One of the 12 Jyotirlingas is Somnath. The temple is located on the coast in Gujarat’s Kathiawar area. Previously, this area was known as Prabhas Kshetra.The Mahabharata, Srimad Bhagavat, and Skanda Purana all detail the splendour of Somnath-Jyotirlinga, which is located in the sacred Prabhas area. He underwent penance here, thinking Shiva to be his ruler, as one of the moon’s names is “Som”. As a result, this Jyotirlinga is known as Somnath.
Somnath is linked to the liberation of Chandra (Moon God) from the curse of his father-in-law Daksha Prajapati in ancient Indian mythology. Moon was married to Daksha’s twenty-seven daughters. He, on the other hand, favoured Rohini and ignored the other queens. Moon was cursed by the enraged Daksha, and its brightness was taken away. Moon came at the Prabhas Teertha on the instructions of Prajapita Brahma and worshipped Bhagvan Shiva. Moon was blessed and freed from the curse of darkness by Bhagvan Shiva, who was pleased with his great penance and devotion. Moon is supposed to have created a golden temple, followed by Ravana’s silver temple, and finally Bhagvan Shree Krishna building Somnath temple out of Sandalwood.
The first Somnath Jyotirlinga Pran-Pratistha was held on the fortunate third day of the brighter half of Shravan month during the tenth Treta yug of Vaivswat Manvantar, according to research based on ancient Indian classical literature. In accordance to Swami Shri Gajananand Saraswatiji, the Chairman of Shrimad Aadhya Jagadguru Shankaracharya Vedic Shodh Sansthan, Varanasi, very first temple was erected 7,99,25,105 years ago, based on Prabhas Khand of Skand Puran traditions. From the beginning of time, this temple has served as a source of inspiration for millions of Hindus.
The blessings of Bhagvan Somnath are supposed to have freed the Moon God from the curse of his father-in-law Daksha Prajapati. I am constantly present everywhere, but especially in 12 forms and places like the Jyotirlingas, Shiva declared in the Shiva Purana and Nandi Upapurana. One of these 12 sacred sites is Somnath. The first of the twelve sacred Shiva Jyotirlings is this one.
Several desecrations by Muslim conquerors between the eleventh and eighteenth centuries A.D. are recorded in later records of history. Every time the temple was restored, the people’s reconstruction spirit was there. Sardar Patel, who saw the ruins of Somnath temple on November 13, 1947, was determined to rebuild the contemporary temple. On May 11, 1951, the then-President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, performed the Pran-Pratistha at the current temple.
Significance Of Somnath Temple
Worshiping at Somnath purges the worshippers of all their sins and transgressions. One takes on the role of Lord Shiva’s and Mother Parvati’s endless grace. As a result, they have easy access to the road of redemption. Devotees’ cosmic actions are inherently successful.
Structure of Somnath
The Jyotirlinga Shree Somnath Mahadev Temple, located on the Arabian Sea’s western shores, is one of a kind. This shrine is one of the country’s oldest pilgrimage sites.The temple of Somnath is also referenced in ancient writings such as the Skanda Purana, Srimad Bhagavat Gita, and Shiva Purana. At the same time, the Rigveda mentions the splendour of Someshwar Mahadev.
The Garbh Grih, Sabha mandap, and Nritya mandap are the three primary sections of the temple. It reaches a height of 150 feet. Its ten-ton Urn weighs 10 tonnes, and its flag is 27 feet tall.
It is said that the unbroken sea path – Trishtambha – terminates at the South Pole in a roundabout way. It is regarded as a remarkable testament to our old knowledge and comprehension. Queen Ahilyabai reconstructed this temple. It is regarded as a remarkable testament to our old knowledge and comprehension. Queen Ahilyabai reconstructed this temple.
This temple is also considered to be one of the earliest of Shiva’s twelve Jyotirlingas. Invaders assaulted this temple six times, according to historical records. Even now, the temple’s continued existence is a testament to its rebuilding efforts and social peace.
This temple was built in the Kailash style for the seventh time. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was also involved in the construction of the temple.
The current temple displays the expertise of the Sompura Salats, one of Gujarat’s finest masons, and is designed in the Chaulukya style of temple building or “Kailash Mahameru Prasad” style. The temple’s ikhara, or main spire, stands 15 metres tall with an 8.2-meter-tall flagpole atop it.
The temple is located in such a way that there is no land in a straight line from Somnath beach to Antarctica, as evidenced by a Sanskrit inscription on the Bastambha built on the sea-protection wall. According to the Bastambha, it is located on the Indian subcontinent and is the first point on land in the north to the South Pole at that longitude. The Kerguelen Islands, which are uninhabited and part of the French Southern and Antarctic Islands, are the only land mass that comes close to this longitude.
Mythology Behind Somnath
Som was the name of Chandra, Daksha’s son-in-law, according to legend. He disobeyed Daksha’s commands once, and hence, Daksha cursed him, saying that his light would wane from day to day.
When the other gods requested Daksha to remove his curse, he said that taking a bath in the sea near the Saraswati’s source would prevent the curse from spreading.
Som paid his respects to Lord Shiva by bathing in the Arabian Sea near Saraswati’s mouth. Lord Shiva took on the form of Somnath and came to rescue him.
How To Reach?
Somnath is around 63 kilometres from Diu Airport, which is the closest airport. Between Diu airport and Somnath, there is a frequent bus and taxi service.
The nearest railway station to Somnath is Veraval, which is about seven kilometres away. From here, you may reach Ahmedabad and other parts of Gujarat directly.
Somnath is 7 kilometres from Veraval, 400 kilometres from Ahmedabad, 266 kilometres from Bhavnagar, 85 kilometres from Junagadh, and 122 kilometres from Porbandar. This location is served by buses from all around state.