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Indian Temples » Somnath Temple

About Somnath Temple

Somnath at Somnath Patan, near Veraval in Gujarat is a pilgrimage center held in great reverence throughout India. Somnath temple is considered to be the first of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva. Somnath is situated on the south coast of Saurashtra. The Skanda Purana, in a chapter on Prabhasa Khanda, describes Somnath. Legend has it that Shiva in the previous aeons was referred to as Mrityunjaya, Kaalagnirudra, Amritesa, Anamaya, Kritivasa and Bhairavanatha at Somnath.

The temple of Somnath, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva is situated 79 Kms. from Junagadh and 25 Kms. from Chorwad. According to the legend, Somnath is as old as creation, built by none other than the Moon God himself. The remains of the temple of Somanath "withstood the shocks of time and survived the attacks of destroyers. The temple has imposing architecture and is a beautiful sight facing the blue expanse of the Arabian Sea. A short distance from the Somnath temple is Bakhla Tirth, where Lord Krishna was said to have been struck by the stray arrow of a Bhil tribal. The Present Temple, Kailash Mahameru Prasada is built in the chalukya style of temple architecture and reflects the inherent skill of Sompuras, Gujarat's master masons.

Soma is the name for the moon, the son in-law of Daksha. Once Soma disobeyed a certain instruction of his father-in-law. Daksha was so angry that he cursed him, saying, "Thou shalt wane!" The moon, who used to shine in full splendor every night till then, started to shrink. However, before the curse brought about an absolute end to the moon, many a god requested Daksha to revoke his curse. Daksha asked Soma to take a bath in the sea at the mouth of the river Saraswati and then to pray to Lord Shiva. Hence at Prabhasa, Shiva came to be known as Somanath, the Lord of the moon.

It is believed that the Somnath temple here was originally built by Somraj, the Moon God himself, out of gold, and then rebuilt by Ravana in silver and then by Krishna in Wood, then by Bhimdev in stone. Somnath is also known by several other names -- Deo pattan, Prabhas Pattan or Pattan Somnath, which it acquired during its long and eventful history. Somnath was once the most revered shrine in the country, for it had one of the twelve pre-eminent Jyotirlingas (the glowing Lingas), which held a special significance for the Hindus. Somnath's glory and fame are legendary. It is said that people from the remotest parts of the country came to worship at the shrine; revenues collected from ten thousand villages was spent on the maintenance of the temple. Two thousand Brahmins (priests) served the idol and a golden chain attached to a huge bell plate announced the commencement of prayers.

Climate

In India we usually have threee seasons, summer, winter and monsoon. There is a huge variation experienced in the climatic conditions in the different parts of India. In gujarat also the weather varies in different regions. The places near the coast have a humid climate whereas the ones in the interiors experience a completely different climate. The Rann of Kutch region experiences an extreme climate. The summers are extremely hot while the winters are extremely cold. On the other hand, the coastal regions and the eastern belt of Gujarat experience a mild pleasant climate with moderate rainfall during the monsoons.

On an average, the summers are extremely hot and dry in Gujarat. The day temperature is as high as 46°C while at night it is 34 °C. In the winters, the weather is mild, pleasant and dry. The average temperature during day time is 29 °C and 12 °C during the night. The days are usually sunny and the sky is clear. The monsoon season extends from mid June to September. Before the monsoon, the temperatures are soaring high with an increased humidity in the air. The rain provides relief from the scorching heat. The temperature falls down to 38 °C with high humidity, during the day and 27 °C at night.

Transportation

  • Air: The nearest Airport is at Diu, (90 km ) which is connected with Mumbai.
  • Rail: Before Veraval (5 km) was the closest Railway station. However now, by the grace of Somnath Mahadev, SOMNATH itself is a new railway station as of 16 October, 2008.
  • Bus: Before Veraval (5 km) was the closest Railway station. However now, by the grace of Somnath Mahadev, SOMNATH itself is a new railway station as of 16 October, 2008.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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