Somnath, Information about Somnath Temple, Gujarat

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Somnath

Somnath Temple
Somnath Temple, Somnath

The legendary shore temple of Somnath is located near Veraval and is about 80 kms from Junagadh. The Somnath temple is one of the twelve most sacred shrines dedicated to the Lord Shiva and a jyotirlinga. This temple has a very long history. According to the legends, the Somnath temple is very old and was originally built in gold by the Somraj, the Moon God. Later, it was rebuilt by Ravana, in silver; then by Krishna in wood and Bhimdev in stone. The current temple was built as per the traditional designs on the original site by the sea. Today, this majestic temple is a replica of the earlier temple. Mahmud of Ghazni, upon hearing the description of the richness of the Somnath temple by Al Biruni, an Arab traveller, visited this temple in 1024 AD. 

At that time, this temple had about 300 musicians, 500 dancing girls and 300 barbers to shave off the heads of pilgrims. After a 2 days battle, Mahmud destroyed the temple and carried away jewels and gold to his homeland. Hence, a tradition got started, the Muslims destroy the temples and the Hindus rebuilt them. The Somnath Temple was raided again in 1927, 1934 and 1706. In 1706, this temple was raided by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. In all, the Somnath temple was rebuilt and destroyed seven times. This temple was finally rebuilt in 1950 with the support of Sardar Vallabhabhai Patel.

 
How to get here

By Air:
The nearest airport is located at Keshod, about 47 kms which is connected with Mumbai.

By Rail:
The nearest railway station is located at Veraval, about 5 Kms.

By Road:
Somnath is connected to various cities in Gujarat.

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