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Thread: Somnath Temple

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Somnath Temple

    Location : Gujarat
    Dedicated to : Lord Shiva
    Temple Timings : 6 AM to 9 PM
    Best time to Visit : October to March
    Attractions Around : Veraval Beach, Bakhla Tirth

    About the Somnath Temple
    Situated a little away from Veraval in the state of Gujarat, the Somnath temple has a rich historical past that dates back centuries. According to legend, the temple was built of gold by the Moon God (Somraj) himself and was subsequently replaced with a silver structure by Ravana, a wooden masterpiece by Krishna and the one made out of stone by Bhima. Also known as Deo Pattan, Prabhas Pattan and Pattan Somnath, the temple is especially revered as one of the twelve holy jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, spread across the country. The legendary fame of the place is believed to have been spread across the distant corners of the land and a huge bell plate was struck with a golden hammer signaling the commencement of prayers, a glorious ceremony which was attended by people coming here from all over the country.

    The temple was attacked in 1025 by Mughal ruler Mahmud Ghazni and its wealth plundered. Somnath at that time was at its peak housing over 300 musicians, 500 dancing girls and 300 barbers to shave the heads of pilgrims. The Hindus rebuilt the temple in an even grander way but the event started a series of attacks with the temple being razed again several times in 1297, 1394 and 1704.

    The present temple is believed to have been erected by the Vallabhi kings and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Once a place for an opulent rendezvous with the Indian culture, the temple entrance is east facing and believed to have once housed an enormous hall with three entrances. The exquisitely carved doorways, the beautifully sculpted statues of Nandi the bull and the murals of goddesses along with their female companions once adorned this holy structure. Restoration work on the present structure commenced soon after the country gained independence and was completed in 1995, signifying that the power of restoration is always greater than the power of destruction.

    The Legend
    Soma is the name for the moon, the son in-law of Daksha. Once Soma disregarded certain directions of his father-in-law Daksha. As a result Daksha became angry and cursed him, saying, “Thou shalt wane!” The moon, who used to shine in full splendour every night till then, started to shrink. However, before the curse brought about an absolute end to the moon, many a god appealed Daksha to take back his curse. Daksha asked Soma to take a bath in the sea at the mouth of the river Saraswati and then to pray to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva pleased with his penance restored his light for half of the month. Hence the deity here is known as Someshwar or Somnath, Lord of the moon and the place as Prabhas.

    It is believed that the Somnath temple here was originally built by Somraj, the Moon God himself, out of gold, and then rebuilt by Ravana in silver and then by Krishna in Wood, then by Bhimdev in stone.

    Photography is prohibited inside the temple, and you must leave your camera at the hut outside.

    Other Attractions Near the Somnath Temple

    Veraval Beach : Just about 5 km from the Somnath Temple is this amazing beach, which is great place to relax and refresh your body, mind and soul.

    Not very from the Somnath temple is Bakhla Tirth, where Lord Krishna was said to have been struck by the stray arrow of a Bhil tribal. The Present Temple, Kailash Mahameru Prasada is built in the chalukya style of temple architecture and displays the inherent skill of Sompuras, Gujarat’s master masons. There is a grey-sand beach outside the temple which is part of the temple’s lonely seaside charm.

    Ahalyeshwar Mahadev Temple built by Queen Ahalyabai, Gita Mandir, Laxmi Narayan temple, Baldev Gufa, Mahaprabhuji’s Bethak, Triveni Sangam, Parshuram Kshetra, SUN Temple, Prachi and Shashibhushan temples are other places of religious significance in and around the Somnath Temple.

    Keywords: Somnath Temple, Moon God, Ravana, Krishna ,Bhima, Deo Pattan, Prabhas Pattan and Pattan Somnath, Lord Shiva, Mahmud Ghazni, Vallabhi kings,son in-law of Daksha, Soma,Someshwar, Somnath,Prabhas,Veraval Beach, Bakhla Tirth,Lord Krishna ,Bhil tribal, Kailash Mahameru Prasada,Ahalyeshwar Mahadev Temple , Queen Ahalyabai, Gita Mandir, Laxmi Narayan temple, Baldev Gufa, Mahaprabhuji’s Bethak, Triveni Sangam, Parshuram Kshetra, SUN Temple, Prachi , Shashibhushan temples .

    Last edited by sherlyk; 02-09-2012 at 07:38 AM.

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