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
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.
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.
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
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
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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