7.00 am, 12.00 Noon and 7.00 pm
Jay Somnath (Sound and Light Show): 7.45 pm to 8.45 pm 

How to reach Somnath?

By Road :

Veraval - 08 KMs
Keshod - 41 KM
Gir-Wild Life Sanctuary – 45 km
Junagadh - 79 KM
Diu Island (Union Territory) – 95 km
Porbandar – 130 km
Rajkot - 181 KM
Dwarka – 230 km
Ahmedabad - 409 KM
Gandhinagar - 434 KM

Nearest railway station – Veraval
Nearest Airport - Div and Keshod

Contact Details

Chairman, Shri Somnath Temple Trust.
Sec. no.: 19K-12, Phone No. (O) 23254894
Member Secretary, Shri Somnath Temple Trust. Shri Somnath Nivas,C-12-A Shri OM Villa Nr. Govt. Godawn. Ghoda Campus Road, Shahibaug. Ahmedabad.
Phone No.: (O) +91 79 22686335, 22686442
Phone No.: (R) +91 79 23247042
Phone No.: (M) +91 9825036101

General Manager, Shri Somnath Temple Trust, Somnath.
Phone No.: (O) +91 2876 231200, 231212
Phone No.: (F) +91 2876 232694
Phone No.: (R) +91 2876 233130
Phone No.: (M) +91 9824285667

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Nischay Mehta said...

Shree Somnath Temple – 7 KM away from Hotel Madhuram

This is the first among the Twelwe Jyotirlings, since ancient times, Somnath has beena pilgrimage being the confluence of the mythological Saraswati, Hiranya and Kapila, Legend has it that Lord Shiva’s Kalbhairav Linga is situated at the Somnath.

It is also surrounded by many other Temples like, Bhaluka Tirth, Geeta Mandir and Shree Saibaba Temple.

Indidigital7 said...

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Nice blog
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Somnath Jyotirlinga

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