Somnath Temple, a famous temple in Gujarat, is one of Lord Shiva's twelve Jyotirlingas in India. It is also known as "The Shrine Eternal" because it has been attacked and demolished nearly fifteen times by intruders and remains with its great architecture and cultural beauty today. According to legends, the Somnath Temple was constructed by the Moon God, and the name "Somnath" means "protector of the moon." It was reconstructed in 1947, during the independence of India. It stands at a huge height of 155 feet, making it one of India's most impressive temples.
Location and what to expect
The beautiful temple is located on the western coast of India, in the Indian state of Gujarat, and lies in the city of Somnath, hence the name. Situated about 5 km from the majestic Veraval beach, the temple is approximately 80 km from the city of Junagadh. The construction is done completely in the Chalukya architecture style and there is a stone Kalash placed on the head of the Shikhara that weighs about 10 tonnes. You can spot a sand beach located just outside the temple, adding to the breathtaking seaside environment.
If you are planning to visit the temple, then you can expect beautiful views all around the temple premises, along with positive auras coming from all over the place. The architectural style will take you back to the early era of kings and old rulers of that time. You will get to witness an amazingly adorned Jyotirlinga, that is decorated and enveloped with fresh flowers covered with gold, silver decoratives.
Speaking of the legends about the temple, it is said that the temple was first built by the Moon God and renovated later by Ravana, further by Lord Krishna and Bhim (one of the Pandava brothers). Try to keep and stay there till the evening due to the spiritual essence of the temple that is boosted by the evening prayers and aartis that will give a peaceful outlook towards life.
Fascinating Facts About Somnath Temple
Before we talk more about this beautiful temple, let’s look at these five mind-boggling fun facts about the temple:
● The existing Somnath Temple took five years to build and was officially launched by then-Indian President Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
● The temple is mentioned in Hindu scriptures such as the Shreemad Bhagavat, Skanda Purana, Shivpuran, and Rig-Veda. This emphasizes the temple's significance as one of India's most famous pilgrimage destinations.
● The shrine is said to be situated in such a way that there is no straight line of land between the seashore of Somnath and the continent of Antarctica.
● There are approximately 6 Brahmas, according to the other reference in the Skanda Purana. This is the Shatanand age, which is named after the seventh Brahma.
● Somnath's saga is connected to the moon god and his father-in-law Daksha Prajapati's curse.
How to get there
One can reach the Somnath Temple via air, bus or train.
● As the temple is connected to multiple cities, hence, it also gets automatically connected to various airports present there. The aerodrome at Diu in the union territory of Daman and Diu, Porbandar airport, and Rajkot Civil airport are some of the prominent airports that help people in reaching the Somnath temple through the air.
● Somnath is premised by several small towns and cities that are well served by bus services. The cost of an air-conditioned bus from Diu to Somnath is 300 rupees per person. Bus tickets from nearby cities like Rajkot, Porbandar, and Ahmedabad are readily available and run by private bus operators. The prices may vary depending upon the Km traveled.
● Veraval Railway Station is the closest to Somnath Temple if one wants to travel by train. Being only five km away from the temple, the station is well-connected to major cities in the region like Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The station has fourteen pairs of trains running daily to and from important cities.
As phrased on the official website of Somnath Temple, the darshan timings start at 6 AM and end at 10 PM. If you are someone looking forward to enjoying the vibrant aarti in the temple it happens three times a day, timings being 7 AM, 12 Noon, and 7 PM.
Somnath Temple is also well-known for its state-of-the-art light and sound show that elevates the temple’s prominence and is a visual delight to watch, adding to the grandeur of the whole temple infrastructure. Except in the monsoon or rainy season, the show is organized at night time from 8 to 9.
* Remember that the temple will remain closed from 11/04/2021
From 11.04.2021 Somnath Temple Will Remain Closed for Devotees for Darshan Till Further Order. Devotees Can Book Online Pooja through the website www.somnath.org.
Best time to visit
One can plan on visiting this temple in the winters as the temperature is cool and refreshing, making the surroundings look more serene. The winter season lasts from October till March, so you can plan your trip around these months. Try avoiding going to the temple in the months of July, August, and September as the Monsoon season is at its peak during these months which results in heavy rainfall affecting your visits in a negative manner.
Accommodation in Somnath
For making your visit even more comfortable, you can book a hotel in advance. Whether you are traveling on a budget or want a good high-class facilitated room during your stay, all types of hotels are available around the temple that will cater to your needs.
Some affordable hotels include Vadh Hotel (Opposite: Old Somnath Temple), Ambar Hotel and Restaurant (Near Somnath Railway Station), and Lilavati Guest House (Prabhas Patan). If you are looking forward to making your stay memorable then some of the top luxury hotels are Safari Resort (Near- Somnath Railway Station), Shubh Suvidha Hotel (Somnath Bye Pass Corner), Sagar Darshan Atithigruh (Nr. Somnath Temple), and Hotel Sukh Sagar (Somnath Cross Road).
Things To Remember Before Visiting the Majestic Lands Of Somnath Temple
● Photography is strictly prohibited in the temple.
● Entrance into the Temple is free of cost.
● Wheelchairs and mini cars are available at the entrance of the temple for physically disabled people.
● No one is allowed to enter the Sanctum Sanctorum except the priests.
Hence, with this, you have all the information you need to plan your trip to this wonderful temple.