Somnath Temple Quick Facts
|Veraval, Gujarat (India)
|1951 (current structure)
|Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (present structure)
Somnath Temple Overview
Somnath Temple is a famous Hindu temple located in the port of Veraval in the Saurashtra sub-region of the Indian state of Gujarat. This temple is known as the first of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. It is said about this temple that it was built by Chandradev himself, which is mentioned in the Rigveda. The glory and fame of this temple is covered far and wide and it is one of the most sacred places of Hinduism.
Somnath Temple History
This magnificent Temple mentioned in the Rigveda was built by Chandradev. The world famous Arabic traveler Al-Biruni, who came to India, had also written about the beauty of this temple in his travelogue "Kitab-ul-Hind" i.e. book of Hind, which was influenced by the Afghan ruler Mahmud Ghaznavi in 1025 with his Five Thousand soldiers. attacked this temple with him and looted his property and destroyed it.
It is believed that when the Temple was demolished and at that time about Fifty Thousand people were present inside the temple, who died there. After this, King Bhima of Gujarat and Raja Bhoj of Malwa together got the temple rebuilt. When the Delhi Sultanate occupied Gujarat in 1297, it was again brought down. It was again destroyed in 1706 by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
This temple was destroyed about 17 times and rebuilt each time. This cycle continued for about 650 years. The temple built at present has been built by the first Home Minister of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and was handed over to the country on 01 December 1995 by former Indian President Shri Shankar Dayal Sharma.
Somnath Temple Interesting Facts
- In the Temple, the Archaeological Department of the Government of India had established a Jyotirlinga of Shiva on the Brahmashila found by excavation.
- The Foundation stone of the temple was laid on 8 May 1940 by Digvijay Singh, the former emperor of Saurashtra and the first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, who became independent after attaining independence, established the Jyotirling in the temple on 11 May 1951.
- This Temple is divided into three main parts- Garbhagriha, Sabhamandapa and Nrityamandapa. The height of its summit is about 150 feet.
- The Kalash above the temple weighs about 10 tonnes and its flag is 27 feet high.
- The idols of Parvati, Saraswati Devi, Lakshmi, Ganga and Nandi are also installed in this temple. Above the Shivling in the upper part of the ground is the Ahalyeshwar idol.
- There is also a Temple of Ganesha in the temple premises and an idol of Aghorling has been installed outside the north gate.
- A grand Temple of Mahakali is also built near the Ahalyabai temple in Prabhavnagar. Similarly, temples of Ganeshji, Bhadrakali and Lord Vishnu etc. are also built in the city.
- There is a Lake called Gaurikund near the gate of the city. There is an ancient Shivling near the lake.
- This region was earlier known as Prabhas Kshetra. Lord Shri Krishna had described his Leela at this place by making the arrow of a huntsman named Jara an instrument.
- It is said that the devdwaras kept in the Agra Fort belong to the Somnath temple. Mahmud had taken these gates with him during the looting of Ghazni in 1026 AD.
- This Temple is open daily from 6 am to 9 pm. Aarti is performed here three times a day (7 in the morning, 12 in the afternoon and 7 in the evening).
- A one-hour sound and light show takes place in the temple premises from 7:30 to 8:30 at night.
- About 200 km away from the temple is the city of Dwarka of Lord Krishna. Every day thousands of devotees from all over the country and abroad come here to visit Dwarkadhish.