Somnath – All that you need to know about the historic pilgrimage temple in Gujarat before you visit!
Amongst the most celebrated and divine pilgrimage sites and tourist spots, Somnath temple is located in Prabhas Patan on the western coast of Gujarat. The historic temple holds more importance as it houses one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. The Jyotirlinga is considered as a manifestation of Lord Shiva. It is the first Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva out of the twelve shrines.
One can find the reference of this temple in ancient texts such as Shreemad Bhagavat, Shivpuran and Rig-Veda which also proves its importance.
In this blog, we will also share the important things about its past. We will share much detailed information which will help you while you plan to visit Somnath.
History of Somnath Temple
If we turn back to the history of the Somnath temple, we get to know that it is related to the Moon and Lord Shiva. After Moon (Chandra) married the twenty-seven stars, Daksh Prajapati cursed his son-in-law, Moon (Chandra). In a rage, Daksh cursed him that he would lose his Kala (Art) every day and decrease in size till he becomes invisible. Later, Brahma told Chandra that if he worships Lord Shiva, he can get his way out of the curse. Chandra meditated and prayed to Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva gave him a boon that he will grow back to his original size.
In the present day, the place where Chandra worshipped Lord Shiva is known as Somnath, which means the ‘Lord of Moon’. As a belief, the moon is the brightest in Somnath. The temple also has a Kund (pool) which the Devas had created. Devotees from all over the world visit here to take a dip in this pool. People believe they can wash away their sins by taking a dip in this pool.
Certain facts about Somnath temple
- Somnath temple is also known as “The indestructible”. In fact, a scribble through the Somnath temple history depicts that the temple has been destroyed 17 times. It was looted and destroyed by Mahmud Ghaznavi – King of Ghazni. On a surprising note, each time it has been restored back to life.
Quite surprising and miraculous, people believe that it is Lord Shiva’s blessings that each time the temple has emerged with more beauty and grandeur.
- Today, the 17th version of the Somnath temple is built on the original site from 1947-1951. The present temple has been reconstructed in Chaulukya style of Hindu temple architecture under the aegis of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and K.M. Munshi. President Dr. Rajendra Prasad had inaugurated the temple in 1951.
- The main attraction in the temple is the Somnath Jyotirlinga. However, the sculptor of the idol is unknown but he was certainly a metallurgical genius. It is for the reason that the Shivlinga is built of a special metal that helps it stay afloat in water.
Best time to visit Somnath
Somnath offers a pleasant climate throughout the year. This is the reason people from all parts of the world keep visiting here all through the year. But to make it simpler, we have listed below the type of weather that prevails during different seasons of the year.
- Summer (March-June): The maximum temperature in Somnath during the summer season is somewhere around 42degree Celsius and the minimum temperature level is around 24degree Celsius. The temperature is at its peak during April and May.
- Monsoon (July-September): Monsoon season in Somnath comes with strong winds and rainfall. The climate during the monsoon season remains between humid and cool.
- Winter (November-February): The temperature during winter season ranges from 10 degree Celsius to 34degree Celsius. This season is the best period for pilgrimage visits and sightseeing.
The ideal time to visit Somnath is from October-March. This period offers a pleasant and cool atmosphere to the visitors.
During Mahashivratri, people visit Somnath temple in crowds around February month. The spirit of pious people and the divine atmosphere is a must experience.
How to reach Somnath
- By Air: The nearest international airport is the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Airport in Ahmedabad. You can book a domestic flight from Ahmedabad to Keshod which takes about 1 hr 15 minutes to reach Keshod.
Keshod is the nearest domestic airport at a distance of 55km from Somnath. Once you reach Keshod airport, travel in any local transport such as bus or taxi to reach Somnath.
Diu Airport is the second nearest airport which is almost 63 km away from Somnath.
- By Train: The nearest railway station is Veraval which is 7km from Somnath. There are many special trains running from Ahmedabad to Veraval. Ahmedabad has a great rail network connection to all the major cities of the country. After you reach Veraval, take a bus, auto or taxi to Somnath which is about 6km in distance.
- By Road: State transport corporation buses and private coaches run regular service to other cities in the region. In distance, Mumbai is 889km, Ahmedabad is 400km, Bhavnagar is 266km, Junagadh is 85km and Porbander is 122 km from Somnath. All other major cities around have a good road network to Somnath.
- Local Transport: You can find buses, auto-rickshaws, chhakadas and even private taxis that are available to move around Somnath.
Where to stay
There are many budget and luxury hotels located near Somnath. However, you can also opt to stay near Gir National park which is located just 45km away from Somnath temple. Gir National Park is known as the last home of Asiatic Lions and attracts thousands of visitors every year just to get a glimpse of the majestic animal. Hotel Anil Farmhouse is a popular and premium holiday destination in Sasan Gir that serves to the needs of budget as well as luxury travelers.
This luxury wildlife resort is situated beside the river Hiran, surrounded by the meadow of Gir Jungle. It gives you a calm and serene yet unique and unforgettable stay experience such that you will definitely come back for more stays with us.
We are just a phone call away! Contact us for your stay requirements! So, it’s time you pack your bags and visit Somnath temple to seek divine blessings of Lord Shiva.