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SOMNATH

Somnath is one of the 12 Siva jyotirlingaas. The temple is on the shore of the Arabian Sea, six km of Veraval in Gujarat. It is said that the temple has been here since ancient times and this is one of the temples raided and destroyed by muslims many times and Mohammad Ghazni was the first to start this.

The legend has it that the temple was built by Soma, the moon god. Soma went ahead to build this temple to atone for the curse Daksha put on him.

Soma was cursed by Daksha since he showed partiality to Rohini over his other wives, who were also daughters of Daksha.

The curse of Daksha caused the wane in moon. However, later Daksha advised Soma to go to Prabhasa to get rid of the curse. It is said that the moon comes here to bath on every amaavaasya or the new moon day. Only after taking his bath here, he regains here light.

However, since moon regains his light here this place is called as Prabhaasa. Literally, Somnath means lord of moon.

River Saraswathi flows in this place and the temple is said to have been built out of gold. Ravana, the lord of Lanka is said to have built this temple out of Silver subsequently. Later Lord Krishna built this temple out of wood and Bheema used stone to build this temple.

The legend also says that about 2000 brahmanaas used to serve in this temple. There were about 500 dancing girls and 300 musicians in this temple.

After the muslims raided and destroyed this temple the solid silver gate was removed and shifted to their homeland.

The present temple was rebuilt in 1950. However, it lost its artistic look. It has a tower over 165 ft over the main sanctum. It was constructed on the exact spot where the origianl temple was situated. Visitors can also see remains of an ancient temple right next to the present temple.

How to reach?

One can reach the temple from Veraval. There is an airport in Keshod, 47 km away. There are daily flights to Bombay. Those traveling by train can board the Girnar Express and the Somnath Mail to go to Ahmedabad. Buses depart from Veraval and Ahmedabad to the temple.  

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